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Posts tagged “Writer Resources

When you can’t find the focus..

A friend of mine works in social services. Her job is a difficult one–one that I could never do. She works with abused children. Somewhere along the way, she learned to compartmentalize the various aspects of her work. She has a skill that enables her to turn off what she has seen and heard during her work hours to better enjoy her non-working hours. I’m sure this is not at all unfamiliar to the skills doctors, firefighters and paramedics use. These people seem to have some type of OFF button as well as a FOCUS button that they use interchangeably.

With writers, one would hope it would be the same. The ability to turn a fictional world on and off by simply telling your brain to do so. The ability to push life’s other issues aside in order to focus solely on the task at hand and write productively.  Perhaps many writers do have this skill. I know many writers however, who don’t.

When there are a million other random everyday thoughts swirling in your head, it can be very difficult to focus on the writing work that needs to be done. To put your butt in the chair and your fingers on the keys. I’ve tried. Which got me thinking. What distinguishes these types of people? And further more, the different types of writers. What is the distinction between plotters and pantsters. Planners versus non- planners. And why? The differences may be in our brains. Specifically, whether you are a left or right brain thinker. I did some digging and voila. I found a few articles that may unlock the questions and help us on the way to finding some balance.

Laura Connell has an interesting article at Matthew Stibbe’s Blog: Left Brain Vs. Right Brain for Writers

And Matthew Stibbe has an excellent article on staying focused: Concentration: 22 ways to stay focused on writing

If we can harness what is driving us in a certain direction, putting the butt in the chair and the fingers on the keys, will be a much simpler task to accomplish. It’s certainly worth a shot.

Quote of the Day

“Whether we are describing a king, an assassin, a thief, an honest man, a prostitute, a nun, a young girl, or a stallholder in a market, it is always ourselves that we are describing.”
-Guy De Maupassant

The Mid-Section

By: ButterCreamPls (Photobucket)

Here’s where things get tricky. I’m going to admit that I’ve slowed down. Way down. I simply can’t find the thread I need. I’ve been searching for it, but it’s missing. Now what? Now…I’m stuck. I thought the break would do me good, clear my head, bring a fresh view but it hasn’t. I’m still in the same spot. And since I can’t find my in, I’ve been staying out. Out of the story that is. You can’t beat a dead horse. I’m wondering if I should try a trick one of my fellow bloggers suggested months ago; start from the ending. It sounded nuts to me at the time, but hey, it can’t hurt. Stuck is stuck and I need a way back.

The Scope

There are various ways a story can move or unfold. Depending on the genre, a story may need more speed or less. Some stories need to feel much more singular in nature. While others need to include a multi-faceted cast of characters for the story to be properly told. I think this can be tricky to gauge. How wide should your scope be? What should your story encompass? What is too much information or what isn’t quite enough? Some authors or writers will say that the story is finished when it’s finished. And you’ll know when you know. But what about the books that leave you feeling…well, eh. The ones that you kept saying, “Hang on a sec…” or “But what about..?” or “Really…?” Gauge is such a tricky thing. When I read books in my genre, sometimes I think, Is my book at this place? I honestly can’t answer that question. It depends on the day. But I can say that the scope, the feel, the whole encompassing world of a novel needs to be just right. And just right is a tough one. My just right could be completely different from some one elses. Just a thought. I know I don’t want to leave anyone saying, “Really…?” after they read my book.

Road Block Ahead

Actually it’s directly in front of me..the road block. I have so much to do and am feeling good and excited and on target and, and, and….why can’t I configure these next couple chapters?

Remember that whole lack of an outline coming back to bite me? It has reared its ugly head again. My newly created outline for reconfiguration worked great in my head and in my notes but looks and sounds like crap on paper. The transition isn’t working. I lost the flow. Don’t you just HATE that!? Loving my first 6, struggling now with 7-10. Grr.

Not the content mind you, the content is good. The restructuring is bad. I swear, #2 will be a cake walk compared to this nightmare of a headache. Good day to you all;)

Slowly figuring it out

I’ve realized what is creating the internal conflict I have from time to time with my WIP. I read too much. And I don’t mean I read too many novels, for me that would be an impossibility. I mean I read too many articles/blogs/sites on advice about writing. I don’t even do it intentionally. I’m not searching out “How to write a Novel” on google. But I do subscribe to a few writing sites/blogs, all of which are great but all of which have a topic on what to do and not to do when writing a novel. And I almost always read them. The advice was great in the beginning. It was useful and needed and helpful but now it’s distracting. And not because I don’t think it’s important information, believe me I do, and to those writing it, keep on. But at some point, and my point seems to have arrived, you need to take what you’ve learned and trust yourself.

Right now I need to believe in what I’m doing and stop continually second guessing it by reading conflicting opinions on how this whole process needs to be done. I should be reading about hooks and query letters not plots and character development. After what will be a year in three weeks, and a final draft in the works, I can only hope I got it right. Just goes to show how exhausted I am that I didn’t catch this elephant in the room earlier.

Aspiring writer…. Aspriring? That doesn’t sound right.

“So you’re an aspiring writer? How nice.”

“No, I’m not.”

I’m having some difficulty with this topic. Argue if you will, agree if you will but I don’t like the term: aspiring writer. Mainly because I don’t like the way the term is used. It sounds almost belittling. I’m not aspiring to be a writer. I am a writer, published or not doesn’t remove that fact. If you’re writing, you are meeting your goal, you’re not aspiring to write. You are writing.

I am aspiring to get published. I’m aspiring to be a better writer. I’m aspiring to be successful. But no I am not an aspiring writer. I’d say an accurate assessment would be that I am aspiring to be a published author.

That sounds right.