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Work Room - Week 19

Over the past few weeks, I've written three different freelance pieces.

The first came to me in a flash. I wrote it so quickly my hands were aching a bit afterward. There was a little bit of editing needed to correct some grammatical issues, but other than that, it was solid. When I turned it in, people inside the company were praising it highly and saying that I "truly understood" their product.

The second piece wasn't really for publishing. Since I know people, I heard how bad one of the other freelance writers was - outright *creepy* - in one of the articles he submitted. It was a major joke inside of the company. I wrote a parody piece of that creepy article, taking it to the next stage. No edits (since it wasn't for publishing) and I wrote it in about a half hour. The (few) people I could trust with it said it was hilarious and they wished they *could* pay me for it.

The third one, that was the hard one. Nothing was coming. I had the concept I wanted to write, my way in. But it was just difficult. I worked on it, in fits and starts, for over a week. It needed an outside editor to come in to beta read it because I just had lost all objectivity about it. It apparently is better than I gave it credit for being, but to me, it fell into the "meh" camp.

I have one more assignment on my plate and a deadline a few weeks away. I need to get started on it. But first I need to find my way in... once I do that, I'm hoping it will be more like the first two and less like the third.


How about you? How much of your writing lately has been pleasure and how much of it has been the struggle?
What do you do when you end up inside that struggle, how do you work your way out?

The new topic is up http://therealljidol.livejournal.com/1017582.html


( 14 comments — Leave a comment )
May. 23rd, 2017 02:44 am (UTC)
like you a mixed bag
some pleasure
some struggle

but unlike you no social contacts were involved
I am alone

reading John Gardner
October Light
On Becoming A Novelist

rather opinionated but
the novel is fun
and the how-to book is informative


I deleted Tanyaharding now there be only me the tijuanagringo

things are coming down to the wire in the idol I see

best regards to all

. 1st . ?

Edited at 2017-05-23 02:45 am (UTC)
May. 24th, 2017 01:44 am (UTC)
Tanya Harding gone?
May. 24th, 2017 02:19 am (UTC)
where have all the Tanyas gone
long time Russianing
where have all the Tanyas gone
long time ago....
May. 23rd, 2017 02:45 am (UTC)
Every now and then I get the 'thoughts are flying faster than my fingers ' wave, not much lately, and usually when I'm pissed.

For the past couple of years it's been all pulling a mule by a scratchy rope. Almost entirely. I think a big part of it is having some really freaking talented friends. I can't crank out the quality and creativity by the ticking of a stopwatch. I backspace a lot. I edit as I go, even though I know better.

Ira Glass has a quote about people who are just before really comfortable in their creative skills often give up because what they create isn't up to their own taste as (in this case) a reader. It's when you're supposed to slog through. I've never been good at slogging through.

I write 500 words in a first draft and it's crap next to the book I just set down. I'm comparing myself to Stephen King or George RR Martin, which is unfair enough, but I'm comparing my first draft to their final one.

I think when we create we have to put ourselves in a vulnerable place, but then we're there, naked when the doubts flare up.

I wish i had a good answer. The best i have is reaching out to smart people who support you and committing to do it anyway. (Though I suck at that second one).

May. 23rd, 2017 02:48 am (UTC)
Also I think part of that wasn't entirely in English. Apologies.
May. 23rd, 2017 04:07 am (UTC)
Writing a novel is a really unique experience. Since this is my first REAL attempt (NaNoWriMo, to me, does NOT count because all you're doing there is throwing clay on a slab as fast as you can which can then, maybe, eventually, be turned into something like a novel) perhaps it will be different EVERY time. No way to gauge.

But I placed myself in a challenging spot, of my own doing. On the up side, I'm telling the story I wanted to tell, the way I wanted to tell it, which is why I'm writing it as a novel and not as a screenplay or teleplay.

Also on the up side is the fact that I structured the story so I have a road map, a floor plan I can walk through to keep me on track or change and expand as I go.

The tricky part is in telling this story is not my worry that people will like or hate it. I'm certain there will be many of both. It's whether they think it's even possible... not the S/F elements which, of course are just a vehicle (perhaps literally) for the story, but all of the stuff I'm presenting might make sense.

I had my first test run of this when I presented a brief excerpt from it during LJ Idol, and got some good notes that strengthened and solidified an element that was questioned by at least one reader.

I will say that the pacing is always slower than you think. I had hoped to finish the first draft by the end of spring. I'm about at the midpoint so now I know it's probably going to be the end of summer when I get to complete it.

And then, the rewrite.
May. 23rd, 2017 09:19 am (UTC)
Lately, I am mostly writing for pleasure, but I do write regular press releases for Otakon (which are no fun but fairly easy).

My writing schedule has been basically obliterated by my other responsibilities: Cub Scout den leader, Otakon head of press relations, full-time mommy, at-home transcriptionist. What I love about LJ Idol is that it gives me deadlines to produce something every week. Maybe I just need to start giving myself deadlines and getting more stuff out there!
May. 23rd, 2017 12:09 pm (UTC)
I write a monthly column for "Precious Pets" in our little community magazine. (no pay, but it is exposure) Once I have the info, my article writes itself kinda. The hard part for me is tracking down people and having to prod them to get back to me in a timely way and not wanting to be a PITA!
May. 23rd, 2017 02:10 pm (UTC)

All of my writing is for pleasure, whether it's for LJ Idol or for the Writers Workshop I started attending. Of course just because it's for pleasure, doesn't mean I don't struggle some times, or a lot.

***When I say "for pleasure," I mean I'm not getting paid to write. I'm doing it because I want to. I'd love to get paid to write, but I don't think I can do that. ***

***It feels weird to say that I'm in a Writers Clinic, because I don't consider myself a writer. I love doing it, though!***

May. 23rd, 2017 02:32 pm (UTC)
I write Idol for fun. When I hit that point where it isn't fun anymore, I stop. Everyone runs into rough patches, and I just try and keep writing until it gets fun again. I'm in one of those patches now. How much longer I write is up in the air, but I hope it gets fun again soon.
May. 23rd, 2017 11:17 pm (UTC)
Idol is my only writing outlet at the moment, and I love writing, so it is almost always a pleasure, even when the prompts are vexing.

The toughest part for me is not getting started, it is finding the time to finish! These weeks when we have to write without a weekend in the middle are seriously hard to manage. I get it done, but my real job suffers when I am writing instead of doing...other things...ha!
May. 24th, 2017 02:37 am (UTC)
If I struggle I better be getting paid money.

So basically it's all fun these days. I actually wouldn't mind the struggle again.

I know that's not helpful, but seriously if it's not fun and the only end game is the work itself, it's not worth it in my opinion. Maybe for some it is... but if there's no FUN for you? There's no FUN for others, it'll show up in the work itself.
May. 24th, 2017 03:04 pm (UTC)
Idol is the only place I'm writing these days, and for the last several weeks the issue has been coming up with a root idea to write about. Once I manage to find the seed of an entry I'm okay, but getting that has required more concentrated effort lately.

Someone recently suggested my throat chakra might be blocked (followed by "is that too woo-woo for you?") which is associated with creativity. Heh.

Topics like this which are so open you can take them almost anywhere are tough.
May. 24th, 2017 05:48 pm (UTC)
This, exactly. Not sure about the chakras, tho!
( 14 comments — Leave a comment )


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