The Struggle to Succeed

For today’s Themed Thursday, the Tuesdays talk about their biggest shortcomings when it comes to writing.

Cathy Castelli

Cathy: It takes me too long to write a book. I write every day, and I think I should get further than I do, but I think I average ten pages a week. Right now I’m doing a complete re-write of a novel I’ve already re-written at least three times. I’m excited about it, but it’s not going as fast as I would like.

Faran Fagan

Faran: My biggest shortcoming when it comes to writing is probably consistency with plotting. Sometimes, I get so caught up in a scene or a pivotal moment, I lose track of a scene from the past so it doesn’t gel or make sense. Usually it’s something small, like the thud of a wood bat becomes the ping of an aluminum bat, or someone’s cast is on the right arm instead of the left. I’ve gotten much more adept in my writing and catch these now in revision, but every once in a while I miss one and my critique buds call me on it. (Thank god for the Tuesdays!)

Melody Maysonet

Melody: My biggest shortcoming as a writer is my tendency to literally spend hours trying to fix a few pages only to discover later that they can’t be fixed the way I want because there’s something wrong with the plot or the character motivation. Doing the same thing over and over again, but expecting different results—Didn’t Albert Einstein say that’s the definition of insanity?

Stacie Ramey

Stacie: The hardest part of writing for me is plot. I always know the characters, know the situation, and even where I want it to go, but I’m not always great at getting them there. Everything in a story is interwoven and plot informs voice informs word choice informs character development. Choosing a strong external arc helps plot fall into place, but I’ve read beautiful stories that don’t rely on that kind of structural support. So I will continue to study how they do it and hope that one day it all comes easy to me. Or at least hope to make it look that way.

Joanne Butcher

Joanne: I allow too many outside things to interfere with my writing time. This probably stems from the fact that I think that my writing isn’t good enough so I allow things that I feel are more important to take precedence. I need to commit to the butt in chair for writing philosophy.

Jonathan Rosen

Jonathan: As painful as it is to admit, we all have shortcomings as writers. Mine is that I sometimes procrastinate too much or get distracted. I’ll dive into a project, but then get sidetracked with other projects or overthink the first one I’m on. I’ll start thinking about different ways I want the plot to go, and instead of forging through and getting it on paper, I’ll keep thinking about how I want the story to go and it just sits there for a while. Not sure I’ll change that much, but I do need to get quicker in some projects.

What’s your biggest shortcoming when it comes to doing the thing you love? We’d love to hear from you.

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