Monday, July 24, 2017

What is your greatest challenge as a writer?


Last week was such a fun time of writing and connection on the blog. I really enjoyed interacting with you, learning more about your stories, and seeing you encourage each other. We have one more word war scheduled for the summer. It'll be August 14-18, so mark your calendars!

Here's today's panel question:



What's your greatest challenge as a writer?




Learning to say no. And I’ve learned how recently and still struggle. Several times now I’ve caught myself saying, “Check in with me later” on something my gut told me to say no to. It’s a psychological thing with me, I know. I like to help people. I like to say yes. I like to seize every opportunity that comes my way. But I am only one person with twenty-four hours in the day like everyone else. I can only do so much. And if I continue to say yes to everything, I will continue to struggle to find the time to write and the time to relax.



The greatest challenge I have is transitioning in and out of my writing sessions. I want to be absolutely present when I’m with my family, and I want to be absolutely present when I’m with my story. It’s hardest when I’m nearing a deadline and, out of necessity, every brain cell is committed to storytelling. This has been an evolution for me and I’ve not quite mastered it.



TIME TO WRITE. I have a nine-year-old, a seven-year-old with epilepsy and incredibly specific dietary needs, an almost-two-year-old, and a husband who I really like spending time with. Creating space in my life to actually write continues to be the hardest part of writing.









How about you guys? What's your biggest writing challenge?


25 comments:

  1. finding myself in the brain-space to actually write. getting the motivation to fill up that empty page. there are up days, and there are down days. any tips would really be appreciated.

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    1. If you're writing a novel, or anything really, if it ever got turned to a movie, what songs would you prefer to use in that movie? Picking out songs like that and then listening to them when you need inspiration can help. Also setting aside time everyday to just write. It can be challenging, but its worth it.

      There's also instrumental music online that you can listen to when writing to keep focus up. Reading books in the same genre or just reading in general can do the trick.

      Hopefully this helps you.

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    2. Well, I have several motivators, so maybe something will work for you.

      When I was having an up day, I wrote what I loved about writing. Then I kept that paper to read again and again when I was having a down day to remind myself of the joy in writing.

      I believe in the power of habits. So even if it's just for five minutes a day, I make sure I sit for that long in front of my computer and write. Doesn't matter if it's even just a comment on a blog post or a silly prompt, the act of writing gets easier the more consistent I am.

      Reward system works too for me. Especially with writing a first draft, because that's my least favorite part of the process. I make a goal, a relatively easy one at first, then make it more challenging as I go. Once I reach that goal I give myself a piece of chocolate, I take a break to do some hobby I love, or buy that book I've been eyeing.

      One other thing I do is email one of my friends and tell her what I'm writing and that I hope to have it finished by X time. Just letting someone else know helps motivate me to finish what I started.

      At any rate, staying motivated is a real struggle. :/ Hope you find what works for you.

      -Ann



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    3. Deeja, that's a tough one for all of us, I think. Some seasons, writing feels easy. Others, it doesn't. Ann talked about habits in her response, and I've found that to be valuable for me as well. Just being in the routine of sitting down at my computer to write is huge.

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  2. Finding a proper balance of my time. I tend to want to stay locked up in my room hours on end with no interruptions and just write/tinker with my WIP while family and chores get neglected.

    Or I go to the other extreme and avoid my computer at all costs. :p Still working on a routine that gives me enough time for writing and living the rest of my life.

    -Ann

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    1. Ohmygosh, same! I have a hard time balancing priorities and learning to budget my time wisely when it comes to writing and things I need to get done. It's hard to put anything above writing sometimes.

      I was trying to figure out what my greatest challenge was and you spoke the words I couldn't form. Thank you!

      God bless you!
      <3

      iviewrites.blogspot.com

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    2. Ann, that's a tough one. I know I've talked about this on here before, but I've learned that in addition to balance of how I spend days, I also have to recognize seasons. Some seasons I get more writing time than others. I'm learning to be okay with that. Mostly :)

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  3. Finding time. With multiple health issues in my family, a lot of my time is dedicated to caretaking. It's something I prioritize higher than my writing, so there are days where writing is not an option. I am learning to write while at doctor's appointments and the like. It's not easy, though.

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    1. I will pray for your family. I'm sorry this is happening. Putting family above writing is always important. Time is something that seems to never be on anyone's side.
      God bless you!

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    2. Aw thanks! Your prayers are appreciated! They're more like ongoing health issues rather than life-threatening ones, so most of the stuff is just check-ups and reassessments. Praise the Lord for that! He's so good to us.

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    3. Well at least its not life threatening. I'll still pray, though. Praise Jesus.
      God bless you!

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    4. Sarah, I've had intense caretaker seasons too. You're making the right choice, but it's not an easy one. You're a blessing to your family.

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  4. I have issues with writing overall and keeping it part of my schedule . Me and my editor (and best friend.)have been working on something for awhile. I write and she edits my writing. But I have kept putting it off sadly.

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    1. Sometimes it takes a while to build up good habits with writing. That's okay, Evan. Living life is important too :)

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  5. My main issue with my third novel is making characters stand out and the number of characters my novel should have. As I've been revising, I've eliminated certain characters, as my editor told me I had too many.

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    1. I've been in the same place before! I know you'll figure it out, but those are tough choices.

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  6. balancing my priorities. It's hard for me to write during the school year, but sometimes I have a great idea (or at least I think it's a great idea lol :) and I have to figure out how to write while keeping up with my school and not completely neglecting my family.
    Also, letting other people read my writing. I am very shy, and it's hard for me to let anyone, even my parents, read my stories.

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    1. I totally get it. Letting people read your stuff can be hard. Its a vulnerable state. But do it in your own time. You may have to push out of your comfort zone a little, but only when you know you can do it.

      God bless you! <3

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    2. Allison, I understand. That's something I've struggled with too. It gets easier, but it's important to have your own boundaries about when you'll let others read your stuff.

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  7. I guess I would say my challenge is prioritizing. I love to write and always love to write ... but, there are things that have to come first. It can be hard, especially when a plot bunny has come to attack you. It can be hard to remember that the more important things take precedence over writing. That doesn't make writing any less important to you. It just means you have to prioritize your time if you want to write.

    God bless y'all.
    iviewrites.blogspot.com

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    1. Prioritizing is a struggle for me too, I've. There are many days where I'm not sure I chose right, but I think I'm growing!

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  8. My biggest I think would be loneliness. I come from a church/community where learning, reading, and knowledge are undervalued in general, and creativity and imagination in particular. The arts are even looked down upon by a lot of people I know. My church friends are doing manual jobs or getting married, and other (creative) friends have mostly moved on to college, missions, etc.
    So even though I'm discovering great writing sites (GTW!) and friends on social media, I don't have ANYONE to talk writing in person. Or critique my work, or share book recommendations. Hardly anyone who even likes to read.
    Thankfully my family loves learning and is very supportive of me! But still it's been hard feeling so 'weird' as a creative person, and not having people who speak my language, if I can put it that way. It doesn't help that I'm both VERY social and VERY passionate about writing! :)

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    1. Oh, Hannah. I was soooo lonely as a teenage writer. I had friends, but I didn't know anybody else who loved writing like I did, and I hardly knew anyone who was 100% sure about what they wanted to do for a living when they grew up. I'm so glad that we get to be a part of your community. Maybe someday you'll be the answered prayer for a GTWer near you who's been looking for a real life writer friend too!

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  9. The hardest part of writing, for me, is creating a good plot without any without any confusion before I begin. I always want to launch right into the first chapter, without knowing anything about the plot. It's hard to find inspiration for a good storyline.

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  10. My biggest struggle is probably getting myself to sit down and write. While I don't have a family of my own yet (too young) I do quite often find many things that override my desire to write, whether for the better or worst. Definitely should work on this.

    teensliveforjesus.blogspot.com

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