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Thread: Sturggling to Write

  1. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by Cephus View Post
    You ignore your inner voice and do it anyhow. Learning how to turn off your internal editor is essential to writing.
    No, it isn't. This is dumb.
    ...your internal editor is essential to writing.
    This is better. Learn what works for you by persisting. Some folks outline, some folks pants. I edit as I go and rarely do extra drafts. Others edit later. But that inner editor helps you to place those words in proper order, determines how one scene flows into another, etc.
    There's no excuse for struggling to write, in my not-so-humble opinion. This is based on the mistaken idea that inspiration is to take place before the writing, which seems also to be an opinion held by the same people who think that their every word is sacrosanct, untouchable, inviolate. Just start writing. Just sit down and start doing it. If it doesn't happen, find something else to do. If this happens over and over, you're probably not destined to be a writer. It's ok -- you'll probably save yourself a lot of heartache and make better money.
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  2. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by RebelGoddess View Post
    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


    Okay, this is gonna be a little harsh.
    I see lots of first-time authors who waste years on that first novel. They keep tweaking it, and drag it around like a ball & chain, eternally polishing the turd to a dull finish.
    But the deal is; your first book is prolly crap. Until you pen at least 200,000 words, you are still learning, and most of what you write will be substandard to your post-200k self.
    So my advice to you is to put that book on a shelf somewhere and move on. Write something else, and keep writing.
    Right now, that first book is more of a liability because it is keeping you from progressing as a writer. Move on, write better stuff.


    You don't have to look very far to find an author who regrets publishing their first book.

  3. #13
    Think of writing as if you were competing in the Olympics.
    You would not walk in off the streets and race Micheal Phelps.
    You would spend years practicing, and learning, and perfecting your craft.
    Writing is no different. You need to do a lot of it to gain the experience needed to craft a book-length story.

  4. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by moderan View Post
    No, it isn't. This is dumb.


    This is better. Learn what works for you by persisting. Some folks outline, some folks pants. I edit as I go and rarely do extra drafts. Others edit later. But that inner editor helps you to place those words in proper order, determines how one scene flows into another, etc.
    There's no excuse for struggling to write, in my not-so-humble opinion. This is based on the mistaken idea that inspiration is to take place before the writing, which seems also to be an opinion held by the same people who think that their every word is sacrosanct, untouchable, inviolate. Just start writing. Just sit down and start doing it. If it doesn't happen, find something else to do. If this happens over and over, you're probably not destined to be a writer. It's ok -- you'll probably save yourself a lot of heartache and make better money.
    I think he/she probably means inner-critic more than editor. If so, I see both sides of that coin.

    On the one hand, I do think an internal critic is vital. You can't possibly have high standards if you don't have a voice in your whispering 'this is shit' when what you are writing is shit. Otherwise you get Twilight.

    But the word I used is sideline and I mean that literally. The internal voice of self-doubt belongs on the sidelines, like an old school coach there to call you out viciously when you are cutting corners/being lazy/falling into cliches/surfing PornHub/ whatever it is that is holding the writer back. They are there to rattle the cage, to push you in the right direction, to identify what does and does not work.

    But the crucial thing IMO is that coach must be a coach and not an armchair cynic. The relationship should be constructive and healthy and, where warranted, positive. They should not be on the field, tripping you up and pulling you down. There's plenty of real people around to do that.
    "If you don't like my peaches, don't shake my tree."

  5. #15

  6. #16
    Member RebelGoddess's Avatar
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    The thing is, an agent recently told me I'm good enough. But that was when I edited my old version. It's so hard to make myself work on my old manuscript. It's hard for me to type up my old stuff because I get so lost in the "this could be so much better" while I'm trying to retype it. But thank you!!! I like the idea of just typing up a couple of pages a day and then going back to work on it. Thank you!!!

    ~Rachel
    Writing is life.

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

  7. #17
    What a pain losing the digital copy! It happened to me early on and I now use a little usb stick on my key ring to record on every time I stop work. It also has the advantage one can whip it out and say 'have you got a computer, I'll show you'. They are very cheap if you keep an eye out for a 'sale', and you can get everything you ever wrote on the smallest one, writing takes hardly any space. I had a friend who was an accountant, he used to record the day's work on four of them, one would stay in the office, one would go in his pocket and the other two would be dropped in the letter box on the corner, one to his address, one to his friend's. That seems like taking things a bit far, but that is accountants for you
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  8. #18
    Quote Originally Posted by Olly Buckle View Post
    What a pain losing the digital copy! It happened to me early on and I now use a little usb stick on my key ring to record on every time I stop work. It also has the advantage one can whip it out and say 'have you got a computer, I'll show you'. They are very cheap if you keep an eye out for a 'sale', and you can get everything you ever wrote on the smallest one, writing takes hardly any space. I had a friend who was an accountant, he used to record the day's work on four of them, one would stay in the office, one would go in his pocket and the other two would be dropped in the letter box on the corner, one to his address, one to his friend's. That seems like taking things a bit far, but that is accountants for you
    You can also just keep copies up on Google Drive and it's always available no matter where you are.

  9. #19
    When I set down to write I have never suffered from writers block. I set down and write it just happens, I have no idea how this works. Having said this, after writing for a couple of hours and I go back to re-read what I have just written, I find some of what I have written to just be there and of no real value to the story line. So I back it all out, leaving the main body and thought there. I then wait, go away for awhile or the next day and re-read again. I can see it all much clearer, because I didn't loose patience and rush the story. I then began to fill in the blanks, with fewer words and better ideas.

    Point is I don't throw out the baby with the bathwater. Step back and take a broader view of your story, allow your mind to work its magic without rushing it all.

    And if that doesn't work, throw it all out and start another story, I have five times......lol

  10. #20
    I would try making and taking notes. Make notes of your stories, even write small parts of the story and then add them on later. Take notes of other people's stories that you like that would fit your style. I write non-fiction so this is a bit easier for me to do. I will make notes of factual information and then add them together by a logical connection of pieces. I take notes of people I admire and see what they have done in their writing process by observing their books and imagining how they formulated this book in the first place.

    If that does not work then do not force anything, it will come across in your writing; try to let your writing breathe but most importantly do not force anything.

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