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I'm stuck, stalled, how do I get started again?

(7 Posts)
rookiemater Fri 24-Jan-14 16:44:00

I feel sad. This time last year I was happily writing, gawd knows if it was any good or not, but I was plugging away on writing my second shortish romance.

Then I went back to edit the first and realized that it needed work - a lot of work - and I wasn't sure if I liked it enough to put the work in.

So instead I entered a couple of short story competitions, when I say a couple I mean two, and that was over a six month period. A very kind mumsnetter critiqued my first novel and I decided I needed to polish up my grammar so I started a writers online course. I did the first couple of exercises for it and received decent feedback.

So anyway all good, but then I just reached an impasse. I tried to re-energize myself by starting NanoNimo ( excuse me if I have spelt that wrong) but as I have discovered that I hate editing, I didn't feel that spending time on something that would need a massive amount of re-engineering was the way to go. Plus I couldn't figure out a full plot.

I want to start writing again, but I want it to be fun like it was when I first started my creative writing short story course. I believe the reason I stopped enjoying it is because I was focusing on an end result - GET PUBLISHED, LEAVE JOB, HAVE FANTASTIC WRITING CAREER, LOSE WEIGHT AS A STARTLING SIDE BENEFIT - which just isn't achievable.

Please oh wise ones, how do I get jiggy with my pen again?

Lancelottie Fri 24-Jan-14 16:47:52

Blog about your experience as a would-be writer? Your Op just made me laugh anyway!

elfycat Fri 24-Jan-14 17:00:31

It's NaNoWriMo (*Na*tional Novel Writing Month wink )

I'm attempting to do some editing apologies for the swearing starting next month, but as I feel that I also lose all will to write while attempting this I've decided on creatively writing for an hour* followed by half an hour of wrestling a previous story into submission (with that as a potential goal). That way I do the fun creative hobby bit more than the harder work.

We could start a support thread, something like 'when creative writing become bastard work'.

*twice the time having fun as the work. Sometimes I may only have 15 mins between calls of 'Muuuuuuum' so 10 mins and 5. I dream of whole hours free.

rookiemater Fri 24-Jan-14 17:30:48

Thanks Lancelottie for the compliment. I did try a blog once, but I feel that I'd rather put my writing effort into writing fiction rather than my take on life - plus one of my facebook friends has an amazing blog - Crummy Mummy if you get a chance to google it - and I feel that mine would be so much duller in comparison.

Elfycat, that's a good suggestion about doing some writing, then some editing. I just need to get back to the workbook/computer again and find that I can't drag myself there.

Pigeonhouse Sun 26-Jan-14 08:23:20

In depends on what outcome you want, rookie. If you want a finished, edited, good-as-you-get-it novel you can submit to agents, then you are going to have to figure out a way to slog on through the editing and revision, otherwise you end up with several incomplete works in progress you're not fully committed to. Is your NaNoWriMo project separate to the first romance novel?

Or have you scaled back your ambition for the moment, and just want get your writing mojo back? Elfy's suggestion of combining editing and writing might work for you, but maybe you could also consider letting yourself enjoy editing? I always rather like it. The horror of the blank page is gone, and there's already something there you can fatten up, trim down, reshape...

rookiemater Sun 26-Jan-14 16:22:25

Thanks for taking the time to comment Pigeonhouse. I didn't actually get anywhere at all with NaNoWriMo blush. But I do have a half a novel that I started over Christmas last year and stalled on around March, probably because I was trying to edit the first one and write as well.

I have decided that I'm not going to edit the first one - mainly because the editing process made me feel disappointed with what I had written, I didn't feel in love with my characters anymore and I didn't get any spark jumping off the page. I'm going to keep it as my practice novel. I'm still reasonably fond of the plot so maybe at some stage I might completely rewrite it.

So instead I am going back to my writing course and yesterday I made a decent first stab at the exercise I need to submit. Today I'll go back and review it just as soon as I get off mumsnet. Then I will start looking back at the other work that I was half way through - I liked my characters in that one a lot more, felt they were stronger and more realistic. I'm going to pluck a timeline out of the ether to finish it by - Easter, I think.

JohnSnowsTie Mon 03-Feb-14 13:55:57

I always find I don't "like" what I've written first time around. You're bound not to. It's the bare bones of your creation. I use the editing process - arduous as it is - to flesh it out and fluff it up to what I want it to be.

I write fanfiction (to prop up my creativity through my periods of lapsed imagination) and there's such a difference between writing I uploaded after the first draft and writing I spent time editing. The process really does pay off, and you can only improve.

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