Unreasonable Expectations

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casnow
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Unreasonable Expectations

Post by casnow » February 7th, 2010, 10:34 am

I'm an impatient guy... I expect things to get done hasta pronto, and I'm always looking to start the next project (very good with respect to my deadline driven job) - unfortunately, I've been projecting that on my writing as well. Which is making me crazy!

At the moment I'm working on two novels, and editing a third, and my impatient brains says, "Arghh!!! These should be going so much faster."

I was wondering if anyone else gets this feeling? I know that I should be realistic, but it just seems so unnatural

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christi
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Re: Unreasonable Expectations

Post by christi » February 7th, 2010, 10:38 am

I'm terrible at waiting, and that's what I've been doing a lot of lately for various reasons. Much of what I have going on is in a state of limbo. This is both a curse and a blessing since it makes me rethink what projects I'm working on, but with too much time to focus on them, I'm afraid I'll work them to death. I like immediacy, too, which is why my email is always open to alert me if someone wants a writing sample. Quite compulsively, I check every few minutes.
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THB
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Re: Unreasonable Expectations

Post by THB » February 7th, 2010, 11:33 am

Casnow, to borrow from a former president: I feel your pain.

Anyone who knows me knows that one of my worst flaws is my pervasive, consistent impatience. It's present in all parts of my life. A wiser person than I might have structured her life accordingly, but me? I decided to become a mother and a writer. Go figure.

I have four basic, personal, first-draft-oriented writing rules handwritten on a sticky on my desk lamp to focus me when the pace of writing a literary novel while parenting two young kids makes me want to bash my head into the desk. (First draft is nearly three years ongoing, and counting.) Rule number two is "Be patient." Weird as it sounds, it actually helps me to look at those two words and be reminded that if I can overpower this particularly unhelpful quality of mine, I might actually be able to get this book written. But if I give in to the impatience: well, I might as well pack in the whole endeavor now.

I don't know if some similar kind of reminder would help you. I think everyone has to find his or her own method of stuffing his or her particular destructive forces into boxes and under the bed where they belong. But no, you're not alone. Being an impatient writer is really, really hard.

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Jaime
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Re: Unreasonable Expectations

Post by Jaime » February 7th, 2010, 5:04 pm

In the words of a Joss Whedon character (Anya, from Buffy): "I was being patient, but it was taking too long!"

This sums up my personality beautifully! :)

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Scott
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Re: Unreasonable Expectations

Post by Scott » February 7th, 2010, 5:15 pm

There is great reward in patience. The worst feeling in the world is having a rushed project sent out to discriminating eyes. But it can be difficult. I try and focus on what I'm leaving behind, not what I've got to do.

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JustineDell
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Re: Unreasonable Expectations

Post by JustineDell » February 7th, 2010, 5:29 pm

Instant gratification...that pretty much describes me. And yes, it's a problem. I wish I was faster at writing/editing. I find it hard to write one wip and then try to edit one that's complete. Oh...but I want to in order to hurry up the process.

I need to learn patience, and I'm sure I will once I start querying. That will be the testing point for me. ;-)

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Lorelei Armstrong
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Re: Unreasonable Expectations

Post by Lorelei Armstrong » February 7th, 2010, 5:34 pm

I have the opposite. If the writing goes too fast, I worry I'm missing things, not paying attention to voice and the logic of the story or finding the best solution. And guess what? I'm right!

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marilyn peake
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Re: Unreasonable Expectations

Post by marilyn peake » February 8th, 2010, 4:21 pm

I’m just now dealing with that same issue. For the past eight years, I’ve written novels, short stories and articles, and also compiled and edited anthologies and promoted my books like crazy, always pushing hard on one project after another. Now I feel a need to slow down a bit and spend however much time it takes to edit my latest book, a science fiction novel, and to finish writing a YA steampunk novel. I needed to slow down, walk away from my computer and do other things (including exercise!) to refresh my mind. It seems to have worked – I’m beginning to feel re-energized and ready to dive into editing one novel while writing another.
Marilyn Peake

Novels: THE FISHERMAN’S SON TRILOGY and GODS IN THE MACHINE. Numerous short stories. Contributor to BOOK: THE SEQUEL. Editor of several additional books. Awards include Silver Award, 2007 ForeWord Magazine Book of the Year Awards.

Kaitlyne
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Re: Unreasonable Expectations

Post by Kaitlyne » February 8th, 2010, 11:14 pm

I'm ridiculously patient, so I don't have this problem. My unrealistic expectations more likely come in the form of expecting to be published haha. Though that doesn't stop me from expecting it, darn it!

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Re: Unreasonable Expectations

Post by RLS » February 9th, 2010, 6:01 pm

Jaime wrote:In the words of a Joss Whedon character (Anya, from Buffy): "I was being patient, but it was taking too long!"

This sums up my personality beautifully! :)
Or Carrie Fisher in Postcards From the Edge
Immediate gratification takes too long.

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ryanznock
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Re: Unreasonable Expectations

Post by ryanznock » February 15th, 2010, 5:20 pm

When my life is going well, I'm patient, even slow in my writing. Last year I was working on a romance novel inspired by some conversations I'd had with my girlfriend. Pirates, time traveling Nazis; y'know, the usual. I started in fall of 2008, got about half way done by the fall of 2009.

Then she broke up with me.

I suddenly had the motivations of wanting to be in control of something, and wanting to finish the story before anything like resentment made it a waste. I wrote the second half of the novel in three months. I helped that I got serious about 'being done with it,' so I wouldn't oblige myself to dick around on the internet or play video games. I even skipped a holiday party with friends because I was in the groove one night.

Now that I'm done with the novel, I'm back to patient, slow, steady, tortoise-like as I make sure I'm in a good position to pitch it. I guess you write as fast as you need to write.

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Simpatico
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Re: Unreasonable Expectations

Post by Simpatico » February 17th, 2010, 1:03 am

I'm an impatient person myself, but oddly enough, not when it comes to my story.

While I do sometimes get frustrated at my own particular pace, I worry more that I do the story justice. I want it to be enjoyed, loved, passed around and talked about. So, I've resigned myself to the mindset that it's going to take however long it takes to get it right.

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shadow
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Re: Unreasonable Expectations

Post by shadow » February 17th, 2010, 2:26 pm

I am also ver impatient but I am working on one novel because if I switch I will lose the scitment you know?
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