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16

There is a wonderful book by Dorothea Brande called Becoming A Writer, published in 1934, but still widely read today and often cited. In it Brande talks about developing two selves for the writer, a split personality, with one self being a creative, sensitive and artistic person and the other being a detail-obsessed sharp minded editor. The two ...


12

In college I had a writing professor who was a published novelist, mother, and had worked in web design while getting her Masters of Fine Arts and writing. She told a story of another novelist who did most of her "writing" while doing chores. This novelist had a great memory and would come up with the next stage of her plot while folding laundry, on walks, ...


11

I suffer from this all the time. My wife says I always write better to a deadline, but I struggle to figure out how to set deadlines and stick them. Some ideas I've been thinking about: Get someone you know to set a deadline for you, and behave as if you're writing for them. Find writing competitions on-line and write towards meeting that deadline. You may ...


11

Probably by making it useful for you again. If you say that it helps you think, then make it easier for you to write by hand and let the results reward/condition you to write more often by hand. Thus, if you are asking for specific tips for writing with pen and paper, you might find the following aspects useful (mostly paraphrased from my blog/a book I'm ...


10

When I'm on a roll writing, I always make sure I stop before the roll ends. In other words, if my "writing time" is almost up, and I have a great idea and I know what I want to say, I will often stop before I'm done, take a few notes on how I want to complete the idea, then stop for the day. While on one hand it may be stupid to ignore the flow, this ...


10

Well, even without studying some dubious horoscopic sciences as feng shui, everybody at least feels that having your own work place for each kind of work you're doing is a significant efficiency boost. I think undisturbable place to write is not an option — it is a precondition. Once you have it, you can begin to write and at least be sure that you'll finish ...


9

Check out Overcoming Writer's Block. It's hard as hell, but you have to push past it and keep writing. You've got be prepared to let your first draft suck. Finish it, and then edit it. Maybe leave yourself little notes as you work through it: "This sucks, but I'll fix it in the redraft", and keep going. Whatever you do, keep going.


9

Let me get this straight. Your "schedule" is: Coming home Cuddling dog Write 600 words Give in Surfing for hours You want more time for reading? Cut your internet connection! I mean it. You also get more time for writing. When you sit down for writing, unplug your internet connection. Make it a big hassle for yourself plugging it in again. Like hiding ...


7

You mentioned that you have felt most like writing when you were in a library surrounded by books. So go to the library to write! I know a couple of folks who do just that, and they have been extremely productive. They also are inspired by being surrounded by books, and they find that it is much easier to get a lot done without any distractions, which is ...


6

I don't always plan ahead a lot in my writing, but I've taken to adding something at the end of my word document to let me know where I'm heading. It might be plot, it might be an emotion or a line of dialogue I don't want to forget but I'm not ready to include yet. One might call it an outline, but it's very rough. I don't always end up using everything ...


6

"Just write" is the first part of your answer. You have to kick your personal editor out of your head while writing. He is silencing your voice of creativity, so silence him! You need him after you have written everything down, not before and not while you are writing. The second part is: find other critics. Not your friends, not your family. People who ...


6

Your problem is not making time for reading. You have two other problems: You're giving up too quickly on writing. You surf too much. First, as John Smithers wisely says, disconnect your internet connection. The web will still be here when you come back, I promise. Second, you say "I'm never more inspired to write than when I read." So: pick a book ...


5

Tell your friends, family, spouse that you will finish your novel in October, 15th (or whatever). Or tell it only your first draft readers. They will expect your work to be finished then. They will nag. You have a deadline.


5

To give a more philosophical point of view, your opinion of your own work as a whole really doesn't matter. Finding out what you're doing relatively better and worse is important, as is having some way of knowing whether you're improving or not. Write, and let other people decide how good it is.


5

Have you ever looked back over your old writing? With a positive look? I caught myself going "This is a great turn of phrase" in some old email and then realized that email was mine! So... go back over your previous stuff and try to find the good bits. Don't dwell too much on the bad bits (you won't, very likely, be able to totally ignore it, natch). ...


5

All the other answers are good and practical, but in a way they might be missing the most critical (pardon the pun) part. Writing is a very personal thing that exposes aspects of who you are (and of who you think you are - which may be quite different.) One approach to this might be to do some journaling. Ask yourself questions like the following ones and ...


4

I like to keep away from my usual computer, as well as away from the games or other such distractions. Usually I also have a cup of coffee to drink and either music or a DVD to fill in as white noise. The upshot is that the whole mess is portable if I need to move. Lack of distractions is also key for me, or at least distractions I can filter out, so if my ...


4

First of all: There is an entire spectrum between telling a disembodied story and painting every little piece of unnecessary detail. Both writers and readers have their preferences with regards to this. This is why different authors' styles appeal to different types of readers. The more you describe, the more you restrict the reader's imagination; the less ...


3

I try to describe something or someone the first time we meet them, so the reader has something to hold onto, and I do it from the POV of whatever character is in focus at the moment. So let's say we open with a squabble between a married couple over getting the kids to all their activities over the weekend. Mary says she's going to bed; Jane says she still ...


3

Sometimes the best advice for writing is: do more research. That might mean reading more books, interviewing more people, taking more classes, or engaging with different points of view. Debate. Argue (in writing) the big points and the little points. The hallmark of good writing (fiction or non-fiction) is clarity. Clarity comes from knowing your subject; ...


3

Unlike writing, reading time is something that you can sneak into the rest of your day. All you really need is a book and a bit of free time. If you can sneak in four fifteen minute reading sessions a day, you've got an hour of reading done and seven hours of reading a week. If you are a reasonably fast reader, that is easily a novel a week. You can bring a ...


2

I like my computer, a notepad, a pencil and something to fiddle with (usually my magnetic ball, a compass (which is now facing west because the magnet stuffed it up) or a toy car :D ) Basically paper for ideas, computer for writing, and something to do while im thinking (that isn't too distractive)


2

I was wondering about this a couple of weeks ago. I am bogged down in a story and self-doubt was overwhelming me. How terrible the story was, how boring it was in places, &etc. I think most of us know the drill. I got the idea to write down the snarkiest possible review of the story. Absolutely vicious and truthful. Just doing that helped, but a little ...


2

I'm also working on a weekly publication, and struggle with a lot of the same feelings. I think that rather than trying to address the problem head-on, what has worked for me is to have a fairly strict but reasonable writing schedule that I stick to every day. Following the Seinfeld productivity method, I got myself a giant year calendar and mark the ...


2

No interruptions: No phone Door can be locked Sign on door: Disturb at your own peril.


2

I think the key is in what you wrote: I grab the details necessary to understand the scene and forget the rest. I'll fill in the blanks anyway, so it doesn't matter if there are a few more. Focus on descriptions in whose absence the scene wouldn't work. The color of the princess's dress (to use your example) doesn't make any difference; but whether ...


2

I'm sure what's keeping you from writing is your question of 'How'. It's exactly like insomnia caused by worrying about not being able to fall asleep. I know, I've seen that. No, you don't need good pen and paper, not the least, good things to write about. Keep just about any usable article handy at all times; write on any surface around you. ...


2

I would suggest that you discover your personal writing quirks. I will try to illustrate this with my own experience. Since high school, I had developed this habit to put aside a notebook (maybe an extra one left over from the school-work books) or a diary (maybe some complimentary office gift given to my parents) and use it to record my thoughts. It was a ...


2

For communicating with others, as you mentioned in your comment, you should continue to use digital. It isn't fair to everyone else that they should have to suffer through your handwriting (assuming it is as bad as mine) just because you decided to abandon digital. I went through a similar situation recently myself. I found myself struggling to complete my ...


2

You're suffering from impacted arborvision: you have so much pressure on you that you can no longer see the forest for the trees. Get an editor. Ask someone else to look at your work. Let a fresh pair of eyes judge how and where you need to cut or expand.



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