January 27, 2014 at 12:23 pm #123926
EricMemberJanuary 27, 2014 at 12:23 pmPost count: 6
I’ve been trying to write novels for years, and as you might guess, I get into it, I write and write and then I have a half finished novel and stop. I thought the reason was that my material wasn’t good, so I needed better material, what better way then to hitchhike around the world on a budget of $3 per day. So I did it, and it took me one year and I had TONs of adventures, and yes it changed my life. I loved it! But now that I am trying to write about it I have the same problem. Chapters drip from my pen, then the ink drys up.
I need your advice, what should I do? How do I motivate myself? How do I stick to my goals? I’ve been looking for advice but I cant really find any, I am hopping you have a solution. Also if you ever want to read any of my writings be it my book in progress or just my blog posts you can check out my website http://www.yourworldyourhome.comREPORT ABUSEJanuary 27, 2014 at 12:27 pm #123927
EricMemberJanuary 27, 2014 at 12:27 pmPost count: 6
Also while tips on meds would be nice, as I travel a lot sometimes the meds are illegal in the country I am living in. Still advice would be nice as I have never had the opportunity to purchase any meds. By the way I am currently living in China, so Happy Chinese New Year!REPORT ABUSEJanuary 27, 2014 at 1:31 pm #123935
blackdogMemberJanuary 27, 2014 at 1:31 pmPost count: 906
King Hei Fat Choi! Happy New Year to you too. 🙂
I have no advice to give. Except sit down and write and don’t stop for anything. If the material doesn’t seem good just keep going anyway. Do not go back and revise or edit, do not do any research, just get it all down. You are writing from your experiences so just write each of them out, in any form. You can go back later and find the things you want to keep, and the ones you want to scrap, and add in more colourful descriptions and details.REPORT ABUSEJanuary 27, 2014 at 1:47 pm #123936
shutterbug55ParticipantJanuary 27, 2014 at 1:47 pmPost count: 430
I have two novels I am trying to get published, and a few short stories. What has always worked with me, is recording my ideas as I talk about them. I don’t try to organize them. I just try to get them out there. At some later point in time, I transcribe them and that is when I work on one section at a time. I find the transcription process triggers a huge information flow, where I can either type or talk to get the information recorded. Since I can talk WAY faster than I type, I usually end up recording my voice.
I hold myself to one subject or section for a couple reasons. I need to remain interested in doing the project, so I gate the flow work. I can’t jump around, or I will miss things. My wife is my proof reader and she checks my continuity so I segue from one subject to another in a smooth and logical manner.
Hope this helps.REPORT ABUSEJanuary 29, 2014 at 10:25 am #123974
EricMemberJanuary 29, 2014 at 10:25 amPost count: 6
The audio recording idea worked….now I have lots of information…but now I have to type and edit it…oh this will be a lot of work 🙁 I will do it though…I will!REPORT ABUSEJanuary 29, 2014 at 10:29 am #123975January 29, 2014 at 6:43 pm #123979
ScattybirdParticipantJanuary 29, 2014 at 6:43 pmPost count: 1096
Did you keep a journal as you went around? Presumably you have photos? Get them out and relive the excitement. Sit at your desk for 2 hours each day with a rule that you do nothing but write. Don’t worry if you don’t write, but do NOTHING else. You’ll soon get bored with just sitting there and will start to write. Don’t worry about the punctuation or the grammar – just get it written. Editing can come later.
What a fab thing to have done. I’d love to read about your adventures.
Can’t you just keep blogging and then amalgamate them all or is there a rule about plagiarism or something?REPORT ABUSEJanuary 31, 2014 at 3:05 am #124003
EricMemberJanuary 31, 2014 at 3:05 amPost count: 6
Sitting down and just writing is a great idea. But it is hard to stick too. As for my stories, I do write them, I have over 100 blog posts on my website http://www.yourworldyourhome.comREPORT ABUSE
But still there is an issue about just blogging and not writing chapters. My chapters tend to be 3000 to 5000 words where as most blog posts are 300-500 words. Another issue is that I have a LOT of travel stories both from my year hitchhiking around the world and from other travel adventures. On my blog I tend to just write random stories and not focus on anything specific. I guess I could try to create a list of stories to write and follow them…but as someone with ADHD…following a list isn’t exactly something I enjoy…January 31, 2014 at 10:15 am #124005
blackdogMemberJanuary 31, 2014 at 10:15 amPost count: 906
I love lists. I make lists all the time. And I feel very accomplished and proud of myself every time I make one.
Following them is a different matter. 🙄
I think making up a list of the stories you want to write is a great place to start. Just don’t look at it as being written in stone. It’s only a rough guideline.
I used to write out to-do lists and with everything numbered, in sequence, with a time for each task written beside it. Then try to do everything in order, top to bottom, at the scheduled time. And you can guess how well that went.
Now I just write out the things that need to be done each day and then pick one to start with when I’m ready. It doesn’t matter which one or what time it is. And I have found I can get a lot more done in a day.
So, make your list of stories, but only as a loose guideline. Then pick whichever one you feel like writing. The order doesn’t matter. That can be sorted out later, in the editing phase.
My second suggestion is to stop looking at the whole project. Break it down into little pieces, things you can easily accomplish in a short time. You need 5000 words to make a chapter. But you don’t have to write all 5000 in one sitting. Break it down into 500 word sections, just like your blog posts. You know you can write that many words, you do it all the time. So it will be easy, right? Making the task seem less daunting can make it a lot easier to get motivated to start. And as we all know, getting started is half the battle. 🙂REPORT ABUSEJanuary 31, 2014 at 5:31 pm #124010
ScattybirdParticipantJanuary 31, 2014 at 5:31 pmPost count: 1096
But don’t you think there might be a market out there for the short-story type of travel book?
Does it HAVE to have a theme and long chapters?REPORT ABUSEJanuary 31, 2014 at 8:54 pm #124011
blackdogMemberJanuary 31, 2014 at 8:54 pmPost count: 906January 31, 2014 at 11:22 pm #124013
kc5jckParticipantJanuary 31, 2014 at 11:22 pmPost count: 845
How about “A Day in the Life of an ADHD Mind.”
“Five Hundred Thousand Things to Think About Before Breakfast”
“How to Find Something You Just Put Down”February 1, 2014 at 10:49 am #124020
blackdogMemberFebruary 1, 2014 at 10:49 amPost count: 906
Sign me up for an advanced copy of “How to Find Something You Just Put Down”. It could save me at least an hour a day.REPORT ABUSEFebruary 1, 2014 at 8:58 pm #124027
sdwaParticipantFebruary 1, 2014 at 8:58 pmPost count: 363
What an amazing story – that is so cool. I’m envious. I wish I could ditch everything and just travel around and write about it.
I don’t think the problem is a lack of good material.
Where are you when you are sitting down to write?
Are you sitting?
Do you change locations, or always try to do it at a desk, or in one place?
Have you tried picking a word at random from a book and free associating on that word?
Or pick a color out of a hat and see what place that color reminds you, and then write about that?
What if you had a theme, and wrote a list of theme topics, and threw them in a hat, and picked them out at random, so it wasn’t a front-to-back list?
What if you started writing at the end, and worked your way to the beginning?
What do you think you’re getting stuck on, that you get to the middle, and you stall out because…? You’re worried about something?
And then you put pressure on yourself, because…?
And then you feel paralyzed?
Is that sort of what’s happening?
For what it’s worth, everyone says the middle of a novel is the hardest part.
I wrote the first draft of a novel…twice. Still not done.
I studied story structure for two years. I learned how to outline. At first it scared me, because I couldn’t wrap my mind around the dramatic elements – I had to read about twenty five books on the subject before it started to click. It was extremely difficult for me to see the big picture because few people talk about it – I had to piece it together by myself.
But I’ve tried to make the process analogous to other things I know how to do, like painting. Select a topic. Gather source materials. Select an image. Map out a grid. Draw the outlines of shapes. Start to build up layers of color and texture.
I got to a point where having an outline wasn’t a terrifying concept – it’s fine, because if the outline doesn’t work as I’m writing, I don’t let the outline control me – I change the outline. But I still keep all the parts of the story in a big list, so I can see the whole more easily than I could if I tried to re-read it.
When I try to write a chapter based on an outline, it doesn’t come out the way the outline says it should, because I run into logistics problems I didn’t anticipate (like: How would Bob get his motorcycle down the chimney, and why is he trying to do that, anyway? Or: Can a smallpox virus be destroyed by blowing up a building? How can I find out?)
Usually I get hung up on:
1) lack of information
2) things don’t work the way I imagined they would
3) lack of clarity about how to organize or sequence the story
4) trying to have too rigid an idea of how it should go and getting stuck
So, I guess I would say, try to figure out why you are stalling – in a non-judgmental way, without getting down on yourself about it. What’s going through your mind? Are you trying to force a bunch of rules on yourself that don’t fit for you?
Anyway, I think what you’re doing sounds totally awesome and amazing and awesome.
Will definitely check out your blog stuff.REPORT ABUSEFebruary 1, 2014 at 9:04 pm #124028
sdwaParticipantFebruary 1, 2014 at 9:04 pmPost count: 363
Also (do I talk too much?)…I had a coach once who asked me, when I was stressed out about all the stuff I had written not being a novel as I conceptualized it…what would it look like if I just took all the stuff I had already written, spread it out on the floor, rearranged it, and then decided what it was?REPORT ABUSE
Writing a novel about hitchhiking around the world on $3 a dayEric2014-01-27T12:23:32+00:00
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