Creativity

One of Those Days Pt. 2

Just a quick post to follow-up on my post earlier in the week.

Ever stare at your own work?

Ever stare at your own work?

I intended spending a lot of time on writing endeavors yesterday afternoon. That quickly changes with a minor family emergency involving a car accident. Thankfully everyone appears to be fine and that’s something to smile about.

However, all my plans went out the window quickly since my presence was needed for several hours. Once the proverbial smoke cleared I had much less time to work than anticipated. But hey, I’m glad I could be of help even if it interrupted my plans and the day turned into “one of those days”. Instead of phoning it in, sat down and edited a short story and it’s now close to being ready for submission to some magazine markets.

So that’s all I have for the moment. What are the disruptions – large and small – that you encounter while writing? Do you let them stop you in your tracks or do you push on anyway? Leave comments below.

Staring into Space

Have you ever sat in front of your computer to edit – not write but edit – your book? The cursor blinks and the mass of words seem like an insurmountable wall for some reason. I think most writers experience this problem.

Ever stare at your own work?

Ever stare at your own work?

I’ve been editing a lot lately and developed some approaches to the problem that I’m going to share today.

One obvious reason we writers don’t want to edit at times is that we just don’t want to do it. The creative mind – the part that burns with restless energy to create new stories – begs to be set free. But that same creative area of the brain has also written a tangled, though promising, draft. I don’t believe there is any way to escape this conundrum except to harness that energy by writing and addressing editing in a few practical ways.

1. Make a commitment  – preferably with a writer’s group of some sort – to edit. Usually you can set a goal with a group for how much you will do over the course of a month. This way you are accountable to others and hopefully you will all encourage each other. Also when making this goal, know what your daily target of pages to edit will be. Why? There will be days when you are unmotivated or busy but the attainable, minimal goal helps you keep going that day. I use the same idea when I’m running. I have a minimum mileage but I’m open to a higher goal if circumstances are advantageous. For more on goals see my tips from a previous post.

2. Survey the problem. I’ve been making additions and structural changes to my book so there are times when my mind is just overwhelmed by what needs to be changed. I know the big picture but it’s like having an air pocket in a pressure washer – nothing’s happening no matter what I do. At this point I need to identify the nuts and bolts of what I need to do and how I’m going to do it. For this kind of problem I journal. One of my other posts addresses why I journal and problem-solving is one of then (I also use it for writer’s block among other things).

3. Go fix it. But first learn what it means to fix the problems. Nat Russo wrote a great blog on fixing manuscript problems from a programmer’s perspective. It’s an excellent blog and closely parallels my topic today.

What do you do to overcome the blinking cursor and the call to move onto other projects?

Here are some shameless plugs:

Photo used in The Bow of Destiny book trailer

Photo used in The Bow of Destiny book trailer

The Bow of Destiny Indiegogo fundraising campaign start on July 7th in the morning and runs the rest of the month. Please see my News page for details and consider supporting now. The Twitter hashtag is #BowofDestiny. The even is also posted on both my Goodreads and Facebook pages (see below for links).

Share a comment below and also consider following this blog via email for a FREE copy of The Black Bag. I’m on Facebook, Twitter (@ph_Solomon), Pinterest & Google+ (ph@phsolomon.com). Also you can view my Goodreads author page from this link.

 

8 Milestones Met This Week

This week has been one for milestones as a writer – some big and some minor. Here’s a list:

Available at Amazon, Smashwords and All Major E-Book Vendors!

Available at Amazon, Smashwords and All Major E-Book Vendors!

1. Published my first e-book, The Black Bag as a complete DIY project. The book is on the premium catalog on Smashwords and now available on Amazon. I think those are several milestones there.

2. As part of my first DIY project I created my first coverart.

3. Also as part of my DIY project I formatted my first e-book.

4. In preparation for my upcoming crowdfunding campaign for The Bow of Destiny, I created my first video which is still a WIP.

5. As a minor milestone, I passed 1000 tweets.

6. Also another social media milestone will be passing 500 followers on Twitter.

7. I started my Pinterest account this week so I have begun pinning some of my work there like the cover artwork for The Black Bag and the video for The Bow of Destiny.

A picture included in my trailer.

A picture included in my trailer.

8. I’ve also had a milestone with the blog. If you’ve seen my older posts they had no pictures. With my book out and the trailer I am now able to use a few related pictures which improves the quality of my posts.

That’s all for the week. Now I need to get busy organizing my crowd-funding campaign and completing my current revision – not mention submitting some short stories.

What milestones, goals or accomplishments have you had this week? Share a comment below and also consider following this blog via email for a FREE copy of The Black Bag. I’m on Facebook, Twitter (@ph_Solomon), Pinterest & Google+ (ph@phsolomon.com).

Thanks for reading,

PHS