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Location: New England, United States

Thursday, August 24, 2006

There has been a bit of discussion going on about the writing process on several links and blogs of late. I find it very interesting to hear about how other writers approach the craft--it seems there are as many ways to write a book as there are writers.

Hearing about those other approaches can really add to the frustration level, however, when a writer is having a tough time with her own work. It can be all too easy to believe you're going about things the wrong way when your own methods fail you and it sounds like what others are doing must be better. It's easy to jump into someone else's method with nerves flailing and brain in panic mode--something that's likely to fail simply because you're not thinking, you're reacting. It could be that something else would work for you, as long as you calm down long enough to think about what you're doing, or how to employ that new approach.

Writing is a tough job; there's far more involved than just coming up with strings of words (and no, it truly doesn't matter that you can type a gazillion words a minute if you don't have anything to say, or don't know how to say it. If you could see how I type, you would be laughing hysterically right about now . . . I'm a classic one-handed H&P typist, but that's fast enough for how I write, believe me. I'm a pretty fast H&P typist, but still, two hands would be quicker :-)). Thinking up what to say isn't necessarily the problem, either--sometimes the images and words you have in your mind just don't translate easily into words on a page.

The important thing, I guess, is to find what works for you, keep plugging away at it, and don't let outside distractions or influences get in your way. Easier said than done, but I'm willing to bet most of us have some way of overcoming those obstacles.

Mine is my timer, and a series of mini-deadlines of 20 - 30 minutes each. It's looking like it's time to rev up the digital timer . . . . I'll let you know if it helps.


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