Non-writers just don’t understand: The pain of having to sit on your hands while others work on your WIP

cnpcqYup. So I’ve got two works in progress right now, in case you haven’t read some of my previous blog entries. Hooligans is set in Northern Ireland, that one’s pretty much done and dusted…apart from the first chapter intervention I’ve got someone helping me with. The second, tentatively called Rafa & Rose, is set in rural Wisconsin. I just sent fifty pages to my co-author, whose job is to A) add Spanish language and Mexican culture references for Rafa’s POV chapters and help write family dynamics B) help me with everything else, from capturing awkward teenage puppy love to describing high school life (ranging from Homecoming competitions to English Lit curriculum πŸ˜› ).

homecomingAs a full-time, unpaid writer, WHAT DO I DO with myself while I wait? Hooligans I really just need that first chapter. Once that’s on lockdown, I’m querying. Rafa & Rose…I really can’t proceed until I get my good, great friend Ana’s feedback. We have to plan a turning point scene that’s of critical importance. Nothing I can do with that one. Which means I’m stuck on both my manuscripts. Non-writers be like read a book or watch a movie or something like normal people do. But my brain is still in the writing zone, you know that creative buzz that fuels all your best writing. The writer’s high, as I call it. I feel it in my brain, but I can’t use it!Β  It’s driving me crazy!

tumblr_inline_mqbuizV6Sb1qz4rgp“Hi, my name is SJC and I’m an (writing) addict….”

Hmm maybe I should paint. Rafa & Rose does feature a Homecoming window painting competition. My MCs get forced to work on it together and that’s what starts their relationship. I could try to recreate their painting…. Though I don’t know if I have the skill haha. Or I could bust out my first novel, the one I made fun of on my blog a few weeks back. I actually have a later draft that’s much better…

Writer friends, whether it’s at the editor’s or with a critique partner or you’re just stuck, what do you do when you can’t work on your MS? Do you ever feel like this? (or am I the weird writer here πŸ˜› )

Advertisements

42 comments

  1. writerdenisedufresne · October 2, 2014

    Take notes for a new project. That’s what I do. When all that energy settles down, reading is always a good choice. πŸ™‚ Finding something that will help (non fiction) with one of the WIPs, maybe?

    Like

    • sjoycarlson · October 2, 2014

      Yeah, I need to get back to researching meth lol. And I’m sketching out the sequel, too! Thanks for suggestions and thanks for stopping by! Happy writing!

      Like

      • writerdenisedufresne · October 2, 2014

        Any time! I’ve really enjoyed reading your blog!

        Like

      • sjoycarlson · October 2, 2014

        Thanks πŸ˜€ I do my best!

        Like

  2. sherryhoward · October 2, 2014

    It is hard to wait and you don’t want to lose your “flavor” and voice of your current work. Maybe practice a little non- fiction that won’t take you to another setting. Do you keep hoping for a distraction to present itself?

    Like

    • sjoycarlson · October 2, 2014

      Haha. Good suggestion. I think it usually takes me like a day to transition out of crazy writer mode. Just need to delve into a few other things. What I should really do is get back to reading a bunch of YA (looking at voice and how body language is described) and researching meth addiction and its affects on behavior and health. But writing is just so much more rewarding :P. Anyway, how’s your writing going?

      Like

      • sherryhoward · October 4, 2014

        I’m still plugging away. I paused and read a ton of really current YA and few popular from the last few years, for the reasons you mentioned. I’m doing Iowa’s MOOC program for fiction writing now. It’s been interesting. How are you?

        Liked by 1 person

      • sherryhoward · October 5, 2014

        I’m still plugging away. I paused and read a ton of really current YA and few popular from the last few years, for the reasons you mentioned. I’m doing Iowa’s MOOC program for fiction writing now. It’s been interesting. How are you? PS. I once knew a meth addict, devastating addiction. People become someone else entirely with that, seemed more consuming than some other addictions based on what I saw. And it literally rots their teeth entirely.

        Like

      • sjoycarlson · October 5, 2014

        Oh, great!! Also, what YA have you read? Looking for something to read. Just started 13 Reasons Why, which is interesting because it’s a male POV, which helps with both my MSs and would help with yours, too! Good luck with the program. Meth really is a terrible drug…. My understanding, it’s got the highest relapse rate. If you feel comfortable and are willing, would love to hear more of your observations via email or direct message on twitter.

        Like

  3. Jennifer Austin - Author · October 2, 2014

    Oh my gosh I can so feel your pain! I research, market, build writer’s platform, critique for others, troll Absolute Write and read Current YA for learning purposes πŸ™‚ But it doesn’t scratch that writer’s itch!!!! Good luck.

    Like

    • sjoycarlson · October 2, 2014

      Gahhh you get me! What’s Absolute Write and Current YA??? I may have to check those out!

      Like

      • Jennifer Austin - Author · October 2, 2014

        Absolute Write is a writer’s forum full of everything you can imagine about the world of writing. When I said current YA, I meant new and popular YA books. Sorry about the confusion. πŸ™‚

        Like

      • sjoycarlson · October 2, 2014

        Cool, I’ll check Absolute YA! No the capital C just made me think it was a proper noun, therefore like a website or something. Read any good YA lately?

        Like

      • Jennifer Austin - Author · October 2, 2014

        I’ve been so busy I haven’t. Trying to read Neal Shusterman’s UnWind series right now. It’s good, I’m just having trouble finding the time. I can’t wait to read Mindy McGinnis’s second book In a Handful of Dust, but I’m being a good girl and letting hubby get it for my birthday.

        Like

      • sjoycarlson · October 2, 2014

        hmmm I’ll have to check those out. Thanks! Hope it’s a short wait till your birthday!

        Like

  4. christineplouvier · October 2, 2014

    I knew I was going to Indie publish, so while my first alpha reader had it, I think I was working on the cover and figuring out formatting the text for the printer. I did keep a journal (of sorts) during the last two years of work on it. I’ll have to dig that out and see if it’s any help….

    Like

    • sjoycarlson · October 3, 2014

      I should really delve into researching indie publishing……

      Like

      • christineplouvier · October 3, 2014

        Indie publishing has a “Wild West” sort of feeling to it, and because it’s still a fairly new phenomenon (for our time, at least – it has a long ancient history), a lot of us end up re-inventing the wheel. But I’m glad I knew that I’d be wasting my time with the traditional route, and went ahead with going Indie.

        Like

      • sjoycarlson · October 3, 2014

        Lol yeah… So have you got books out there then?

        Like

      • christineplouvier · October 3, 2014

        I did two self-help books (which I published myself for distribution to my own clients, when I was still in practice as a nurse consultant), and I published a novel (Irish Firebrands), with a print-on-demand, in 2013.

        Like

      • sjoycarlson · October 3, 2014

        Would you recommend print on demand?

        Like

      • christineplouvier · October 3, 2014

        Yes! Find an outfit whose terms are acceptable (such as NO setup fees, NO demands for exclusive distribution, FREE guidance with formatting, and a decent royalty rate), and go for it.

        Liked by 1 person

      • sjoycarlson · October 3, 2014

        Anyone you recommend???

        Like

      • christineplouvier · October 3, 2014

        I like CreateSpace. They’re owned by Amazon, so they’re obliged to ask you if you want to publish with Kindle, too (but Kindle has a nasty contract, which I read in its entirety, so I refused), but otherwise, CS operates independently of the big organization, including producing consistently higher-quality print jobs than the big fella does – and they’re faster, too.

        Liked by 1 person

      • sjoycarlson · October 3, 2014

        Nice! Thanks for the advice! Sounds like you really did your research.

        Like

      • christineplouvier · October 3, 2014

        I e-published for free with Smashwords (who can format for Kindle and a ton of other e-readers), although by the time I signed up with them, I had already signed up independently with Nook, so I opted out of Smashwords distribution to Barnes & Noble.

        Like

      • sjoycarlson · October 3, 2014

        Would you recommend? The whole indie publishing thing is so complex!!

        Like

      • christineplouvier · October 3, 2014

        You can sign independently with just about every e-reader company, without obligation (except for Amazon, as previously mentioned), but that approach entails setting up and keeping track of multiple accounts, so signing with an aggregate distributor like Smashwords can simplify Indie e-publishing, and SW sells direct, too, as well as distributing to libraries. The last time I looked, CreateSpace didn’t do hardcover, so I’ll have to use a different POD for hard-bound gift editions (possibly LuLu; they offer terms similar to CS’s).

        Liked by 1 person

      • sjoycarlson · October 3, 2014

        This is all such great information!! Thanks for sharing all your wisdom and knowledge and (I’m sure) hard-earned experience!!

        Like

      • christineplouvier · October 3, 2014

        Before formatting for POD, I’d also recommend first to follow the free Smashwords e-formatting guide, and then build on the stripped-down manuscript you get, for the printer’s template. It will be easier, that way. I had done the POD first, so, in effect, I had a ton of reverse engineering to do, to format for Smashwords. But I went slow, with that, so it passed the SW meat-grinder on the first submission. (I was programming computers before the last two generations of users were born, so I know you can’t rush the beasts.)

        Like

  5. Angela Sylvia · October 2, 2014

    After I’ve sent a bunch of stuff to friends, I take a short break to decompress, then I start something new. Maybe I’ll use it, maybe I’ll ditch it, but it will keep my writing muscles stretched. And it doesn’t have to be another novel, it could be a short story, an essay, maybe I really focus on my backlog of reviews… Even prewriting a bunch of blog posts. Don’t stop writing. Ever. O_O

    Like

    • sjoycarlson · October 2, 2014

      Lol I don’t think I could. I’m kind of an addict πŸ˜› Yeah, not going to lie, I’ve actually started re-working the first chapter of Rafa & Rose because of the evolving storyline πŸ˜€ Thanks for stopping by!

      Like

  6. Marianne Knowles · October 2, 2014

    It sounds like you don’t feel like getting out, but even a trip to a place you’ve been before looks completely different if you go with your writer’s eye and the intent of scoping out new plots and settings. And once an idea lands on your shoulder, you’re good to go with a new project. My two cents!

    Like

    • sjoycarlson · October 2, 2014

      Great idea! Draw inspiration from everything πŸ˜€ Thanks for stopping by and happy writing or gathering experiences for writing!

      Like

  7. authorleighmichaels · October 3, 2014

    Start something new or work on some flash fiction or short stories :-).

    Like

    • sjoycarlson · October 3, 2014

      I’m not going to lie. My brain currently only understands how to write novels. Haven’t written anything short since like high school lol. Go big or go home πŸ˜› So what I actually did was went and looked at the start of Rafa and Rose… Now that I’m about halfway through writing the first draft, I have a much better idea of where/how I need to start πŸ˜›

      Liked by 2 people

      • authorleighmichaels · October 3, 2014

        All the more reason to try something different. Forcing your brain to do something it’s not used to will be like exercise for the brain and will help you stretch your writing abilities :-).

        Like

      • sjoycarlson · October 3, 2014

        ahhhh but it’s so much WORK πŸ˜› But good advice.

        Liked by 1 person

      • authorleighmichaels · October 3, 2014

        LOL πŸ™‚

        Liked by 1 person

  8. uturnstars · October 4, 2014

    I just read one of my other stories. I’m not working on THAT story, so I’m not breaking the rules.

    Like

  9. paulareuben8 · October 5, 2014

    Sometimes, just sometimes, working with something other than words — knitting a scarf (or learning how to),planting winter vegetables, trying new recipes, painting the living room wall — might help.

    Like

    • sjoycarlson · October 5, 2014

      Yeah, I should really delve back into oil painting…. I even brought all my stuff with me lol. It’s amazing how doing things like what you suggested refreshes your brain. And how your subconscious can sometimes figure out amazing things to do with your MS! Thanks for the comment πŸ˜€

      Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s