Musings, Writing

A tricky thing called writing

Writing is really subjective. One person may love a book, the other may hate it. Popular books maybe be read with enthusiasm or sneered at. One genre may be all you read, another will be ignored at all costs. There is a huge variety of books out there and sometimes there’s many that are really similar.

My own writing causes me the same division of opinion. I think of an idea and think wow that’s so original and then pick up a book already published and think boo it’s already taken! I write a story that I really enjoy, that I’d love to read myself but I know there’s a lot of books like it out there. Will agents still go for well written stories or just look for the next trend. Who knows what this trend will be?!

I currently have three stories on the go. One I have enjoyed writing and is similar to books I enjoy but I feel publishers will see it as over, that it won’t stand out on the shelf, there’s too many “like it” already. I’m thinking of putting it up on here as a promotional story instead of putting through the query process (will anyone read it though?:)). The other two I feel are more original in plot, that they would stand out more and I might try and write both at the same time and see if one jumps ahead or perhaps query simultaneously as there are different genres.

What I struggle with most though is time to write. A full time job plus a long commute makes writing time tricky and a lot of evenings I’m so tired I can’t face pulling out the laptop. This weekend I want to get some solid writing time in. I also need to invest in a new printer as my one’s not working for some reason (probably it was too cheap to begin with and has just given up the ghost) as printing out writing is really crucial for effective editing and I need to push myself to finish something and start querying again. I need motivation somehow. I really want this so I have to go out and get it! Well, stay in and write it but you know what I mean!

At least I hope I can πŸ™‚

Any advice for fitting in writing time?


34 thoughts on “A tricky thing called writing”

  1. Is there any way that you can write during your commute? It might suck to lug a laptop but maybe just in a notebook, or do you have an iphone/smartphone? could you start writing in an email to yourself so you already have it typed out? my commute is about 45 minutes and the last thing I want to do is think, but sometimes I find myself stretching the 45 minutes to improve or accomplish what ever I can when I have a busy week and little time.

  2. it comes when it comes my love. if you allow time for it you will find that nothing comes, and you sit there feeling cross with yourself. let it flow when it wants to and you will write some great pieces

    1. Haha no I swiped it from Google images although if I put all my books on a shelf there would almost be that many, they’re stuffed in a cupboard at the moment!

  3. The only way to write is to write…I am not being sarcastic. With PCs and laptops it is so much easier than 20 or more years ago.
    First: There are only 6 or 7 stories out there anyway….so do not be disheartened. You have to be as the Asian Horror films are—they are always the same story…but the skill comes from taking a different approach when making them. No kidding—they are always the same…but I love them.
    Carry a pad…and jot down ideas. Also…on commutes…do not be afraid to have conversations with your characters…it is amazing the things you come up with when arguing with a central character.
    Good Luck…get a friend to e mail if you have problems..I have two people that I e mail when I get a block or am totally empty of ideas.

  4. Lovely post! I’ve been struck by the idea bug and though the idea isn’t new, I’m putting a new twist on it. Perhaps that will generate interest, I don’t know. For me, right now, I need to write a story I LOVE, regardless of the “maketability” of it.

    I, too, feel exhuasted at night. It’s so hard to pull the laptop out like you say. I hope to write next week while on vacation.


  5. I agree with Souzapalooza, try to write a little on your commute. Write in 5 minute increments if you need to. It eventually comes together. I would also worry less about what is acceptable and focus on just writing a good story. I know it is hard, but I do think that good stories win out in the end. We’ve all become too focused on marketing and not on quality. We also need to get our Writing Circle functioning to help each other out more.

  6. I’m thinking if I really want to accomplish any other writing I’m going to have to put my blog on the back burner….or maybe blogging is really where I should be instead of writing other things….it’s difficult to allocate time and decide what’s most important.

  7. I have a book called The Artist’s Way. The author suggests setting your alarm 30 minutes earlier & writing as soon as you open your eyes. I did it a few years ago & found that it unblocked all of my negative energy and distracting thoughts which wa svery freeing.

  8. Put sleep at the top of your list! Then try and create a set schedule for your day – usually you’ll find that there’s a lot of time you didn’t know you had.

  9. Gosh Vicky, you sound stressed, the sort of stress that you don’t really realize is stress because it’s everyday small issues that compound until you feel tired and sort of run down. It sounds like that to me because I have had that moment in my life. I wasn’t paying attention to how much I was taking on and how unhappy I was. For myself I also started eating to sort of dull the pain. But things didn’t change until I took stock of myself and starting making different decisions. I think whatever choices you make will be good for you, you are a smart and talented girl so your changes will benefit you. Even if they are small changes. Because your greatest desire is to be a published author that will happen, part of your changes will lead to having more time to write. I don’t know how your company operates, but some focus on a work and life balance. Some people work an 80-10, so four ten hour days and you get a three day weekend. One less day to commute may take off some of the stress. Or to cut back your hours, or job share, I don’t know if that would be something you would be interested in or is even possible. But a schedule change can be helpful. Remember a your health is the most important thing.
    As for publishers who want you to give them a novel gimmick, I really don’t understand. There are seven basic conflicts which authors tell tale of (man vs. self, man vs. man, man vs. society, man vs. nature, man vs. mahcine, and man vs. technology), the rest is the author’s talent and imagination. Yes there are genres and some of are over saturated, but what draws a reader is the words, it’s the story that you tell. The books and movies that do well create a connection with it’s audience, it hits on something and does it in a way that is enjoyable and makes you want to know what’s going to happen next. You have that special talent of drawing people in. Think of all the people that come back daily to read your postings. They want to see what you have written, they want to know what you think. It’s a talent and not an accident. The publishers you contacted have yet to understand it and that’s a good thing, because if they cannot see it then working with them would always be difficult. It takes time time to find the right connection sometimes. Remember 14 out of 15 literary agents rejected Stephenie Meyers and all twelve of the first publishing houses rejected Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone it took a year for J.K. Rowling to finally get a yes. These things take as long as they take. You will have to be determined I think, and not let rejection phase you much. Work on your craft consistently and success will follow, of this I am sure my Friend. (sorry that was soooooo long:( )

  10. Love this post. I”d love to bounce some worries/questions I have about blogging and all that stuff..maybe you could shoot me an email if you are open to that?

  11. Oh, Vix, I can imagine it’s hard for you to find writing time. Between writing books and finding blogging time, I don’t know how you do it. It seems as though there’s not enough hours in the day! I personally never used to go a whole week without posting something, and I greatly miss it. I haven’t figured it out yet!! πŸ™‚

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