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  1. #11
    John Oberon
    Guest

    Re: stuck in a rut. Will a blog help?

    You're in love with the idea of being an author, but don't want to do the work required to realize that goal. Yep, I've known that circumstance when I was very young. Here's what I did: I networked with people who were successful writers. I got a job that required writing. I went to school and earned a degree in English and composition. In short, I ACTED like I wanted to write, even when I wasn't writing.

    Here's the nuclear option, if you're REALLY frustrated with yourself:

    Personally pay money, to attend a writing workshop/class with exceptionally high expectations. That alone would push ME, because, by golly, I'm getting my money out of whatever I put time and money into. Then there's the added impetus of a prof/facilitator staring you in the face and asking, "Where's your story?" and "Do you want to do this or not?" if you fail to produce. Then throw in the embarrassment in front of the entire class when they read some half-baked piece of crap you blearily pecked out that very morning, and you have a darn big spur digging into your hide to produce a good, finished product.

    If THAT doesn't motor-vate you, then yeah, you probably don't really want to be a writer. You just like fantasizing about it. You lose some money on the class, but at least you know you don't really want to write.



  2. #12
    Marianne Mihkelson
    Guest

    Re: stuck in a rut. Will a blog help?

    I used to read my work in progress to my friends a couple of times a week, when I really wanted motivation to finish something. They'd keep bugging me to write more so I could have something to read to them. I guess the blog would be the same sort of idea, although you'd want to make sure people are reading it and will keep motivating you.

  3. #13
    Laura Mollett
    Guest

    Re: stuck in a rut. Will a blog help?

    Thanks Tom. That will help. I'll take a short story I started and just put away and give it a try.

    An interesting plot structure was posted today on Flogging the Quill today too. Seems like a lot of us may be in about the same place.

  4. #14
    Don Daffron
    Guest

    Re: stuck in a rut. Will a blog help?

    The early stages of writing are the fun part because youíre using your imagination a lot. What comes after becomes work fast. Then it becomes tedious work. Then it becomes drudgery after the tenth revision and youíve seen those same damn words and sentences a thousand times. Yet each time you go through the ms you find less and less to change and you know youíre almost there. By now youíve got so much time and sweat invested you canít give up and quit and wonít. Thatís when you start to think maybe youíre close to success.

    Writing is work.

  5. #15
    Ray Spengler
    Guest

    Re: stuck in a rut. Will a blog help?

    Don,

    Excellent summary of the sequence in the struggle of writing. It accurately reflected my own process. I agree wholeheartedly.

    Michael, if you're committed to it, to writing, never give up. It's an ebb and flow reality. I't'll flow again if you keep at it.

    Ray

  6. #16
    Tom Tuohy
    Guest

    Re: stuck in a rut. Will a blog help?

    Hi Laura,

    yes this is classic story structure from the likes of people like Aristotle, Syd Fields, Joseph Campbell,

    The first act sets out the characters, the goal, the problem in general

    The second act deals with the main characters attempt to rise out of his/her problem, usually takes place in another locale and involves a major overcoming.

    The third act deals with the lowest point the character falls to and how they recover in order to reach their main goals.

    Ok, this is a very rough approximation but it's all part of classical dramatic structure according to the famous trio above.

    all the best

    Tom

  7. #17
    Ray Spengler
    Guest

    Re: stuck in a rut. Will a blog help?

    John,

    Good advice, but maybe not for everyone. It depends on why you want to write. To make it a profession? To eventually be a well known author? Then, it applies. But writing can simply be in a person's blood, long ignored until life's circumstances allow it to come to the fore. Then, it might be to only release some repressed emotion, severe pain or elation, or to just tell stories, those festering tales that eat at you unless set in stone, in ink. Just a thought.

    Yeah, buy books, attend conferences, join a critique group, but your expenditures in both time and money need to properly reflect your goal. When you decide what that is, either pull out your wallet or simply use the free tools available and write.

    IMHO.

    Ray

  8. #18
    John Oberon
    Guest

    Re: stuck in a rut. Will a blog help?

    What a person truly wants, he invests in. He invests time and money. This fellow has been a year piddling with writing and says he's in a rut. The way out of a rut is to do something different than you're doing, and the more drastic the difference, the more thoroughly you destroy the rut.

    If he just wants to write and not earn money from it, he would've written by now, but the fact is, he finds other things to do with his time that interest him more than writing. I bet that it doesn't take much to blast the desire to write from his mind - probably things like TV, a video game, the newspaper. I know this because I've been there.

    If he's serious about writing, then my route will either cure him or show him that he doesn't really want to be a writer, that he just likes to fantasize about it. And if he's not serious about writing, then I see no reason why he shouldn't continue to not write and just pretend to be a writer. He needs to decide.

    As they say, Michael, sh!t or get off the pot. You'll feel loads better pursuing a course of action with a goal in mind than wandering around aimlessly stuck in a rut and hoping your writing output improves. Stop whining and get going.

  9. #19
    Michael V
    Guest

    Re: stuck in a rut. Will a blog help?

    Well I feel kind of insulted by some of these responses, but thank you to all those who commented. I think I may need a writers group to help me, and deadlines, which is what the purpose of my thing-a-week blog idea was for. I'm not looking for an audience, perhaps I didn't make that clear, but it's for my friends, who are kind of getting frustrated with me because of my rut. Their pressure (an assurance of my deadline) I felt would make it easier to force myself to write and get back into the habit.

    To John, no offense, but you do not know me, and you have no ability to tell me that if I wanted to write, I would have written. I write every day, when I have time out of a 68 hour work week and 12 credits of college. The problem isn't me being distracted by other recreational activities (though I do love the occasional book, movie or video game) it's that when I write, I get disgusted at my writer, or get nihilistic, and scrap it. I have about 115 unfinished documents on my computer, many of just the same story, where I get disgusted with the version and walk away from it.

    I know I'm serious about writing, without writing, without being able to express my ideas, my stories, my viewpoints, I would feel lost and worthless, life to me would be without purpose. My goal is to be a writer, professionally or otherwise, to bring to life the plethora of ideas and narratives that jumble about within my cranium. My issue is that nihilism, the nagging sensation that I am worthless, that when I look back at chapters 1-5 I find myself without the narrative voice. Perhaps it's the reality of work and life has overwhelmed me. I had not seriously sat down and fully written out a story in over a year. I'm missing my narrative voice, and I'm trying to find it, but my self-loathing makes it seemingly impossible to complete a story to re-obtain my skills. That's why I was hoping something that forced me, through the pressure of my closest friends and loved ones, would force me to finish and reacquire what I've lost.

  10. #20
    John Oberon
    Guest

    Re: stuck in a rut. Will a blog help?

    Michael,

    You need God. God gives you focus and purpose. He obliterates nihilism and assigns an infinite worth to you. God thinks you are so valuable that He came to earth and died so that you might live.

    If you want to stop loathing yourself, love God and know Christ. He will give direction and power not just to your writing, but to your life.

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