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Tuesday, January 1, 2013

THE WRITING GAME

Photo from Bookmaking


Authors seem to have an agreement that writing is hard. And authors who produce any amount of work consistently also agree that the only way to 'become' a writer is to WRITE...and WRITE...and WRITE.

My fourth novel, Blind Spot, will be in print soon (February, 2013 published by Turquoise Morning Press) while my fifth, The Unexpected Life of Sonny Betancourt, is done and in the first series of edits as of tomorrow with a publication date of June, 2013. I want to own up that this last book I started writing in 2009, so it's been a very long time getting to publication. Why? Because I got stalled out trying to figure out things, believing that if I could only get the right format, the right plot points, the right words, and so on ad nauseam, it would be easy to finish.  I was wrong.

Why I got this book written finally was creating a game plan, with a specific number of pages to write every day and then sitting myself down and writing it. I did not sell out on my game, did not beg off on days I was too tired or busy. Instead, I just keep my word and met my targets.  It wasn't hard really, once I committed myself to meeting those targets, but it took sharing my game plan with someone else, someone with no stake in the game except that she had my plan and knew I would not fail to keep my word with my goals. She didn't have to prod me or remind me; all she had to do was have my game and every week I'd report in that I'd won the game for the week. Simple, right?

Well, not always. But in the past three and a half years of 'trying to write' and finish my work in progress, I learned that I could have mastery around writing just having goals and keeping them.  It's all about practice. And writing.  The rest of it, the right format, right story line, and so on are all distractions or ways to keep ourselves stuck in fixing something.

A very knowledgeable man I know once said (I am paraphrasing here) 'when you stop to handle problems in life is when life does not work.' With that in mind, I might as well mention here that I have begun doing writer's coaching with Your Hidden Advantage, a web business offering all sorts of support services.  I began coaching of writers because I have run into so many would-be authors who are stopped not by their inability to write well, but rather by their inability to create a goal oriented game. So, if you are interested, feel free to check out Author's Advantage for more information.

Whether you dream of writing, write some but struggle with it or produce published work, I am sure you are going through the same barriers as we writers all are - WRITING! And I say it's not insurmountable when you create it as a game!  

5 comments:

  1. Well, you are obviously right. To write three to five books a year, I must sit and do a certain number of pages every day. And I must PLAN. The only way I can write fast is to know where the book is going. I need to plot it out first. Then it's okay to change stuff along the way and add new scenes.

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  2. Being a total seat of the pants writer, I've had to learn to develop a plan of sorts, a synopsis or outline to keep me on track. But I don't always know where the story is going. The end pretty much writes itself as I go along. But I have to know my characters and their desires to get to that end.

    Thanks for your thoughts on writing.

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  3. Excellent advice. Get it done, that's the only way. I've also learned I'm a morning writer, so I fit myself to that schedule, I get creative work done first thing, and only then can I browse blogs and answer emails. If I try it the other way around I'm not productive. It's good to recognise your own flow patterns.

    (Just a suggestion, word verification makes it hard to comment, most spam is picked up by blogger or you can choose comment approval in your settings. Having no word verification is easier - I like your blog and would love to return).

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  4. thanks for posts, Ladies. Yes and amazing how difficult it is for some of us to just write - it's a discipline thing - or a practice perhaps is a better way to say it -

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  5. PS Charmaine - thanks for the advise re word verification - will check settings later tonight.
    And come again!

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