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What stops you?

Got a question/comment about the creative process of writing? Post it here!
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EC2
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What stops you?

Post by EC2 » Thu April 28th, 2011, 11:14 am

Hi all,

A friend who is an NLP therapist is taking a workshop at a writers conference in a couple of months time to talk about what prevents writers from achieving their goals and providing help/solutions. She's asked me to send the 2 below questions to writerly communities so that she can get a handle on the difficulties and tailor her workshop accordingly.

1. What are the obstacles that stop you achieving your writing targets on a daily baisis?


2. What is stopping you from achieving your writing goals? Please note this does not refer to your publishing goals.
Les proz e les vassals
Souvent entre piez de chevals
Kar ja li coard n’I chasront

'The Brave and the valiant
Are always to be found between the hooves of horses
For never will cowards fall down there.'

Histoire de Guillaume le Mareschal

www.elizabethchadwick.com

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wendy
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Post by wendy » Thu April 28th, 2011, 12:42 pm

Time - and every day life. While I secretly envy Emily Dickinson's reclusiveness such a path is not for me. How about you?
Wendy K. Perriman
Fire on Dark Water (Penguin, 2011)
http://www.wendyperriman.com
http://www.FireOnDarkWater.com

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MLE (Emily Cotton)
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Interest in HF: started in childhood with the classics, which, IMHO are HF even if they were contemporary when written.
Favourite HF book: Prince of Foxes, by Samuel Shellabarger
Preferred HF: Currently prefer 1600 and earlier, but I'll read anything that keeps me turning the page.
Location: California Bay Area

Post by MLE (Emily Cotton) » Thu April 28th, 2011, 1:43 pm

In a word, people. The closer they are, the more likely the stoppage. Small stops come from family members popping in. It's as though the creative process was like falling asleep -- I have to have 20-30 minutes of 'falling' into a creative state; and then five minutes of being 'awakened' out of it ("Hey, Mom, this will just take a minute" -- "Honey, did you enter that debit on the Amex or the Visa?" -- "Gramily, come see!" ) and I'm back to square one again. It's hard for people to understand that you aren't really rested after eight hours in bed if somebody has awakened you for two minutes every hour on the hour.

Longer stoppages are caused by bigger family problems. Yesterday our troubled son had an anger 'blowout', which can very quickly escalate into something major, things getting broken, etc. It didn't, thank God, but my writing was shot for the day.

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stu1883
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Post by stu1883 » Thu April 28th, 2011, 2:16 pm

I have to say there are a number of distractions, but I am overcoming most of them recently with one exception.

People and general procastination are the ones I am overcoming, the one I can do nothing about however is my illness. If I am feeling crap or my meds are affecting my mood or not controlling the pain then I normally don't write.

As for not achieving my writing goals, I am for the present doing quite well. I recently met up with Helen Hollick when she recently visited Bristol. Talking with her reinforced to me that the only way to finish a project is to write! She gave me lots of advice and encouragement, and told me to set smaller, more achievable goals. Instead of 1000 words a day, do 500; don't do 10 pages, do 5 for example.

Ultimately the only person stopping me, is me but I desperately want to write "The End" and if it takes me a bit longer, but I can achieve my writing targets 5 days out of 7 then I will be happy.

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LoveHistory
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Post by LoveHistory » Thu April 28th, 2011, 8:01 pm

Three boys on the autism spectrum, an active toddler, a disabled husband, and a world that won't stop throwing crap my way.

Obstacles to acheiving my writing goals are family obligations, time constraints, and financial constraints (no travel or expensive books for me).

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MLE (Emily Cotton)
Bibliomaniac
Posts: 3564
Joined: August 2008
Interest in HF: started in childhood with the classics, which, IMHO are HF even if they were contemporary when written.
Favourite HF book: Prince of Foxes, by Samuel Shellabarger
Preferred HF: Currently prefer 1600 and earlier, but I'll read anything that keeps me turning the page.
Location: California Bay Area

Post by MLE (Emily Cotton) » Thu April 28th, 2011, 8:27 pm

And then there's the other major stoppage -- reading fiction that is so compelling my head keeps dropping back to that storyworld instead of the one I'm writing in. I hate to admit it, but the price of writing fiction of the kind I love to read is that I have to read less of it.

Even if it's a different genre -- the Hunger games disrupted my thinking for two weeks. Dh has the sequels, but I refuse to read them until the WIP is finished.

Does anybody else have this problem of their reading interfering with what they are writing? Or is it merely the wiring of my single-focus ADHD brain?

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N. Gemini Sasson
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Post by N. Gemini Sasson » Thu April 28th, 2011, 9:06 pm

Motherhood. Pets. But I chose to have children and pets and sometimes their needs just can't wait . That's okay, because I'd rather they know I was there for them than put my word count before them.

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fljustice
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Post by fljustice » Fri April 29th, 2011, 3:52 pm

Like most folks on the list, people/relationships tend to get priority over writing (daily and long-term)...an autistic daughter, aging and ill parents, the day job. But to be honest, when I was home schooling my daughter I managed to write daily and create two novels over the course of six years. It was after my agent dropped me (after three years) because publishers weren't interested in my non-marquee characters, that I went into a slump. I invested nearly a decade of my life in writing fiction and had two competed manuscripts (one an award-winner), two WIP's, two very thick files of rejections...and no readers (my ultimate goal, because I consider myself an educator, as well as a writer.) Mid-life crises: maybe there was something better I should be doing with my life? It shook my confidence. I let the (fiction) writing slip away in favor of family obligations, volunteer work and non-fiction writing.

Fast forward a couple of years: My mother passed and my daughter is doing great in college; I have much more time and an active blog, but still not writing fiction. It took the revolution in the publishing industry to get my confidence back. I self-published to excellent reviews, which renewed my faith in my fiction writing abilities and am now trying to get back to my earlier writing habits. Slow, but sure, I've been writing daily, but it's still non-fiction. Only recently went back to one of my WIP's and started reworking it. It's a major struggle, but I can now write with some belief that my fiction will be read outside my writers' group.

So the only thing keeping me from my daily and long-term goals is the occasional wrestling match with my internal demons. Some days I get the bear; some days the bear gets me.

MLE, I find it impossible to read fiction and write it in the same time frame. So I read fiction when I'm writing non-fiction and read non-fiction when I'm writing fiction. ;)
Faith L. Justice, Author Website
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Alisha Marie Klapheke
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Post by Alisha Marie Klapheke » Fri April 29th, 2011, 11:48 pm

1. I feel too tired (work, kids, house) to get up before everyone (5 AM) and write uninterrupted. When I write during the day/evening, I am constantly interrupted.
2. I keep my goals attainable and give myself months to complete big rewrites so I do find success. I suppose I just ignore my housework and my family a week before my cutoff dates. In other words, nothing really keeps me from reaching my own goals.

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Julianne Douglas
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Post by Julianne Douglas » Sat April 30th, 2011, 2:18 am

Lack of self-discipline. The Internet. Fear that I won't be good enough.
Julianne Douglas

Writing the Renaissance

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