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Anyone else write novels? I have "worked on" novels my whole life. I remember the first one I wrote was The Secret of Willow Brooke- when I was 8.
My problem has always been FINISHING them. As in... I've never finished one. I have soooooooooooo many ideas and I enjoy the initial brainstorming and character building so much. I tend to get anywhere from 10-50pgs in and one of my other ideas gets a hold of me and I have to go work on it. But then I never go back to it because I've brainstormed so many other ones that I feel really strongly about.
So my 2010 goal is to FINISH a novel. I've got two I've gotten pretty far in, and while they aren't the foremost in my mind I "know" the story so well I feel like I can put it to paper pretty easily. Then I have a third that's been toying with me for about a week but I've stubbornly avoiding putting down.
I keep an excel file of my writting totals- when I sit down and write I get the total of words written and put it on the chart with the title. I had hoped it would help me focus but it doesn't really, since I never don't want to write- I just always have ANOTHER idea.
My other problem is self confidence. I don't want to say when/if I finish one I'm going to send it to a book agent (and set myself up for dissapointment!) I'm trying to take it in baby steps: finish it. Then maybe finish another, and then one more and then see if I've written something I am proud enough about to send out.
It would help if DH was at all supportive. But he's not a reader and so doesn't really understand wanting to write. I think the only time he was supportive was after he heard something on how much J K Rowling was worth- he said "I bet you could do that! Write a book and make us some money." But even then he sure wasn't going to be helpful by watching Megan when he gets home from work so I can write.
I guess I'm just frustrated- with me, with him... even with wanting to do this. It seems the whole world can/wants to write and that makes it seem even more unrealistic. I used to write just for the enjoyment and I still do enjoy it, but I think I'm at the point where if I don't start giving myself deadlines I'll never get where I want to be.
I have the opposite problem. I can't write anything else until I've finished what I already have going. I've written tons of stories. I love to write. I think novel is an odd weird to describe them... not sure why maybe because to me novel is something that has been published. Anyway, when I was 15 I wrote a story....it turned out to be 600 plus pages written by hand. I wrote something else when I was 17 or 18 that was probably 200 pages typed out. With littler things in between.
I would love love love to publish something, like really publish it. And maybe I will try one day, but like you said I think it's more of a confidence thing. I dunno. I did publish something on the for Twilight fanfic and the response I've gotten to that has really boosted my confidence. People love it and it still blows me away.
You just have to keep reminding yourself that if you do decide to take the next step and find an agent and you get those rejections EVERYONE gets rejections. Stephenie Meyer said she got rejected at least 9 time before ONE and only one agent said they wanted to read more....and look how huge those books have become.
As for finding time to write...I do it while the kids are awake. I'm a SAHM so all my time is consumed with my boys so I have to find the time whenever I can find it, you know. I don't spend all day writing and ignore them, but if they're playing or watching a movie then I take the time I need.
Technically the term novel has nothing to with being published. I used to think of them as my stories but I think when I got older and stopped writing them in spiral notebooks I had to come up with something else to call them.
See, I arc (plan, structure) all my ideas but I'll have a thought that grows or I'll think of paragraph of conversation and then the background is just there... sometimes I actually dream scenes and then my attention shifts to something new.
I'm a SAHM also, but the 3 days a week when Megan is in preschool I babysit a 7 month old. Really the only time i can write is at night after she's in bed. DH travels with NASCAR 36+ weekends a year (thurs-sun) so we are on our own a lot.
I've even thought I need a voice recorder so I could just say my random thoughts and put them down when I could. I do use my phones notepad a lot
I just need to make it more of a priority (behind DD of course) but I guess that's why I need goals. I may even make a ticker- I need some kind of accountability.
I have the exact same problem as you. I mean as I read the post I was like OMG that's me! I have one going that I've been writing for over a year now.. I just get so distracted by different things and I come up with new ideas that just bug the crap out of me until I sit down and put them on 'paper'... Right now it's at 208 pages and almost completed.. I'm nervous because I know it's going to need a lot of editing. I havent decided on whether to just send it in as is or send it to an editor and send it in after it's edited or just go the self publishing route, which editing is $.02-$.09/per word.. and when you have 115,580 words so far that adds up to a lot!!
My thing is I just tell myself that THIS is what I'm going to work on.. and just kept doing that. Now that I'm near completion it's easier because I see the light at the end of the tunnel.. Sorry your DH is being unsupportive. What about writing after Megan goes to bed? Would you be able to do that? Or maybe once a week ask a niece or girl in the neighborhood to watch her for a few hours for $10. When I was teen I loved doing that kind of stuff.. Anyways just a thought.. I hope you can get working and finishing one soon!
Raean, 27 - single mom to Chloe (1.31.03) & Savanna (8.26.05)
I have the same problem. I find it hard to stick with just one thing at a time, especially if it's a long piece, like a novel. I'm working on one at the moment, and I'm actually quite a way into it and it still has my total attention.
I'm sorry your DH can't/won't help out more. Is there any way you could get a sitter, even if only for an hour or two, once a week so you have some quiet time to write?
I have the same issue with confidence as well. People keep trying to talk me into sending my writing in, but I just don't think I'm THAT good.