Monday, June 20, 2011


I was thinking that I ought to post something just to prove I'm still alive (if you don't follow me on Twitter, that is, and see my nightly word count tweet) and then I read this blog post at The Other Side of the Story.

One book firmly attached to my brain is plenty, thanks! I realize that this makes me an oddity but, hey, I'm at peace with my oddness. Janet Hardy lists a number of symptoms of writerly multi-tasking in her post, and they're all good. Had a few thoughts of my own...

Distractions: They happen occasionally. The other week, I was broadsided by a new story arc that had been burbling for a long time (years and years) on the back burner... actually, I don't think it was even on the stove. Fermenting on a shelf, maybe, and it finally exploded. Anyhow, it was a huge distraction for a week while I was trying to get it all down in between puttering out words on my WIP. Now I've got my focus back and the new idea is on the back burner for real and next in line when this is done.

Because of the distraction, I'm coming back to my WIP with fresher eyes and I'm plowing onwards.

Hate the WIP: I usually go through this phase when I'm outlining. Maybe it's more of a "this isn't going to work" phase, for me. And I do put down an outline if the answer isn't coming to me -- see the example above. I really do mean years and years that it's been fermenting.

I wouldn't say I hate anything I've written, it's usually disappointment.

Boredom: If I'm coming to a scene and my gut is telling me it's boring, the scene gets cut. I do not write scenes that bore me, because if I'm bored, you the reader are going to be bored. For me, these scenes are one where the goals are muddled or the characters aren't getting anything significant done. Every scene has a little plot of its own, just like the overall plot for the book: a little goal, a little conflict, a little change.

I've talked about how my writing is therapeutic for me, how I send my characters to face my personal devils... it's the ultimate hook, for me. Keeps me from getting bored.

Mostly, I'm a monogamous writer but I don't judge my swinging fellow authors. :D

How do you deal with distractions, disappointment and boredom?


Lissa said...

I wrote my YA high fantasy whenever I felt inspiration, so it lamented half-written for years. Last year I kicked it into gear and wrote 40K words, finishing it in a month. I wrote my sci-fi in a month as well. Now that I'm editing, I've got several ideas and two half-written novels as well, but I'm spending time actually enjoying not having anything in my head I NEED to write.
I know I can easily get back into it, and it actually scares me a bit, my dedication to writing when I'm turned on. Nothing else seems to matter and I'm thinking about it all day every day.
I've never been bored while writing. I find it a challenge to overcome.

Rachel Stark said...

Thanks for the insightful comments on my blog, L!

I'm more of a reader and editor than a writer, but I tend to prefer monogamy in handling those tasks, too. When I run across roadblocks, I try to set a goal for myself. If I have a goal to meet (sometimes reinforced by a reward, like a snack or something), I'll usually keep pushing through and eventually find that sweet spot where I'm happy to keep going again.

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