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Archived Author Help > Anyone else have this problem?

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message 1: by [deleted user] (new)

So I have a bunch of great plans for marketing and promoting my book once it's written, but the actual writing process is killing me. I just want the book to be done already so I can edit it and publish it. Has anyone else felt the same way? I feel like this is gonna be a great story but getting it onto paper (or computer screen to be precise) is really hard. Making up stories in my head is almost a reflex for me but actually translating that into a book someone else can follow is apparently not... do I just need to practice more? Should I put this book aside and maybe concentrate on a few short stories I can publish for free first? Or should I sit down and actually work on plugging away at this story? I know every famous author says you need to write every day but after working in fast food for 8 hours I just want to come home and do nothing. Anyone else having the same problems or am I alone here?


message 2: by Jessica (new)

Jessica Jesinghaus (jessjesinghhaus) | 78 comments I can totally relate! Here are a few of my writer quirks, but pay heed: what works for me won't necessarily be your magic bullet!

I carry a small spiral notebook with me to work. On my lunch breaks I will free-form write whatever feels natural for the next part of my story. I don't worry about grammar or ensuring it mets up perfectly where the version saved on my computer left off... I just write. Then at home that night I will transcribe what I've written into the existing story, making it match the flow, fixing errors and editing as I go. Inevitably, this gets my author-juices pumping and I'll write another page (or two or ten) that way.

Also, I almost never have just one project going. I'm notorious for writing two or three at once. That way, if the writing isn't coming easy to me on one story I don't have to force it. I'll skip over to another (read it from the beginning, editing it as I go) and write there for a while. I finished three books in about 2 years that way.

If you're not in the mood to write, read. Write reviews and see what you liked or didn't like about another author's story craft. It'll only help improve your own.


message 3: by Alex (new)

Alex Carver | 770 comments Unfortunately I have to agree with the famous authors, you have to write every day, even if it's only a few words. It's like exercising (first example that came to mind) or any other activity you want to be good or successful at, you have to do it regularly otherwise you get out of the habit.
If you go too long without writing it gets harder and harder to make yourself sit down and do it.
If you have some ideas for short stories then work on them - it doesn't really matter what you write, so long as you write; maybe the short stories will give you the encouragement to work on the novel.

Personally I have the reverse problem. I can't stop writing and editing, it's the marketing and promoting I have a problem with.


message 4: by Stephen (new)

Stephen Challis | 15 comments I agree a notebook is a great idea one of my books is an autobiogtaphy of my time as a police officer in England. Now it would have been easier if i had kept my old police issue pocketbooks,but i had to turn them in ,so i had to write from memory.
Every day for around a year i recalled an incident or encounter and jotted down a few key words.
It worked and my book Just an ordinary Copper , was published in 2014 and has some good reviews.


message 5: by [deleted user] (new)

I tend to keep everything in electronic format (I lose notebooks and pens a lot. Mostly pens) so Evernote would work well for this right?


message 6: by Jessica (new)

Jessica Jesinghaus (jessjesinghhaus) | 78 comments Of course! There was a time when I lugged my laptop to & from work, but the little spiral notebook in my purse was just so much lighter!!


message 7: by Jane (last edited Oct 12, 2016 07:22AM) (new)

Jane Jago | 888 comments Sometimes a book becomes a slog. My own fix is to give that project a few days off. Either write some rude limericks, or a piece Of flash fiction, or even nothing.

Read. And try to expunge the difficult write from your mind for a few days. Then when you feel fresh again go back to it.

I will usually read the piece from the start before recommencing writing as that can give a new perspective.


message 8: by Carole (new)

Carole P. Roman Some authors say in order to be a writer, you have to be a reader. I like to read as many books as I can and then write a review on them. I think of the reviews as practice for getting an idea over to a reader. Also, it gives me a good idea how other writers are handling or not handling things that become issues for me. A beta reader is also a good idea. If you give them what you've written and ask what they think of it, the responses may surprise you. It may send you in another direction or fine tune something you are trying to write. What may seem perfectly clear to you, may be confusing for someone else.


message 9: by Riley, Viking Extraordinaire (new)

Riley Amos Westbrook (sonshinegreene) | 1510 comments Mod
As someone who wrote a book to learn how to write, I really believe it's all in the practice. Reading others helps, but you still have to do the work.
By the way, if you use a android phone or tablet, don't forget about Google docs. Where I do about 90% of my writing now.


message 10: by Carole (new)

Carole P. Roman I love Google Doc. We all write on there and share with our beta readers- who are able to check the plot development and story as we write.


message 11: by Annabelle (new)

Annabelle Costa | 62 comments I agree with everyone who said reading is a great way to inspire you to write more.

When I'm having trouble writing, sometimes I just force myself to get anything on the page, even if I know it sucks. I think it's easier to have it all down, then fix it later than to come up with stuff from scratch.


message 12: by Owen (new)

Owen O'Neill (owen_r_oneill) | 1509 comments Samantha wrote: "I know every famous author says you need to write every day..."

Famous writers know a great deal about how they personally work. They know nothing about how anyone else works. Also, famous writers did not become famous because of their work habits, but because of their output.

Write in a way that makes you feel happy and satisfied with what you produce. Some people benefit from making writing a discipline, for others it becomes a drag on their creativity and a source of stress. There is no right way or wrong way to write.

More does not always equal better; sometimes it's just more.


message 13: by Christina (last edited Oct 12, 2016 04:43PM) (new)

Christina McMullen (cmcmullen) Samantha wrote: "So I have a bunch of great plans for marketing and promoting my book once it's written, but the actual writing process is killing me. I just want the book to be done already so I can edit it and pu..."

Oh, I get you. I'll have this great idea in my head, but I write slow, so getting it out can be frustrating. If you aren't feeling it, pushing yourself to write everyday may be counterproductive. Remember, these so-called experts have canned responses that are easy to remember and easy to spout off when asked for the billionth time what they would tell aspiring writers. What do you want to bet half of them never practiced what they preach? ;)

Don't stress, your story will be told when it is ready to be told.


message 14: by Ken (new)

Ken Doggett (kendoggett) Owen wrote: "Famous writers know a great deal about how they personally work. They know nothing about how anyone else works. Als..."

Very true. I never take writing advice from other writers, no matter how famous. I found the way that works best for me, and that's the way I write. Ain't gonna change it.


message 15: by C.L. (new)

C.L. Lynch (cllynchauthor) | 316 comments NaNoWriMo is great for motivating you to stay on schedule.


message 16: by Owen (last edited Oct 12, 2016 11:32PM) (new)

Owen O'Neill (owen_r_oneill) | 1509 comments Christina wrote: "Don't stress, your story will be told when it is ready to be told. "

Exactly. As someone said: "There are 3 things you should never try to rush: birth, death, and writing a story."

Ken wrote: "Very true. I never take writing advice from other writers, no matter how famous."

Quite. In my case, I'd make a slight change to say "especially when they're famous."


message 17: by Safa (new)

Safa Shaqsy (safashaqsy) | 54 comments This happened to me in my first book. I used to have headaches every time I write, because I was stressing over finishing that book. With this other book I'm writing I was like the heck I'm going to have fun with writing this time without stressing over finishing this book in time. And it absolutely worked! I now enjoy writing more than ever, since I became more flexible with my writing.


message 18: by [deleted user] (new)

That's a really good idea. I might try that. I tend to let my stories grow on their own so I'm not sure what my overall plot is yet as I'm only on chapter 2 but I might try getting the story down then going back and adding all the details. Thanks.


message 19: by David (new)

David Edmonds | 46 comments Samantha wrote: "So I have a bunch of great plans for marketing and promoting my book once it's written, but the actual writing process is killing me. I just want the book to be done already so I can edit it and pu..."

I live in Opposite Land: I can handle the writing part, but the marketing, website, social media, keywords, etc are driving me bonkers!!


message 20: by J.S. (new)

J.S. Jaeger (jsjaeger) | 73 comments My husband and I find if we allow ourselves a "vomit" draft, we actually get the story on paper. Sit down and just type. It will probably sound awful and not come anywhere near what you imagine, but it gets the initial idea on paper. Then you go back and rework it as many times as needed to get it to match the awesome story in your head. Writing for perfection every time will kill any book before it sees the light of day.

The other thing that I have to do is set time goals, not deadlines. If I work 1 hour a day (for now), I move forward. If I decide I'm going to finish three chapters by the end of the month, I freeze and barely get through half a chapter.


message 21: by Anthony Deeney (new)

Anthony Deeney | 437 comments J.S. wrote: "My husband and I find if we allow ourselves a "vomit" draft, we actually get the story on paper. Sit down and just type. It will probably sound awful and not come anywhere near what you imagine, bu..."

I am also of this persuasion. Get it down on "paper" then fix it... and fix it... and again... then tweak it....

But get it down!


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