Monday, March 11, 2013

Never Alone (March Madness Check-In, Day 11) #WIPmadness


I didn't quite make my goals for this weekend's madness. I'd hoped to have an entire section rewritten. After slashing a good 5K from my manuscript (no joke), I was ready to make repairs. But I got caught on a paragraph and stalled out. Totally.

Those words needed to go. A heart-to-heart with my critique partner helped me realize that they'd been a relic from when I was in a completely different place in my life, and by the end of Friday, I was glad for them to disappear. And once they were cut, I was eager to get to fixing. But Sunday afternoon, I spent an entire hour agonizing over one little part. I made no progress at all. I was trying to be a Good Little Girl and stay off the Internet. (Hah.) So I floundered.

Eventually I gave up and asked my husband. He set down what he was doing and came to help me. I described my troubles. Within five minutes, the problem evaporated.  

So yeah, I'm feeling pretty grateful to both of them right now.

This was a reminder to me that writing may be a solitary act, but that doesn't mean I have to work completely in a vacuum. None of us do. Having someone else to talk things through with (be it best friend, partner, writing group, Twitter community or cat) can really help when we're struggling. Heck, that's one of the awesome things about this month (and even when it's over, with the #WIPmadness group and weekly check-ins), because we have each other. Sometimes, if we're wrestling with a writing problem, all we have to do is seek advice from a like-minded soul who can understand and offer assistance.

Even if the mere act of talking out the problem is all we need to help us realize what we have to do.

So, how's your Madness going? How have others helped you figure things out about your WIP or other goals? If you're struggling with something in your Madness goals right now, would you like to share? Maybe the community will be able to help!

Don't forget to check out Shari Green's blog tomorrow for March Madness, Day 12.

44 comments:

  1. I hear that! I have been blessed this past week to have two offers of help with my synopsis. One has already read my rough draft and given me an excellent kick start. Just the act of sending it to her and going through her comments ignited an epiphany that might help me with both the revision of the synopsis and the WIP itself! So thanks, Angelina!!

    The other friend is swapping with me. I looked at hers, but I'm waiting to rework mine today before I send it.

    You are so right. Just being able to talk about our work can clarify it for us even if our listener does nothing more than listen. So thanks all of you fabulous people for the commiseration, the advice, and most of all, for just listening.

    On with the madness...!

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    1. You are so welcome, Mary Ann. Happy to have been of some assistance. ^_^

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    2. That's fantastic, Mary Ann! I'm glad you've got such great help. (Isn't it fantastic?)

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  2. I couldn't agree with this more, Laura. I do as much as I can alone, but there are certain things that really need talking out, whether in person, over email or whatever.

    And I hear you about cutting words. In my first revision round of my current WIP, I cut two chapters and it hurt so much but was necessary. Now I'm adding more than cutting in a big clean-up round, aiming to hit everything that made my alpha readers go, "Huh?"

    I can't believe I'm still on track to finish revisions by 3/17. You all really motivate me to concentrate and stick with it! On that note, back to the revision cave! *swoosh*

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    1. Wow, keep up the awesome work! It wasn't a painful cut this time around, just a bit surprising. Something I stopped examining because a part of me was convinced it had to be there, until I was told otherwise.

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  3. Great post. I wouldn't have hit my first goal of finishing revisions ahead of time if it hadn't been for a CP helping me with a couple of those evil snippets.

    Now I'm revising a synopsis for my WIP. And I'm right there with you Ghost Girl, epiphanies are happening thanks to helpful suggestions. I suspect I'll be looking for fresh readers for this synopsis before too long.

    Happy Monday all and happy writing.

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  4. Glad I'm not the only one who talks to their cat about their WIP :) Sometimes I just need to ponder out loud to figure out the problem.

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    1. I used to talk to my rat...yes, you read that right. My rat, Ruthie. I miss her!

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  5. My cat has been no help with this current WIP. It's a sweet mess. I'm so glad I have someone to send it to at the end of the month, otherwise I'm not sure I'd know where to go with it.

    It's good to be over being sick, but I'm now battling with exhaustion. I will win, though. I will feel energetic again someday soon. The foot of snow that got dumped over the weekend is rapidly disappearing and temps will be near 70 this week. Yay! In case you didn't know, I am a solar-powered lizard. ^_^

    Carry on Wipsters!

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    1. Glad to hear you're feeling better. That's one of the things I'm still kind of struggling with right now. Ugh. But gradually DH and I are getting better. I totally hear you on the exhaustion. Enjoy the approaching sunshine!

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  6. Still have 6 hours to midnight, but I wrote 1400 words and 18 chapters. So I'm almost 3 days ahead on my writing and very almost a day ahead on my reading.

    Thinking I'll time out and learn some French and Dutch instead tonight. :-)

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    1. Wow, go you, Misha! That's fantastic!

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  7. I love this post and this attitude, Laura! It's true, we're not alone, and if we remember that, our writing lives can be so much less stressful.

    I'm back home, but so busy catching up on emails and stuff that I haven't even opened my WIP since the layover at the airport. Today I am determined! Of course I also have a school visit on Wednesday that I have to prepare for... Sigh.

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    1. One thing about you, Denise... your schedule may be crazy at times but you always manage to get done what needs doing, including your writing. You're a good example of how not to let busy lives be an excuse for why we can't find time to write. :)

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    2. I hope you were able to make progress today, Denise. That's great that you were able to get some work done at the airport. (It's a great source of productive-time, isn't it?)

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  8. Thank goodness for spouses who're okay with idea bouncing. Mine's helped me out of many a tight spot.

    Got a note from my editor that her letter should be ready Friday. That gives me four days to finish revising my WIP and send it off. Then it's on to another set of revisions. The fun never ends!

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    1. Amen to that! I don't know what I'd do without mine. Plus he does the dishes! ;) (okay, I do my fair share of chores, like the laundry, but it's fun to joke.)

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  9. Very true. Those who don't write, just don't 'get it'.

    My family been sick on and off this whole month. So frustrating. I homeschool and it's almost IMPOSSIBLE to get any school work done with husband who walks around, coughing and then asking me for things. And forget writing. Sigh. Then the whole drainage pipe mess. I try to get my writing in later in the day or during the night. Today both son and husband are sick. Not fun.

    Later today hope to finish an ebook novella and post a YABC review. Also going to hit my revision for an hour or so.

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    1. So sorry about the sickies in your household, Kim. I hope everyone's soon well again (and nobody else succumbs).

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    2. Thanks! Lysol's my friend right now!

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    3. Ugh, I'm sorry your family has had to deal with that. Being sick is totally no fun. DH and I are finally starting to recover, but you have my sympathy. This cold has really struck everywhere ... Hope you get the chance to be more productive soon!

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  10. You're oh-so right, Laura! One of the best things blogging did for me was to introduce me to the cyber community of writers. I'm one of those who has to work in solitude, but when I need encouragement or advice there's always someone online willing to provide it, no matter the time of day or night. Of course, I do bounce occasional things off my hubby, too... and our Lab is a good listener even if all he does is tilt his head and wag his tail.

    I've been slow getting started this morning but have a couple hours ahead of me now so am just diving in. Happy Monday, Wipsters!

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    1. I hope it was productive, Carol! Community is wonderful, isn't it? (I say, sitting here in the coffee shop with fellow members of The Other 11 Months, awaiting our turn in the meeting room for a write-in.) :)

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    1. Thanks, Lara! Hope you had a great birthday!

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  12. Right before the new year I got really, really stuck on the ending to my wip. I mean I didn't just hit a brick wall, it fell on top of me. In desperation, I asked my husband (who is an graphic designer, not a writer) to write the ending for me. I swear he looked like I'd served him arsenic. But he said he would. As soon as that pressure was off, as soon as I'd 'delegated' that task to someone else, I found I *could* write the end. I did it that same night. Sometimes, having someone just willing to listen, and say yes, is enough. I think my husband felt like he dodged a bullet that night!

    Today's revision is slow but steady. Good Luck Wipsters!

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    1. Wow, that's one way to handle it. There is something there, though, about taking the pressure off and suddenly being able to work better. That sounds like a great strategy. You go from holding all the things and letting a person take some of your load, and it just works. So much. ^__^

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  13. I wrote plays for a long time before starting to write fiction, and as a playwright you get to spend time in a room with lots of creative people who all have a goal of making your play the best it can be - so when I started writing fiction, I was a little worried about how solitary it would be. But actually, I've found so much more camaraderie in kid lit. I am so grateful for amazing writer friends - mine have been especially awesome of late - one of my principal CP's got back to me this morning on a full that I sent her last night!!! (My husband, on the other hand, is no better than my mom for thinking everything I do is brilliant. So that's sweet, but not all that helpful.)

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    1. I'm glad to hear you've found a writing community that worked well for you. At least you know you have avid supporters. ^__^

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  14. Hello All!

    I first of all would like to apologize for chiming in late this year. I have been down and out with the FLU! The real stuff, the one they tell you to get the vaccination for, but someone was too stubborn to do, and so she and her whole family have been out sick since the very start of March. It hasn't been pleasant, and surprisingly, I am still torn on the whole getting a flu shot next year. See, stubborn. Anyway, I digress. Writing goals....

    As my wonderful writing partner, Chris has stated, we are going to complete a rough draft of a screenplay we are and have been working on for a while. In addition, my personal goals are simple: get caught up on my writing for work, progress through the remaining assignments for a master class I am in on time from this point forward, and in addition to the writing with Chris, get some writing done for me. There are a lot of things I need to work on, and March Madness should be just the kick start I need.

    I agree that while we all seem to write in isolation, we do not and should not do so alone. There are a number of people who we call on, and it is always nice to have the interaction of all of you here.

    I have been absent for a year or so, I sort of fell off the face of the earth into thesis land, but it is GREAT to see many familiar faces. I cant't wait to reconnect with you all.

    Happy Writing!

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    1. Aw, I'm sorry you had to go through it. (Being sick has been a running theme around here. But dang, I do not envy you having to deal with the flu.)

      Welcome back, and great to see you again! Best of luck with the rest of the month!

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    2. *Waves hello to the greatest writing partner ever*

      Hi, Jenn.

      Glad to know you're on the mend. Looking forward to writing with you.

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  15. Thanks for the reminder that help is out there, be they cat or partner. I keep getting stuck on one character, but I've realized I need to go talk to people to get a better sense what might be true for him.

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    1. Help is always out there. We just have to remember to ask. And that can be the hardest part. ;)

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  17. Hey everyone! LS - Your blog post was particularly relevant today. I spent 2.5 hours on the phone with my CP yesterday, telling her the entire story of my WIP from start to finish and even though she's 5 hours ahead, she stayed up with me well past midnight, her time. Going through it all with her helped me hammer out some details that I had merely glossed over in the outline and I feel like it's a much tighter story now. She also got really excited about it, and kept asking things like "But what happens next? Does he die? Do they kiss?" and it was super duper motivating to know that I've been successful in crafting a story that makes people actively want to know these things and inspires someone to stay up an extra hour to find out. Writing is a solitary activity, but it needn't be a lonely one, that's for sure.

    Today, I wrote another 2,000 words and drafted two more chapters for the WIP. So far, I'm ahead of schedule, which is nice.

    Hope everyone had a productive Monday! And if you didn't, there's always tomorrow.

    - M

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    1. Oh, that sounds like fun, Melissa. Yay productivity! Yay support! ^__^ It's all good.

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  18. Hello, everyone. My family's given me the time and space to work on my WIPs. Without the time to actually write, I'd never get things done. There are also the amazing crit partners and fellow writers who offer their time and knowledge and it's a lovely symbiotic relationship. Instant feedback through workshops have helped me tackle my revisions from a new perspective.

    I think communities such as March Madness and the bonds formed are a great support system, too. We're each other's cheer squad and shoulder to cry on, no matter where we are on our writing paths.

    I'm considering joining Camp NaNo next month, even though it's earlier than last year. I'm not sure if one of my WIP revisions will end up a complete redo. Whatever the case, I'll increase my daily word count goals and NaNos usually keep me in line to get that accomplished. I'll be looking for NaNoCrew members, so the daily peer support will continue beyond March Madness. :)

    I know I'm a better writer from the connections I've made in the writing community. We learn from each other and root for each other's success.

    Case in point, DENISE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! WOOT!


    Cheers,

    Tonette

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    1. I'll be doing Camp NaNo too! Yay!

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    2. That's great to hear, Tonette. I don't know if I'll be doing Camp NaNo myself next month, but I guess we'll see what happens. There'll be the write-ins happening, of course, and I'm sure the chatroom will still be there, too. Welcome to the community (all the communities! Yaaay!) and I hope the rest of your month is just as inspiring.

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    3. Melissa, let me know if you're looking for a Cabin Mate. :) I need to brainstorm which one of my ideas I want to do first.

      Laura, thanks, as always. Fingers and toes crossed, I'll get to a write-in, one of these days.

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  19. It's so great being able to bounce ideas and thoughts off a writing buddy! (I did that this morning actually...tea date with a wonderful writer-friend.)

    Making decent progress on the revisions--I've worked through the first 50 pages, making notes and figuring out new pathways into the story. Now to make those changes! That's the goal for the rest of the week, but tonight: critiques for tomorrow's crit group meeting. :)

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    1. Tea with writing friends is the best! Any time of day. There's a kind of cameraderie to be found over a cuppa. ^__^ Glad you're making great progress! Happy critiquing.

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