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  1. Noya Desherbanté

    Noya Desherbanté Senior Member

    Oct 26, 2010
    Likes Received:
    wishing I was somewhere else...

    I need kicking here!!

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by Noya Desherbanté, Oct 29, 2010.

    Please, I need some bite-sized shots of kicking up the ass here... I have the Block (although I don't agree with that term anymore), or rather, specifically, I'm afflicted by these same ol' problems trying to write my novel:

    Am distracted as heck, by Facebook, and this site (sorry). Managed to switch off the TV, though.

    I don't think what I write is good enough. The words jar in my head, always slumping out with the sneaking suspicion there are better ones in there, and when I look over what I've managed to cobble together I cannot imagine anyone being delighted at reading it, and now that includes myself. When I was nine I wrote purely for myself - now I'm caught up in starry-eyed visions of publication, and I can't help it, I can't write thinking like that!

    Also, I am sorely tempted to move onto another project. I have at least a dozen on the go, but, understandably, none of them get finished because of this reason, I always switch when I get stuck then rewrite all I've done.

    Do you guys have any mantras, any bite size pieces of advice, preferably very harsh, so I can repeat them over and over and hopefully get this done? I hate the feeling I'm losing faith in my worlds, but they're just not fun to write anymore :/
  2. tcol4417

    tcol4417 Member

    Jul 27, 2009
    Likes Received:
    Sydney, AU
    Hmm... I don't actually think a kick up the rear will be the best thing to do given your circumstances.

    If you're writing for publication, don't write out of obligation because it will likely come out in your work. If you want to put the water back on the boil, try some short writing exercises and alter them to make them relevant to what you're writing.

    Spontaneous scenarios and prompts are a good way to get an idea of characters and descriptive prompts are a good way to envisage environments. Take a look at the Writer's Digest for a few possibilities.

    My personal mantra isn't PG rated, so I'm afraid I can't share =P
  3. Steerpike

    Steerpike Felis amatus Contributor

    Jul 5, 2010
    Likes Received:
    California, US
    Download a free, full-screen text editor. WriteMonkey is good for Windows. I like Pyroom for Linux.

    You cannot see any other part of your computer screen, nor can you simply switch windows with your mouse. You need to use key strokes (CTRL-W in Pyroom for example) to exit the text editor and look at any other window on your computer.

    I use it a lot because I also tend to get distracted online, and when I'm using one of those editors I don't see any IMs that come through, no email, nothing. Just the screen I am typing on.
  4. w176

    w176 Contributing Member Contributor

    Jun 22, 2010
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    Luleå, Sweden
    Accept that you -don't- write good enough all the time. Thats why you practice. No musician, writer or athlete is at their top of their game all the time, and it is okey to even suck at times. That is why you practice.
  5. Manav

    Manav Contributing Member

    Mar 26, 2010
    Likes Received:
    Imphal, India
    Deadlines helps. Try setting yourself imaginary deadlines/temporary goals... got to finish this chapter in a week, 10 days something like that.
  6. Corbyn

    Corbyn Lost in my own head Contributor

    Jun 9, 2010
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    Hereford, Texas
    The 3 am epiphany and other guides have great ideas and information in both. These can help you with your plot/characters.. and in general the craft behind your writing. These for me have helped improve my ideas about my own writing. I no longer feel I'm a horrible writer, I just realize how much work I need to do to get to the point where I want to be.

    If your procrastinating because your stuck.. read other peoples work, it can give you insight into what problems your having. Get other people to read your writing as well as it can help too, and by other people I don't mean friends, family, or co-workers. As much as they love us most of them can't really give good advice on what we are trying to do.

    Give yourself a strict writing space, and time frame. If your distracted at your computer.. Don't use it. Go back to the old pen and paper, or just unplug your net connection. Limit your writing time between one and three hours, either working on what your stuck on or some of the other writing exercises you find.

    There are two types of writing, hard writing like editing and actually writing, and soft which are the times during your day when you see random things or just think about your project with out actually writing.

    But mostly the best advice I can give.. just write and don't be hard on yourself. If you love it you can't go wrong.. and so what if it needs a little work? That's half the fun.
  7. mammamaia

    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

    Nov 21, 2006
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    Coquille, Oregon
    self-control is just as vital a requirement for writers as talent and skill... no one can give you that and there are no tips for how to aquire it... you must make yourself have it, period!
  8. HeinleinFan

    HeinleinFan Banned

    Jan 6, 2007
    Likes Received:
    The first million words of writing is apprenticeship work. Some of the time, as you write, you will feel that the story is clunky, the characters unrealistic, the grammar poor, the sentences blocky and unprofessional. That's okay. Just keep writing, and when you finish one project, start working on another one.

    If the Internet is a problem, if you keep getting distracted with small things, then set up a writing schedule for yourself. If you have evenings free, set aside a block of time (an hour, two hours, whatever) for writing and writing only. Then stick to the schedule.

    The only way to be a writer is to write. If you don't write, not only will you never finish anything (dooming your characters to die when you do) but you will never get in the necessary practice that will make you a better writer. So find a way to write, and keep going despite whatever flaws you find in your work.
  9. EdFromNY

    EdFromNY Hope to improve with age Supporter Contributor

    Jun 13, 2010
    Likes Received:
    Queens, NY
    A dozen projects is too many by any method of counting. I would pick one or two that you feel are the most promising right now, and put the rest "in a box" and keep them there until you feel it's right to pull one out. Misdirection is common, but you still have to resist it.

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