Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Take A Chance Tuesday - 4th Edition

After another long hiatus, Take A Chance Tuesday returns, and this week's writing challenge is to share one of the hardships from writing so far in 2012. Now before you think "Query Letters" and things that are strictly about getting published, STOP!

What I'm asking you to do instead, is to comment below about an aspect of the craft of writing that you need to improve, but it's hard for you, and no amount of being lectured about why it matters makes you any better at it, and I urge you to be really honest here.

For me, just finishing a story I start is my biggest problem this year especially, but this is an issue that's gotten worse in the last three years especially. Part of that is simply fear on my part. But it's not the only thing holding me back. 

Sometimes, it's just hard to find your next story after your last one doesn't succeed for whatever reason, and when you do find it, it's hard to keep the faith in it when it feels like no one "gets it" and no amount of being told to "analyze books in your genre" will resolve the problem, and possibly even make your inner critic run you into a despair that's hard to fight through.

As much as we writers preach about what we can and can't control, sometimes writers don't always feel  all that "in control" of what we can control, working at our craft. You can tell me how vital plotting and simplicity matter until your blue in the face, there's still a difference between understanding, and acting on that understanding, and for you more pragmatic writers out there, this is a struggle you need to understand, because while you might be spared similar frustration in a certain area, doesn't mean the writer you admire or workshop with can say the same.

So again, share a craft issue you know you have to work on this year, but don't tie it publishing, we can't force people to publish our writing, and not everyone can go the self-publishing route, this is about how to make peace with and find solace to our struggles at honing the craft of writing, sometimes solace in itself, is the solution to moving forward.

Send in your comments by Tuesday, June 5th, 2012.


  1. As I think about this, I realize that I struggle most with getting started. I'm not sure why, and I know that it is not an uncommon problem. Nevertheless, I find it very frustrating. I love all of the thinking and planning and getting ready, but then I don't follow through with the writing. This is something that I have decided to work on. I am going to make myself sit down and write for short periods of time...whether I feel like it or not. Once I begin to write, I know that the writing process will begin and hopefully the words will flow.

    Thanks for asking this question and getting me to think about my problem and seek a solution.
    Wish me luck Taureen!

    1. Thanks for sharing, Audrey. Sometimes we do need to fight through the angst and fear.

      But be careful. White-knuckling your writing too much can cause unexpected, even emotionally fatal, consequences. Just know yourself, if you feel like your head's going to snap off your head, seriously, take a break, even that break's only two or five minutes. I speak from painful hands-on experience there.

  2. I struggle with description. I see things so clearly in my mind that I sometimes forget to put them on paper. I'm (and my beta readers too) always reminding myself that the reader can only see what I show them.

    1. Kelly, as someone who's read some of your writing before, I know you often make up initial lack of details with clean, easy to follow writing, when I was still in our critique group, you often shined in the areas I often got mixed results to, and I think the combo of raising your daughter, along with your past teaching background helps you here in some way.

      I don't have a problem seeing the details in my head, but usually it's knowing when to be detailed and when to dial it back to avoid tedious pacing that's hard for me.

      While you may not always write early drafts in micro, detail-oriented way, you make up for it by giving your trusted readers a clean, simple base to start with.

      I still grapple with that.