Sturggling to Write


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Thread: Sturggling to Write

  1. #1
    Member RebelGoddess's Avatar
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    Jun 2005
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    Sturggling to Write

    Hello, everyone!

    I wrote my novel (or, the first half of my novel haha) when I was sixteen and "finished" it at 18. Long story short, it was (rightfully) rejected by a publisher. In 2009 I started to rewrite it and made a lot fo quality edits. But I never took it further, despite thinking about it every day. Recently I had the opportunity to work with an agent for a weekend, a time where she looked at my first ten pages and gave feedback. I received very positive feedback and some tips that have vastly improved my writing. But I lost my digital copy of my novel after many moves and only have the original hard copy with some notes. As I'm working to retype it up, I find myself stalling and I can't figure out why. I know I have massive apprehension given my original rejection, but I'm still struggling. As I re-type my novel and change it as I go, I keep getting caught up in the idea that it's just not good enough, despite what the agent said.

    What do you do when your inner voice says "it's not good enough and never will be"? I've tried overcoming it and forcing myself to work (something that worked for sending this agent the first ten pages of my novel), but I'm still struggling. As a side note, I have passive anxiety. How do yuo overcome this? What do you do to shut that stupid voice up and just get down to writing? Thank you!!!

    ~Rachel
    Writing is life.

    Writers' block doesn't exist. It's actually called work avoidance procrastination.
    -Jasper Fforde

  2. #2
    You ignore your inner voice and do it anyhow. Learning how to turn off your internal editor is essential to writing.

  3. #3
    Try setting yourself a routine, so many words, or a set amount of time, each day. Keep it well within the bounds of reasonable and don't go over, if you said two hundred words, stop dead at two hundred words. Routine gets things done, ask the army, and not stretching yourself too much means you stop before it gets too annoying, and hopefully even look forward to getting started again next day.

    If you want to do more don't do it on that project, start something else, and set yourself a routine on that as well.
    Visit my website to read and connect to my 'soundcloud', where you can listen to stories songs and more
    Hidden Content

    A thread of links useful to writers wishing to learn
    Piglet's picks. Hidden Content

  4. #4
    I tend to work on the basis that if I'm not happy with it, the reader won't be happy with it. Start with Chapter one and don't move on until you get it right. Once you have the voice, tone, pacing and structure where you want it, the rest becomes easier.

    Rewriting over and over again achieves nothing unless you are sure it's the best it can be. I tend for rewrite first chapters around 20-30 times, and once I'm happy the rest needs no more than three drafts at most.
    Hidden Content - a saga of sacrilege, penance, duplicity, demonic possession and a man's reliance on a bicycle.

  5. #5
    Well, first item of business is to get it onto the page so that you can have a digital copy again. Next, save it to an external hard drive, flash drive, or better yet, to Google Docs, so that you will always have it.

    Don't get too balled-up with the editing, at this point. Just get it into a document. Editing can come later. Right now, just set yourself a pace that you can type a certain amount each day, according to your own endurance. Don't judge it or edit it, right now. That can come later. Everything can be fixed later, except for a blank page, right? Good luck!
    Her: (trying to be profound) If the only tool you have is a hammer, every problem looks like a nail.
    Me: (Hungover and really not in the mood) The only tool I have is a screwdriver, so every problem looks like I can solve it by screwing.
    Her: ....

  6. #6
    Misread the post. I suggest you listen to radio shows, look for stories based on real events, poems, movies, paintings, so that you can feel inspired. Why real events? Because sometimes if you don't get good results brainstorming you can research for possible stories worth writing about. There are some internet radio stations in case you have disdain for watching TV. The public domain, fairy tales are fair game as well, and even rewriting some old stories long forgotten.
    I would follow as in believe in the words of good moral leaders. Rather than the beliefs of oneself.
    The most difficult thing for a writer to comprehend is to experience silence, so speak up. (quoted from a member)

  7. #7
    I look at my bills.
    Hidden Content
    "From the moment I picked your book up until I laid it down, I was convulsed with laughter. Someday I intend reading it." - Groucho Marx

  8. #8
    Hi Reb...

    There is a story about a painter who never finished his work, his agent had to wrestle it out of is hands before it was overdone to death.

    No artist or craftsperson ever manages to crit themselves objectively, just write your best and let it stand on its own merits.

    Good luck
    BC

  9. #9
    The truth is, you are probably not good enough... yet. The only way to make progress, and to measure that progress, is to make a daily date with your keyboard and keep it, then to send out what you write and see what happens. If you wait until you are sure your work will sell you will never get anything done. Everyone doubts themselves -- at least anyone who is really serious about the craft.
    “Fools” said I, “You do not know
    Silence like a cancer grows
    Hear my words that I might teach you
    Take my arms that I might reach you”
    But my words like silent raindrops fell
    And echoed in the wells of silence : Simon & Garfunkel


    Those who enjoy stirring the chamber-pot should be required to lick the spoon.

    Our job as writers is to make readers dream, to infiltrate their minds with our words and create a new reality; a reality not theirs, and not ours, but a new, unique combination of both.

    Visit Amazon and the Kindle Store to check out Reflections in a Black Mirror, and Chase

    Hidden Content






  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by RebelGoddess View Post
    What do you do when your inner voice says "it's not good enough and never will be"? I've tried overcoming it and forcing myself to work (something that worked for sending this agent the first ten pages of my novel), but I'm still struggling. As a side note, I have passive anxiety. How do yuo overcome this? What do you do to shut that stupid voice up and just get down to writing? Thank you!!!
    Quote Originally Posted by Terry D View Post
    The truth is, you are probably not good enough... yet. The only way to make progress, and to measure that progress, is to make a daily date with your keyboard and keep it, then to send out what you write and see what happens. If you wait until you are sure your work will sell you will never get anything done. Everyone doubts themselves -- at least anyone who is really serious about the craft.
    Terry is right on.

    Spoiler Alert: That inner voice doesn't shut up.

    The trick isn't overcoming self-doubt, but rather sidelining it. Not letting it shame you into not improving.

    Somebody online put it this way, and I agree: "Sucking at something is the first step toward being kind of good at something". It's really that simple.

    Nobody is born a good writer. Talent exists but without practice and relentless self-development it's worthless. A talented writer who doesn't put time into practice is NEVER as good as a less-talented writer who does. That's why you don't get too many professional novelists in their teens. The one common thread among all successful writers is they never give up .

    It takes time. Sometimes it takes a lifetime. But if you are serious about being a writer, a lifetime is worth it.
    "If you don't like my peaches, don't shake my tree."

    "Perhaps I write for no one. Perhaps for the same person children are writing for when they scrawl their names in the snow."

    “Remember this: Dumbo didn’t need the feather; the magic was in him. ”

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