Monday, September 6, 2010

Monday: The Writing Process:

Personal Progress Report:

Searching my manuscript for ‘ly’ and ‘ing’ words…my but I have a lot of them.

Monday: The Writing Process:

Every Monday I will be posting about writing. I will share various thoughts on the subject. I will share about my personal progress and where I come up with my ideas. Whether you’re a writer or a fan of books, I hope to bring you some enlightenment.

Writing and editing: How do you, and I, achieve this?

To write is an entirely individual sport with many of our fellow authors, editors, agents, artist and readers in the stands cheering us on. Like any sport, sometimes a writer becomes injured. This occurs when we don’t take the necessary time to enjoy life but constantly push ourselves to sit before the keyboard and pound away.

While maintaining a positive work ethic is critical to get the job done, too much can burn us out. In my case, I feel guilty if I take a day off. Where that comes from, I don’t know. So, I hereby give myself permission to do nothing for the day. I’m not sure what day that will be, but a day that is coming soon.

This being said, I thought there might be some interest in the actual process of writing. Not so much for other writers who have experienced it, unless they are new. But for our readers who wonder; ‘Why does it take so long for my favorite author to finish that next book?’

The answer to this question is a multiple choice one. Here are several reasons.

A series of back-to-back writing conferences, book tours, family, life in general, and the dreaded, writers block.

We'll look harder at writer’s block. This is a mental illness, not to be treated with medication. Why mental? Because our brain is having trouble solving the block which looms over our creative expression. Perhaps we're stuck on a project or out of fresh ideas. To illustrate this best, I would like those who have experienced it to share their personal growth, frustration, etc. with us. Or if you are reading this I'd love to hear from you too.

Please share how you achieve this awakening in the writing process. What do you do to keep motivated?


Kay Theodoratus said...

My brain itches if I don't write. It's the stuff after the draft(revising and editing) that bugs me, and I positively hate marketing.

N. R. Williams said...

I hear you Kay. I'm in the middle of edits and frustrated by the lack of time I have to devote to new projects.

Todora said...

A psychotherapist once told me that a person writes a book as a way to work out a psychological issue. Then she experiences writer's block until some other issue presents itself.

I don't fight writer's block because I've learned that it's an indication that I don't know what comes next. I turn to other things, knowing that some part of my mind continues to work on my project. The answer comes to me in the middle of folding laundry or washing my truck, and I can't get back to my desk fast enough.

N. R. Williams said...

Good answer. I rarely have writer's block, but when I do it's aggravating.

Clarissa Draper said...

I love my blogging community and group of readers. They keep me motivated.


Jules said...

Writers block for me is procrastination followed by a good dose of ADD. I just keep adding paragraphs until I find the path.

Your advise to get up from the PC is a valid one, not to mention it saves your eyes. :D
Jules @ Trying To Get Over The Rainbow

Marian Allen said...

When I get writers block during a project, it means I'm doing something wrong. I've forgotten something important, or made a character act or say in way he or she wouldn't, or sent the story line in the wrong direction. As soon as I've unraveled what I've done wrong, the work proceeds.

When I get stuck trying to come up with a new project, I can just look through my file of bits of characters and ideas and stick a few of them together and see if something clicks.

Once, I posted on Facebook that I wanted to write something but didn't know what to write about. Three or four people threw out ideas, I put them together, and got a story out of it. :)

Marian Allen

N. R. Williams said...

Clarissa, friends are definitely critical for inspiration as well as encouragement. I don't mean we write about them, but they may provide us with an idea.

Jules, the PC can be addictive.

Marian, it pays to keep track of your story ideas.

Thank you all for stopping by and leaving a comment. Nancy

Carol Hunt said...

Great comments! So helpful to hear other approaches to this as writers work in such isolation. Often we are creative writer, proof reader, editor at the same time. It's hard to stay in the moment and just write, letting the story unfold.

Ebony McKenna. said...

Great post.
I find reading other posts helps motivate me when I'm in a slump. Something they write will trigger a solution - or simply make me pull my finger out and get more writing done.

Elana Johnson said...

The best thing I can do to help me get out of a slump is set a personal deadline. I know I have the time. I know I have the words/stuff inside. I just need to do it. And it seems lame if I fail just because I didn't feel like working on it. You know? So that's what I do.

N. R. Williams said...

I agree Ebony, my fingers get a little lazy too.

Elana, self motivation is critical and a deadline is a great way to trick yourself whether real or personally imposed.

Thank you both for stopping by and leaving a comment. Nancy

Jen said...

I do my best to stay motivated, I read a novel, pull out a movie that always makes me happy, listen to music that normally inspires. Eat a cookie, maybe eat one too many cookies, then I blog for my support system and eventually the words just come back.

I also right crap, if I have something on my mind I hate I write it down so it clears my mind for the good stuff. It's worked so far!

N. R. Williams said...

Carol, so true.

Jen, good advice all around. I'm not sure about the cookie thought and my waistline.

Thanks for stopping by.

Cate Gardner said...

My manuscripts are usually pretty clean of ly words but unnecessary prepositions, oh my, I cultivate those.

Candyland said...

Hmm, to keep motivated, I eat a lot of chocolate, cuss like a trucker and drink wine. After that, I get to work.

Helen Ginger said...

Nancy, I gave you an award today.

N. R. Williams said...

Cate, there seems to be something we all do that is annoying to death yet we still do it.

Candyland, can't say that I do any of that but if it works, good luck to you.

Helen, how kind of you, I'm on my way.

Thank you all for stopping by and sharing.

Jemi Fraser said...

It can be hard to break free. I think for me the best thing to do is to work on something new - I love first draft writing the most - so if I go to that, sometimes the other problem will solve itself in my subconscious.

N. R. Williams said...

Interesting way to do it Jemi. Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment.

Liza said...

When I have writer's block, I write. Anything, everything, it doesn't matter what. Usually something half-way respectable makes itself through as long as I force myself to keep going. Thank you for visiting Middle Passages.

N. R. Williams said...

Hi Liza: That is good advice and your welcome. Thank you for stopping by and leaving a comment.