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Thursday, February 23, 2012

More Author Insight: Stumbling Blocks

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

"Self doubt, I often get ideas that I feel are beyond my abilities, and the challenge of trying to bring those ideas to life is often what keeps me writing, but then in the bad moments I tend to question whether  I'm up to the challenge." - Bethany Griffin, author of Masque of the Read Death.

"I can’t sit still and focus on one thing for any length of time. I also will sit at my laptop deliberating over single words or sentences, instead of just getting the draft out like I hear you’re supposed to. But I think about my work constantly, writing in my head all the time, and I just have to be content if I don’t get that much down on paper each day." - Barry Wolverton, author of Neversink.

"The hardest part every time is putting away all my distractions. Close Twitter, hide the email, and get to work. Especially when I'm on the last leg of revisions and I've gone over the manuscript so many times I have chapters memorized, it can be difficult to go in and take care of those last nitpicky issues.

Until recently, I just forced myself to close other programs on my computer, but with my last couple drafts of Incarnate2, I actually printed the manuscript and did edits on paper where there were no blinky lights to distract me." - Jodi Meadows, author of Incarnate.

"Self-doubt will always plague me, I think. However, I find that when my body is healthy - when I'm eating right, enjoying indulgences only in moderation, staying active, etc., my mind follows with a sort of calmness that allows me to be more productive and get over my self-imposed limitations." - Elizabeth Miles, author of Fury.

"Staying with the hard problems. When I hit a wall, I let myself walk around the house, get more coffee, pet the dogs, but I then always make myself come back to the problem, face the page, and find a way through the plot hole, the character rewrite, or whatever it is that’s mucking up the story." - Sarah Wilson Etienne, author of Harbinger.

"Right now, the biggest stumbling block is trying to juggle marketing demands for the first book in the trilogy while writing the second, and trying to minimize my exposure to reviews. I love that people review. Of course I love good reviews most, but every review provides a potential reader with information that will help them decide if it’s the right book for them. As a writer, though, reviews can be a distraction. For me, it’s been a process of thickening the skin, and trying to hear only the feedback that will help the writing." - Veronica Rossi, author of Under the Never Sky.

"Sometimes it can be too easy to ignore a plot hole or glance over a needed bit of information, in hopes that readers won’t notice—even though, deep down, you know they will! So whenever one of my beta readers or editor has a question, no matter how minor, I attempt to answer it as thoroughly as I can, first for myself, and then within the context of the story. It can cause a lot of headache upfront when you realize you have no idea what the answer is, but it’ll save a lot more headache down the line when readers and reviewers start bringing it up." - Marissa Meyer, author of Cinder.

"Life these days is so full of distractions that for a highly distractible person, it can be tough!  Luckily, I’ve got a great group of friends (many of whom are also writers) and I think we inspire each other to keep at it.  One day at a time.  One page at a time.  One book at a time." - Jess Rothenberg, author of The Catastrophic History of You and Me.

"The biggest stumbling block is hanging onto the excitement that a new project brings. It’s really easy to get tired of a project after a few months, but you have to find a way to rekindle the spark that made you love it in the first place." - David Macinnis Gill, author of Invisible Sun.

"My biggest stumbling block is finding time to work.  I have three young kids, and they demand a lot of attention.  Sometimes I have to remind myself that my job is 'real,' like any 9-5 position, and make sure I sit down and type." - Beth Fantaskey, author of Jessica Rules the Dark Side.

"Time management. I have three teenagers at home (one with autism), so not getting sucked into time-consuming activities or distractions is almost impossible. Balancing my duties as mother and author is a circus act for me." - Mary Lindsey, author of Shattered Souls.

"There’s nothing worse than having a classic Bad Writing Day, when you feel like you can’t string together any decent sentences and you want to throw your laptop out a window. The best thing to do is to get outta the house, clear your head. I usually go to the movies, preferably to see something sufficiently fluffy. Last time this happened I saw Prom." - Aimee Agresti, author of Illuminate.

"I have a hard time coming up with new books. I just read, draw, collage, brainstorm, and watch movies until I come up with something, but I’m really hard to live with during that period." - Jennifer Echols, author of The One That I Want.


"Having faith in myself and my ability as a writer was a huge roadblock.  I wasn't sure I could write YA steampunk, which slowed down the process.  Then I realized that yeah, I could do this, I will do this, and then I did it." - Suzanne Lazear, author of Innocent Darkness.

Find out Tuesday what characters the authors wish they'd written!

1 comment:

  1. Fab post - very insightful to see the kind of stumbling blocks authors experience!