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Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Author Insight: Writing Roadblocks

What's the biggest consistent obstacle in your writing process? How do you overcome it?

"Distractions. Particularly of the internet promo variety. I wish I could say that I do overcome it, but there are days when I don’t get any writing done except for guest blogs and interviews. Depressing." - Daniel Marks, author of Velveteen.

"I’m a slow drafter. It can take me forever to get words on the page, because I keep wanting to self edit while I’m writing.  I have to keep telling myself that it’s okay for the first draft to suck." - Lenore Appelhans, author of Level 2. 

"Staying in the chair, I suppose. Writing’s hard! The temptation is to get up and do something else when the going gets rough. I suppose I overcome it by cultivating self-disgust. Like, I just feel so guilty NOT writing, it’s easier to write. Plus, I get into the mindset that writing’s my job and that the hours have to be put in, simple as that." - Lili Peloquin, author of The Innocents

"I see writing as a tough obstacle course--style, plotting, characterization, thematic development, cliché, finding time to write, fending off distractions, getting ideas--these difficulties await any writer. But to even reach that obstacle course you have to get past the Dread Cliff of Self Doubt, over which precipice certain injury awaits even the most stalwart egos. That cliff stopped me for years, but eventually I was pushed over by my own desperate wish to write books. It still confronts me each day, but I've gotten more into the habit of jumping off." - Steven Arntson, author of The Wrap-Up List.

"Strong, solid ideas with a good hook. Ideas, for some reason, are hard for me. I keep an idea journal, and I write down any little seed of an idea that might grow into something bigger. I have also been known to spend hours simply brainstorming book ideas around words I like or concepts or a number of other things. Once I get a solid idea that I'm excited about, I set a daily word count or page goal, and I usually don't have problems meeting those goals." - Lisa Schroeder, author of Falling for You

"The biggest obstacle to writing is fear. I never overcome it, only get more comfortable being around it. I’ve also found that when my curiosity about the story becomes greater than my fear of writing badly, I am free. Temporarily." - Allen Zadoff, author of Since You Left Me.

"Middles are hardest for me. You can open with a bang and keep that momentum through the first turning point, but it’s so easy to lose the initial surge of energy. That’s when you have to ask yourself the tough questions: Have I dug deeply enough into the main character’s emotions, is her inner conflict clear to the reader, is there tension on every page? What about the pacing? And so much more." - Pamela Mingle, author of Kissing Shakespeare

"Fear. I’ll tell you when I figure it out." - Kathleen Peacock, author of Hemlock.

"Procrastination. I am a gold medalist. But I try to set aside time that's only for writing--even if I have to use an Internet blocking program to do it!" - Trish Doller, author of Something Like Normal

"Lack of time, as I have another career as an industrial software engineer, plus a toddler. Fortunately the baby years have trained me to consider six hours a luxurious full night of sleep. Having a baby is excellent practise for revising a novel. - Helen Keeble, autor of Fang Girl

"Time. I have a demanding day job that often taps the same creative energy I need to write. I haven't been very good at overcoming it this last year, but I'm trying various strategies. Set-aside time, vacation days--those might help." - Susan Vaught, author of Freaks Like Us

Stop by Thursday to find out what obstacles the rest of the authors face in writing. 

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