When I first started out writing, I had one fanfiction project and one personal project that I worked on. Over the past three or four years, that has quickly blossomed to... well, more than I dare admit. I have several incomplete "just-for-fun" stories on the internet that I sometimes go back and work on, I have a couple short stories, a few longer ones, plus a webcomic I really want to do as a sort of experiment in storytelling. Most of these stories are all set in the same story-world, some of them aren't. (And I really don't enjoy the ones that aren't as much as the others.)
Plus I'm trying to keep up with a full-time job, spend time with my boyfriend, my friends, my family, and keep up with... well, let's just say that some things have been somewhat neglected lately. Like housework, for example.
Point I'm trying to make is this: I'm just not making progress on anything that really matters to me. There's just too MUCH of it.
So I've had to decide to put aside everything (well, almost everything) in favor of the one story I feel has the most potential. I even put aside a freelance job writing a humor column at a local newspaper. (That killed me. I wanted that job, and could have had it so easily! But where would I find the TIME to do a good weekly column in the midst of everything else??)
I keep feeling like I made the wrong decision... "What do you mean you didn't contact that editor about the job he offered?" "What do you mean you aren't going to be continuing this story..." I'm still going to work on the webcomic; it's much easier to draw than write when I'm at work, when I'm likely to be dragged away just when I finally get in the groove with writing.
So that's two things I'm focused on right now. Has anyone else gone through a similar struggle? I really need some support. =/
My husband has done pretty much the same thing, and unfortunately, he ended up abandoning it when something else caught his attention. Don't think of focusing on one part of the project as abandoing the rest of it. You can still go back and work on the rest. Finish one, and it will probably make finishing the rest a bit easier, and help teach you how to focus. Don't be discouraged. Keep going as you are. Do what you gotta do, and as far as the job goes, don't worry. If you could get that one, another one is bound to show up in the future as well!
Posts: 105 | Registered: Aug 2006
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Well I am no Dear Abby but I think the advice on this would be simple. Does the freelance gig pay? If it does great, if it doesn't your getting credit as a published writer, great. The web comic is cool but you can do that at you leisure, if you write strip a week, or a strip a quarter great. Don't let e hobby become a chore.
When hobbies become a chore they fail to serve their purpose. Instead of releasing stress they add to it. So let go of the things that add stress that your really don't need. Your family, job and life will give you enough with out you making it yourself.
If you think the novel is the answer, focus on that. If is the source now, but not the source of joy later, put it down and go back to when it can be. You don't have a deadline on the story do you? Do you have people that pay to see your web comic?
If there is no legal reason to continue your stress full hobbies let them go until you can embrace them, rather then feel over whelmed by them. The only deadlines and obligations there are ones you created.
Do what interests you, until it doesn't interest you any longer...especially the stuff nobody will see until-and-unless it's finished. If you drop the ball on something, it'll just be something in the back of your mind.
If the weekly column gig pays, I'd say go for it and drop something else. I know I never seem to have trouble forcing out a few hundred words on subjects that interest me...I must post that 'round here each week. (Dropping this...there's something that could free up some time...)
I tend to come up with an idea that I love and I'll just start writing. Problem is as soon as I come up with an ending I can't carry on writing the story. I move onto another idea. If I try to go back and finish the story my heart just doesn't seem to be in it anymore.
I find the only way to finish a story is to write constantly and not think about the ending. This is difficult though, because as soon as I stop writing for the day I find myself constantly thinking about how the story will end. By morning I've usually lost interest on that one and come up with a new idea. It's never ending.
A friend once told me this story about Nora Roberts -- when she was asked how she decides what to write next, she answered, "Whatever's due next."
My friend thought this a cold, unfeeling answer...but the more work I do, the more I respect it. If you allow yourself the privilege of only writing when, where, and what the spirit moves you to write, how will you get anything done? Nora's publishers just took the difficult decision out of her hands.
I thought it was a fine answer.
Now I go need to go finish that short story that's due at the end of the month...
DeepDreamer, I've known you for a while, as well as a person can over the Internet, and what I've seen I've come to respect a great deal. I may not know you personally, but I know you as a writer and you have as much talent as any of us, probably more then a few of us (mainly myself for this! ).
If there is anyone who can work it out, it's you. You have my friendship, my support and my damn interest in your writing, so if this is enough, I hope it is.
As for your struggle, I believe in the next couple of months I'm going to be going through the same thing. Work may pick up, making me work longer and harder hours, my karate is starting to pay off as well as I've become an instructor recently and my family is making me more involved in household duties. I'm feeling a bit worn out and the motivation to write may not be as strong as it was before, but I know I can overcome it just as you can.
Work on one thing at a time, don't try and do dozens of things at once, otherwise you start crossing over entirely different charactors and plots. That happened to me not so long ago and I had to rid myself of half of my work Focus on what YOU want to do most. Don't beat yourself up about the writing gig, jobs come and go, work comes and goes. Don't lose your respect for your writing ability, I know that's hard and quite a few others personally believe that was well, but it can be done.
DeepDreamer, you have my support for anything you write or do as your my friend and fellow writer, plus your the person who introduced me to Hatrack
Thanks for the advice, everyone, and Leigh, I really appreciate your support!
I'm not giving up on a newspaper position. I just don't think I'm ready to take on the challenge of writing something new and genuinely funny every single week. Or finishing something every week, for that matter.
Which is why I chose the two projects that I did. One is the major uphaul of an old story, on which I will be writing new scenes every week, for a minimum of three hours on all of my days off. The other will be a weekly webcomic, which is a non-stressful way for me to practice setting and keeping deadlines. (Particularly since I plan to be working on new pages 12 weeks in advance. Makes for a nice cushion ^_^)
Once I finish the old story, I will begin my real practice for a newspaper job: writing a story or article every week.
And if a year from now, I'm still interested in a newspaper position, I'm gonna pitch the idea of a humor column to a different local paper that doesn't already have a few good humor writers. Less competition that way