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  1. TheThinkerDeath

    TheThinkerDeath Member

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    Waiting for fate

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by TheThinkerDeath, Mar 27, 2020.

    I'm writing a book. I have been for nearly 2 years I suppose, and I have often taken large breaks in writing the work. It is my first book, and it is my intent to publish it.

    I have a problem, with the onset of the Coronavirus I wish to utilize this time to dedicate myself to completing the work. I no longer have to spend 2 hours commuting to work, and luckily I have retained my job and I work from home.

    I've had a terrible nightmare the other day. One which outlines a great fear of mine, and the concern of my mortality.

    Fear is an interesting source of motivation, I am not afraid to die.
    It is the death of my work that concerns me.

    Unfortunately, I'm sure you could imagine just how off-putting writing under these circumstances can be.

    That is just one problem among a legion, and it is not my wish to bore you by listing the horrors of infinite doubt.

    I would like to note that I am quite bipolar. I have been reviewing and editing my work these past few days, and my conclusion is that I hate all of it. I just want to burn everything, and it is clear to me that I have lost my way.

    Any thoughts?
     
  2. Hammer

    Hammer Contributor Contributor

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    I suppose it depends on your motivation for writing really - are you driven by a need to tell this story? or to be a better writer? or a prolific writer? a wealthy writer?

    Personally I write because, when I finally shuffle off this mortal coil, I want to have written a book that I am happy with. I have two completed works in my (virtual) desk drawer, half a dozen false starts for the third work in that world, another half dozen false starts in different worlds and different genres... Sure I would like to publish, and sure I get a buzz when betas have told me that they enjoyed my work, but the main driver for me is to do the best that I can - which may not be a fixed goal as it turns out...

    I suppose what I am trying to say is don't burn your work, do something else and come back to it. You can get too close and critical, but when you go back to things after a suitable period there can be a pleasing "actually that's not bad" moment (c:
     
  3. More

    More Active Member

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    You have a common problem , so your not alone . I believe writing demands a certain amount of discipline. In order to write , you must actuly sit down and write . To write a book ,you should be writing every day . I personally believe, to edit as you write is a mistake. So press on to the end,and edit your first draft when you have one.
     
    Last edited: Mar 27, 2020
  4. TheThinkerDeath

    TheThinkerDeath Member

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    My writing began as an outlet for expressing my pain, and still is really all the motivation I need. It has always been a selfish and personal practice for me, almost therapeutic. I write for myself alone, and only consider possibilities. It is a question of righteousness.

    But there is another question that I struggle with. (Which relates to particular philosophic complications)

    Do I want to remain the tree that fell and no one knew?
    Honestly, I can not say that I am sure I will publish.

    An air of vulnerable disgust lingers about, and with a considerable justified arrogance I consider all other eyes unworthy to receive me.

    On the other hand, it is to my understanding that there may be a possibility that I could "help" the world generally in some way.

    I will note again I am very bipolar.

    But I suppose really the foundation of my discourse is this love-hate relationship I have with my writing.
    Perhaps I should finally consider having a second opinion..........

    The thought greatly disturbs me.
     
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  5. cosmic lights

    cosmic lights Contributor Contributor

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    This is your first book so let me pass on some advice given to me but someone who is a fairly successful author and also teaches creative writing and knows the business better than anyone I've ever known.
    She said:
    "Expect your first novel to be drivel, editing and re-writing will improve it but never expect your first product to be worthy of publication. Allow yourself to write rubbish. The learning comes from writing and completing with help your confidence. Small goals. Big goals, like publication, an put pressure on you to make something "perfect", even to write to a market rather than what you want to write. This pressure can make you think it's worse than what it is. Just write. Keep writing with the only goal being of completing the work you want. Then, when it's as good as it's going to get see if there's a market."

    I ignored this and did my own thing. I wanted to publish my one and only book and was never successful. I hadn't yet gotten the skills to produce something of any merit. The fun of writing disappeared because I had this standard in my head. Once I forgot the goal of publishing, I realized, I didn't want it anyway. I now write as a hobby. Maybe you're applying too much pressure. Whatever you've written is not in stone and can be changed. Make your goal now to be complete it.

    Best of luck.

    P.S the lady who gave me this advice was Emma Darwin and she runs a blog called "This Itch of Writing". Maybe be useful to you.
     
  6. TheThinkerDeath

    TheThinkerDeath Member

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    What was your first book? I should like to see it.

    Is it success that determines the competence of a work? Somewhat I suppose, subjective most might express even. However...

    I am solely interested in manifesting the particulars that fall under the umbrella of my satisfaction. Success is not one of those. Is it possible for me to be content? I am not sure, I doubt this to a vast degree.

    Which is why I can fall in love with my own words on Monday, and devise methods of deconstructing new ways to loathe how I used the word "acquiescent", or such, and such, and such and such on Tuesday.

    Looking back, do you consider your first work to not hold merit?


    What makes the idea of publication controversial for me is quite complex.

    I'm not sure that it is good advice to "expect your first novel to be drivel" or to "...never expect your first product to be worthy of publication", but I understand the sentiments she was trying to express. Like all things, there is a duality that comes along with expectations. I say never say "never", but of course that is predicated on the understanding of what I would address as "plethora". (But this is another discussion) (and it is not that I am optimistic because I am not)

    I agree with much you have said, I am at the stage where my goal is simply to finish the work. It really is a combination of my personal sensibilities and these circumstances causing...perhaps too much pressure.

    Such is life. We are all being timed.

    I'm thinking that perhaps I should develop some contingency. That if something should happen to me, the work will be released to the public even without publication.

    It's this uncertain race against time that is most unsettling. Perhaps I should allow myself to breathe a little bit. I don't know, I could be wrong.
     
  7. jannert

    jannert Retired Mod Supporter Contributor

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    If your goal in writing is just to let out frustration or unhappiness, and you don't want other people to see it, then that's fine. You're already kinda doing this.

    However, if you want other people to read what you've written at some point, you need to ask yourself 'why.' Why would somebody else be interested in what I've written? Who would be interested? What would attract them to my work? What would get ME to read something similar, written by somebody else?

    If you spend some time working on that angle, you might find your problems about how to write/what to write get a bit easier. One you know how to pitch the thing, and who to pitch it to, you won't be floundering so badly. Decide what makes your experience universal enough that others will want to read it. That's what I would do, anyway.

    If you want something to change, you have to be willing to change it. Change can bring about all sorts of new ideas and bolster enthusiasm. So instead of focusing on the issues you're writing about and going around and around the mulberry bush, fictionally rehashing your actual experiences and feelings and grievances, focus on WHY you think those issues are worth reading about. That new approach might be the key.

    I'm not asking that you tell ME why, in this thread. I'm suggesting you ask yourself the 'why' question—and answer it as clearly as you can. Don't be vague. Be exact. What will draw readers into your book? And keep them reading?
     
    Last edited: Mar 29, 2020
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  8. TheThinkerDeath

    TheThinkerDeath Member

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    Whether I want others to observe my works is still in question, and I have asked myself all of those questions you suggested. (Which I do agree can be deeply helpful, I'm glad you detailed the particulars for others who may read)

    Of all things, the "why" is so clear to me, even as I continue suspiciously underneath the cover of obscurity. What kind of way is that to work anyway? It is the way of the blind, who could see but refuses. A horrific kind of vocation is my practice. (Indeed other and related)

    I have married those reasons (why's, and what's) with the inception of each idea for every new book I draft and intend to write. This first work was no exception, even as I came by it like an accident waiting to happen.

    Without meaning, it is pointless. Those questions are integral, but for me, they are inherent. Despite the selfish nature of my process, even in the thought of others.


    In any event,

    It is the circumstance that I have allowed to envelop me with an increasing sense of indirection. (back against the wall, or perhaps the grave in this matter)

    What would you do?

    You are working on a book, it is almost complete (as far as you know).
    It is your only work, and you have entertained this "possibility"...

    An Idea that releasing it into the wilderness may be "right". (Even against your own desire to hoard it for yourself, like gold to the dragon underneath the mountain)

    You confront the idea that you may die before it is finished.

    My tentative solution is to entrust the work to some other unfortunate soul and bequeath the burden upon them.

    What do you think?
     
  9. jannert

    jannert Retired Mod Supporter Contributor

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    So ...and this is hypothetical ...you entrust the work to some other soul and bequeath the burden on them. And that other soul agrees to do this for you. So what do you tell them to do?

    Obviously they aren't going to automatically have your perspective, so they'll need to know what yours is. So what IS your purpose?

    What is unique and interesting about you and your perspective? Please don't say there isn't anything, because of course there is! You just need to decide what that is.

    I think you might be making this approach seem more difficult than it is. The way you feel about what you've written isn't in question. The problem is getting OTHERS to become interested in your feelings and perspectives—if you want others to read your stuff.

    If you don't actually want others to read your stuff, then you don't have this problem at all. You can just carry on writing for your own eyes, and there is nothing wrong with that, if you feel it's theraputic. However, if you do want to include the wider world, then you need to find some way to get that wider world to look at what you've written. You need to discover an angle. And angle that makes the potential reader think, 'hey, I want to read this, because....'

    Don't give up until you do.

    If you have a person you trust to help (this person to whom you would bequeath your burden, perhaps) maybe get them to take a look at what you've written so far. What is coming at them, from your work, that makes an impression on them?

    Sometimes a fresh pair of eyes can make all the difference. They can make you see things in your own work that you're not aware of at the moment.

    There isn't really any magic or easy solution to this. But if you want it done, you'll need to engage with the problem, not sink into despair because the problem exists. See what you can do—during good moments, not when you're at the bottom of the bipolar cycle— to get this up and running. And good luck! I hope you can find a way to get your writing 'out there.'
     
    Last edited: Mar 29, 2020
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  10. cosmic lights

    cosmic lights Contributor Contributor

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    I don't even have my first book anymore as I wrote it when I was eleven. It will always hold merit to me but probably not to anyone else.
     
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  11. TheThinkerDeath

    TheThinkerDeath Member

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    It appears that there has been a misunderstanding about the things I have been saying.

    Ah well.

    I'll post this because it is very relevant.


     
  12. TheThinkerDeath

    TheThinkerDeath Member

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    It would have been nice to test that probably.
     
  13. Friedrich Kugelschreiber

    Friedrich Kugelschreiber oike despatio Contributor

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    Don't burn it. Throw it in a drawer and come back in two years. You'll regret burning it. I guarantee it.
     
  14. jannert

    jannert Retired Mod Supporter Contributor

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    Sorry, if I've picked you up wrongly. Just ignore my advice! I often get things wrong. :)
     
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  15. TheThinkerDeath

    TheThinkerDeath Member

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    I appreciate your efforts, my dear.
     
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