Tag Archives: struggle

Conversation From Hell!

If you have read: Haters Gonna Hate With Terrible Arguments. Here is the entire conversation for your reading and ranting pleasure. 🙂 Enjoy and Thoughts are Welcome

Amyoung0606-it’s not about deadlines for my novel—it’s about being in a program and having to submit something to the mentor. And what are deadlines, but motivation to avoid procrastination. If you do not make your craft a disciplined lifestyle and write every day, then your work will be a honed skill, but a hobby. This is my life. If I can’t manage to add a few pages every day, then I’m never going to complete a 150 page manuscript by the end of next year

 

Man-Wel this is a debate then, first of all there should never be no dead lines in writing, cause a true story should not be rushed by any means. That to me is not writing, that’s journalismfirst of all there should never be no dead lines in writing, cause a true story should not be rushed by any means. That to me is not writing, that’s journalismto me it’s a passion not a skill, so this program is for procrastinating writers. I can understand that. Lol to be honest if writing is your life then that’s the only motivation you truly need. Without writing then you should cease to exist. To me deadlines are exactly what it says, you rush to complete and there is no life in the words so to me its dead-lines.
Amyoung0606-Yeah…that’s not what she means by setting us a deadline. It’s meant to encourage writing as a vital part of our every day routine. Not everything can just come when it comes; passion is the driving force behind the discipline, not in the absence of it. Sometimes, the things in life distract you or deter you from writing; if it’s not something you have disciplined yourself to do every day. The program is supposed to hone our abilities, to make us the best possible writers we can be. Part of that is understanding that the world will always have a deadline–life has a deadline. You have to trick yourself into writing when you don’t think you can or when no inspiration comes to you because that’s how it becomes as natural as breathing. To be clear,wanting in your life isn’t enough motivation to make it an everyday aspect of your life. While some people may think that’s all it takes- Unless you have every day free to just do whatever you want to do—deadlines and making a disciplined effort to write something every single day is what makes it your life. I could aspire to be anything, but if I don’t have anything to show or anything done, it means nothing. The will to succeed doesn’t make you succeed unless you have the skills and discipline to sit and write. If deadlines are rushing to complete something, then what are goals? In essence,a deadline is a goal with a time limit, so you don’t allow yourself to falter and get distracted by the stresses of life. It’s not about rushing if you work on it everyday.

 

Man-You make writing sound too much like work, instead of something for pleasure. I write to free my mind from the shackles of society and every day routines. if you researched some of the best LITERATURE written and see how long some authors or writers take to complete their work; you will have a different point of view. I worked on a book for 4 years, and now just turned into a script because a company wants to purchase it. In those 4 years the story became its own entity, a living scripture of imagination. Goals to me are obstacles; they blind the mind with deception. A writer dreams about writing, wakes up and writes, goes to sleep and writes. This not something that can be trained into somebody. If you have to tell someone that they should make writing routine then to me there not a writer, it’s just something they choose to do.
Amyoung0606-It is work and pleasure. Sometimes writing is hard.Wait, I lied. Writing is hard most of the time. If I think of it just as pleasure, it’s not going to be my life–it’s going to be a hobby. Literature with a capital L may have taken more time. Some classic literature did need to take more time, but I’m sure that was for reasons that made sense to deter them. They probably still made a disciplined lifestyle to get those books/stories done. However, the publishing/book industry, like everything else works on deadlines. Those writers had to get their work done on time to have their stories published, and it becomes a need for human beings to have something compelling them to complete something. By nature, writers are perfectionists. We will continue to work on something forever unless something stops us. That is what deadlines are there for, and writing can be taught. Anything can be taught. If you have the imagination, then you need the discipline to make it into a story that other people will read. People that write stories for themselves are not always writers. To write only for oneself is to limit a piece of could be fantastic writing to your own devices instead of striving to look outward and see how it effects the world. Some of the best writers in the world have set page, word minimums every day to write, and they will tell you the same. I met the poet laureate of Ireland and many other world-renown authors who belted at the top of their lungs to discipline yourself. It is only when you choose this as a lifetime goal to write more than one book or a best-seller that you must buckle down and set goals for your writing because there is no one else to disappoint but yourself. If you don’t have dreams to achieve then what is the point?

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Academic Update: The Fears of My First Residency

Isn't this the cutest piece of truth you ever did see?

Well, so far I have tackled the residency, and I am knee deep into the first practicum of the program. All in all, I am having a wonderful time learning about the craft. It’s not that I am unhappy with education I’m getting. Instead, I am frustrated with myself for not being “as smart as I need to be” while writing. I understand and respect the need for criticism. It is the most helpful tool for professors to give to their students.

On the positive note, I have passed the dreaded Integrative Essay, my first fiction submission, and my first critical essay. I should be ecstatic that I didn’t fail, considering there are only three options: fail, pass, pass with distinction. Somehow, I can’t get over the feeling that just passing is not enough. I know, it’s a Master’s program, it’s more difficult by design. I should be proud of my accomplishments, but I’m not. Maybe it’s the perfectionist inside, striving towards the pass with distinction. Maybe I’m afraid that my writing isn’t good enough. It’s a fluke and I managed to squeeze by until now. All of these concerns are racing through my head as I read my mentor’s criticisms.

However, it is making me feel considerable more helpless about my skills. I’m not as confident in my own writing anymore because I feel like I am losing my ability to write well. The one time I am shown how to vary sentence structure, and I become paranoid about it. Are these sentences fragments? Does this comma go here? Should I end this sentence in this? All of these questions are being answered, but not correctly by my own brain. Grammar and sentence structure should not be the criticisms I’m getting. I’m a native English speaker in addition to enjoying the language. So why is this so damn hard to accomplish?

Sometimes I feel like Jack from The Shining-crazy with nothing good to show for it

Then comes the ego, when I begin comparing my flaws with the others in my group. In my mind, I’m convinced they don’t have these problems. They can’t be suffering from the same ailments as I am. When we move up to more difficult mentors, what happens when I can’t provide the pass? Will I settle for pass rather than strive to get that “with distinction” or will my writing actually improve with practice?

With all of these questions, I barely have room in my head for my writing. Hopefully, after spilling the beans on here I will have the courage to try again. I want to work harder, make myself a better writer, and show the world the ideas I have to offer. I’m just praying that these fears are normal. I’m not crazy over critical because other students have suffered like this.

What are your fears about your writing? Do you struggle with imperfection or attempting to improve your writing? How do you cope?

I know that I may be afraid of what I can and can’t write at the moment, but I will force myself to start writing again. I might take a break, read for pleasure ( I still have the rest of Stephen King’s 11/22/63 to finish), and then come back to my writing with new confidence. I just hopes my confidence doesn’t take too long to find its way back.

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Writers: 7 Truths We Deny and Need to Accept

A week ago, I published a post discussing the silly and serious stereotypes of writers. Now as much as I would like to say there is no truth in them, I’m wrong. Most people don’t want to admit they fit in to stereotypes (and some don’t), but there is truth in stereotypes. Just like fiction writers tuck truth into the core of their stories, some stereotypes are the core of a group of people.

I found the following link as I was spreading my social feelers on Twitter. Following Random House on Twitter may seem cliche, but to me, it’s smart. Random House posted this and I dutifully followed finding a connection to my past post.

http://writetodone.com/2012/02/03/know-thyself-7-truths-about-writers/?utm_source=Social&utm_medium=Post&utm_campaign=RHSocialMedia

These 7 truths about writers might seem like silly stereotypes, but in essence they are all true at some point to a writer. It’s important to recognize that writers are sensitive creatures and we aren’t these mysterious, abstract names on the covers of books. We are unique in that we understand the human condition in an intimate way. At the same time, we must separate ourselves from everyone to focus what we know into the best possible version of the story we must tell.

It isn’t merely a struggle to get paid for creative work or writer’ s block. It’s an overall struggle to handle a life alone with your computer (typewriter, paper) and yearning to live the life that you so diligently write about.

People assume that just anyone can write (celebrities, politicians), but you have to train your mind and your heart to be lonely because the stories in your head won’t go down on paper if you aren’t alone to let all the dirty secrets pour out.

 

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Life of A Grad Student: Not So Grand

So, a few days ago I posted about my life as a graduate student and how fun it is. Well, here is the opposite side of that coin.

Today, I sent off my first assignment of at least 10 pages of fiction.  Within 24 hours, I had a response from my lovely mentor. I was anxious and excited at the same time. Every minute of our workshop time, I was eating up every word she said. The experience and the stories she told were magical. The insight she gave into the stories I wrote revolutionized the way I looked at my own work.

At the same time, I’m constantly struggling with how well my writing is being received by those in the “biz”: published authors, professionals, and teachers. I have a fear like most writers that my stories aren’t going to be good enough for people to enjoy. But that is not important at this point because I’m just starting to hone my craft and it will take a lifetime to become a good writer.

As I open the e-mail, my mentor explains that the following notes are meant to teach me things that I will be able to apply to all my writing. I sigh in relief knowing that what lies ahead are a lot of little details I don’t know about yet. I feel like I’m back in grade school learning the rules of Grammar.  I read through  13 pages of my story, watching as my mentor solved all of the problems I had in the story.

See, I have problems putting too much detail, too much information in the  story and not moving the action along enough.  And Jane Boyer, my mentor, solved the problem for me in a few paragraphs. Now this skill of being able to know what belongs in a story no doubt comes with time and practice, which I have neither. At the end of my mentor’s assessment, she gave me comforting words that although my draft was rough, it was not the end of world. It won’t be the end of the world, I’m sure, but if I can’t learn to keep those pesky unneeded details out it will be.

The hardest part about the program is the ability to grow as a writer. I know all of the things I need to write, but I don’t know if I can write them well enough. I hate that I’m afraid of my own writing, but I guess it helps me to constantly improve myself.

What do you struggle with as writer? Is it developing a character or depicting the perfect scene? What advice do you have for me struggling with putting too much detail or others with their problems?

Always remember your purpose regardless of your struggles

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