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Wed Jun 1, 2022, 03:17 PM

Asking for advice.

As a mystery writer wannabe - I have completed two manuscripts and have a story concept for a third novel in a series - I am really struggling with the whole butt-in-chair routine given my sense of despair and loss of bearings in the midst of our current political, social, physical and environmental states if chaos. Since itís not how I make a living this is not an urgent problem for me, but if there was a way for me to find my way back to focusing on something positive - like good, old fashioned murder, mayhem, truth and justice - my waking hours would be much better spent than with my current pattern of worrying and doomscrolling. So please weigh in on how youíre managing to cope and stay creative and productive in the midst of so much overall misery and uncertainty.

For Moi, recreational writing is a lot cheaper than knitting.

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Reply Asking for advice. (Original post)
Mme. Defarge Jun 2022 OP
leftieNanner Jun 2022 #1
Binkie The Clown Jun 2022 #2
usonian Jun 2022 #3
hermetic Jun 2022 #4
PoindexterOglethorpe Jun 2022 #5

Response to Mme. Defarge (Original post)

Wed Jun 1, 2022, 03:37 PM

1. I'm also a writer - Fantasy/YA

And have had some challenges keeping my good writing habits moving forward. It's so much easier to go on DU!!

So I have set aside an hour or two every morning, after the coffee is made, to write. The goal is 1,000 - 1,500 words per day, or a good solid session of editing. Getting hooked back into my story helps me to get my mind off politics etc.

Then I make sure I get outside to walk my dog and work in the garden. I'm retired, so my schedule is very flexible.

And then I probably do get back on DU! Like now.

Good luck.

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Response to Mme. Defarge (Original post)

Wed Jun 1, 2022, 04:11 PM

2. About 30 years ago I wrote two novels. Both SciFi.

The first got a speedy form letter rejection. The second got a letter from the editor complimenting parts of the book, and listing specific things I should work on improving before submitting it again.

I should have jumped at that opportunity, but instead, day-to-day life problems, and a messy divorce got in the way and I never followed up on the corrections, and never resubmitted the ms. The real pity is that I had a casual friend who was a successful published SciFi author, with several novels to his credit, and he offered to help me with it.

Looking back on it, it remains one of my deepest regrets. "I coulda been a contender." But I let is slip by me.

Don't make that mistake. The hard work it takes to finish a novel only last a little while. The regret for not finishing that novel lasts forever.

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Response to Mme. Defarge (Original post)

Wed Jun 1, 2022, 04:32 PM

3. I am not a writer (IANAW) but

My two top hobbies are photography and piano.

Right now, flowers are blooming and birds are posing in the nearby trees, so that takes a lot of my time.

I need to spend more time with the (musical) keyboard.

Those fill any time not spent on DU (trying to be a positive influence) and (ugh) chores.

My best writing here: (shameless plug!)

My comprehensive GOTV page,

My Ukraine Relief page,

I am working on a series (here) entitled "Every accusation is a confession" but the list keeps getting longer faster than I can list the topics.
Inspired by the writing lessons in "A River Runs Through It", I need to be really concise.

Probably all off-topic, but good luck with the venture.

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Response to Mme. Defarge (Original post)

Fri Jun 3, 2022, 05:08 PM

4. Hi, Thanks for posting here.

There are some really smart and experienced people here and I hope you can find some inspiration. I am not really a writer myself so much as I've long been an editor and a most avid reader. But I did come across an article not long ago that might inspire you. "Salvation by Words," Iris Murdoch on language as a vehicle of truth and art as a force of resistance to tyranny.

I can certainly relate, though, to what you are going through. It surely does feel like all hope is lost sometimes. But I also believe that we need writers to keep writing about the good things we need to aspire to. This is why I try to only read books now that have positive outcomes. Do stop by every week for a look at the What Are You Reading This Week thread for suggestions from me and others.

Also, there is a Writer's forum here that I would suggest you repost your question there. You might get more feedback.

I wish you the best. If you have any questions, don't hesitate to ask. We're all in this together, after all.

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Response to Mme. Defarge (Original post)

Sat Jun 4, 2022, 11:29 PM

5. I am an occasionally published science fiction writer.

I have also edited an anthology, which was giant fun.

My first question to you is, Do you want to be published? If so, there are lots of ways to move forward. One is to attend writers conferences. For several years I attended the Pikes Peak Writers Conference https://pikespeakwritersconference.com/ and liked it a lot. Depending on where you live, there are many others.

Then there are writing workshops. I'm familiar with a number of science fiction ones, but I wouldn't be surprised if there aren't mystery writing workshops. Or even general fiction writing workshops, or a fiction writing class at a local university or community college.

Yesterday I wrote a story for the first time in several years, somewhat to my surprise. The opening line just came to me, and I wrote the first two paragraphs. Then went back to watching something on Netflix. A bit more came to me, so I wrote that. Resumed watching Netflix. Then the rest of it came and I finished the story. It's just 500 words, so essentially flash fiction, quite different from any kind of a novel.

A decade or so ago, attending a science fiction novel writing workshop, I learned to my chagrin that I really, really, cannot write a novel. I'm best at very short stories. So I will stick to them.

And this recent experience with a new story is making me think I need to get back to writing and submitting. Fortunately, as a science fiction writer, there are LOTS of markets for short stories. And I also have no need to earn a living from my writing. Which actually gives me a lot of freedom to write what I want, and that's good.

And as someone who has crocheted, you are absolutely right. Writing is vastly cheaper than knitting. Or even embroidering, which I also do.

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