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Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Author Insight: Stumbling Blocks

What is your biggest stumbling block in the writing process and how do you overcome it?

"Procrastination! And I'll think about how to overcome it... tomorrow." - Sarah Ockler, author of Bittersweet

"I break books.  I'll get them to 15,000 or 30,000 words and go 'Well, there's just really nothing here,' and stop writing.  Generally, nursing a project solidly into the middle is the most tenuous, scariest thing for me: a lot of mine just die young.  And I haven't yet figured out how to overcome that, aside from putting them away for a while, not pushing too hard, and lots of careful hope.

I hope I do overcome that someday.  Because this is a process, and you're always learning, and that means there's always the good chance you'll learn your way out of the things that trip you worst." - Leah Bobet, author of Above.

"I need really big blocks of time to write, like 5 – 7 hours minimum. I can’t just sit down and fire off a quick chapter, I need to gain some momentum before I really hit my stride. That’s sometimes frustrating because, well, it’s hard to carve out so much time on a daily basis. Sometimes I just have to shut the phone off and log out of Facebook." - Aaron Karo, author of Lexapros & Cons.

"Perfectionism with respect to existing text.  Manifesting in a tendency to edit what I’ve already written over and over rather than moving forward with new pages.  I have yet to overcome it.
" - Ann Stampler, author of Where It Began.
"Once I hit the middle of a book (where, coincidentally I am right now), I have a really hard time convincing myself that the book isn’t a piece of crap that should be thrown into the trash immediately. This conviction strikes me every time, with every single book I try to write, and if I didn’t have a deadline – and the occasional supportive friend to tell me I’m crazy – then I’d probably give up on everything I set out to write.  A friend once gave me a postcard that reads, 'That thing you are writing is awesome.' I try to keep it in sight at all times." - Robin Wasserman, author of The Book of Blood and Shadow.

"I'm not a fast writer. I don't even attempt NaNoWriMo because of that handicap. I've started trying to outline because it does seem to make the writing process go a little bit faster, but I'm not a natural outliner." - Alissa Grosso, author of Ferocity Summer.

"Procrastination. The fear that the idea I'm having isn't really a book. It's just a jerky short story pretending to be a book so it can run out of words around 35k and say, 'ha ha, got you, loser!' But you just have to get on with it." - Kendare Blake, author of Girl of Nightmares. 

"I hate plotting. This is not to say that I can’t plot, but I refuse to. Because of this, my revision process is much harder. But my best scenes are always the ones that aren’t planned, so I just have to continue to not know where I’m going until I get there." - Jennifer Bosworth, author of Struck

"The middle. Always the $%^&* middle. I grow desperate and I start to hate the book. It feels as though I’ll never solve the problem or get another hundred pages written. I start to argue about the merits of very, very brief novels. In the end, I force myself to just write the next scene, the next chapter. It becomes an act of faith." - Meg Medina, author of The Girl Who Could Silence the Wind.

"Finding time is my biggest challenge. I’m a mom first and foremost, and often it’s hard to juggle my desire to get the stories onto the page with my desire to let two 3-year-olds dress me up in a superhero cape, a crown and an eye patch." - Cat Patrick, author of Revived.

"I seem to just really get into writing when it's time to quit and go on to the next thing in my busy day, and when I have oodles of time planned for writing, nothing comes. I overcome by...forcing myself to write when I don't want to and being angsty when I want to write but can't." - Gwen Hayes, author of Dreaming Awake.

"Chocolate. If not chocolate, then cheese. They’re always getting in the way. Sadly, I’ve found no cure. - Nina Malkin, author of Swear.

Come back Thursday to find out what causes the rest of the authors to stumble while writing.
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