Computer, thy name is Satan

Because that novel isn't going to delay itself
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Nick
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Computer, thy name is Satan

Post by Nick » February 10th, 2010, 8:29 pm

Seriously. I started at about 4:45, churned out 3 solid pages pretty quickly, ditsed around a bit and churned out most of a 4th page (there's space for the beginning of a paragraph, a small para, or a line or two of dialogue) by 7:20. I've spent the past hour doing random things on Facebook, listening to Simon & Garfunkel, and playing Mega Man 2. Okay, I've done some other things, too, but those are the only ones I've done on the computer, and the computer ones have eaten up most of my time.

Anyone else run into issues with the computer or am I just an idiot who runs off in the direction of the first shiny thing he sees?

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taylormillgirl
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Re: Computer, thy name is Satan

Post by taylormillgirl » February 10th, 2010, 9:10 pm

I just spent an hour on the fail blog, but I consider that time well spent!
Author of hot & humorous romances, debut novel coming in 2012 from Sourcebooks!
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JustineDell
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Re: Computer, thy name is Satan

Post by JustineDell » February 10th, 2010, 10:14 pm

It's sad that the same thing I need to use to write with is the same thing that sucks up my time! Sure, it all starts out innocent enough. I fire up the laptop - take my normal spot on my favorite chair, plug in the flashdrive and away I go. I read the last few pages I wrote, getting my head back in the game. Type a little (or sometimes a lot if I really get into it) than the cat jumps on the keyboard. Cursing, I fix the typos she created or the whole page she deleted and try to refocus my thoughts.

Hmmm, when was the last time I checked in with my group members? 2 hours? I need to check in again.
When was the last time I updated my blog? (Or looked at those I follow?) Couple hours? I need to check again.
When was the last time I checked my email? *GASP* It's been an hour? Too long! Time to check again.
Facebook? Check
Twitter? Check
The site I can't stay away from no matter how hard I try and check like every 1/2 hour: Nathan's Forum. I'm there!!

Um, I think I have a problem. The very thing that I use, keeps me from my wip. Grrrr....if only I could write by hand. Maybe that would solve my problems? Doubt it. Then I would just doodle or even worse, talk to myself.

Good thing I love a challenge. Even better that I love to write!

Here's the thing. Even with all these distractions (which I LOVE btw and wouldn't really want to change) don't keep me from my wip in a bad way. Sure, they may slow me down - but when I get the itch, the creative push at my fingertips, I'm unstoppable. Nothing could pull me away when I'm really on a roll. Not the dog barking to go out. Not the daughter screaming when that cat took off with her favorite toy horse. Not even the numbness that has crept up my legs from sitting in the same position for the last two hours.

True be told - I like the distractions. Otherwise, I'd be crazy.

~JD

http://www.justine-dell.blogspot.com/

"Three things in life that, once gone, never return; Time, Words, & Opportunity"

Krista G.
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Re: Computer, thy name is Satan

Post by Krista G. » February 10th, 2010, 11:41 pm

Nick wrote:Anyone else run into issues with the computer or am I just an idiot who runs off in the direction of the first shiny thing he sees?
Nope, Nick, you're not the only idiot. The simple fact that I am reading your post - and now commenting on it - means you're not alone:)
Author of THE REGENERATED MAN (G.P. Putnam's Sons Books for Young Readers, Winter 2015)
Represented by Kate Schafer Testerman of kt literary
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Jaime
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Re: Computer, thy name is Satan

Post by Jaime » February 11th, 2010, 12:26 am

Haha, Krista G., you make me laugh. Nathan's blog/forums would have to be my ultimate time sucker! But as I write, I also have my email and facebook page open. And then if I see that someone has talked about something interesting regarding another blog or agent, I go and look at that page and get sidetracked by researching books/agents . . . yeah. It gets messy. But it's research, right? It's like I'm actually working, right? RIGHT?

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christi
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Re: Computer, thy name is Satan

Post by christi » February 11th, 2010, 9:27 am

I am on the forums probably way more than I should be and blogging as well. I go 'well, I really should read that manuscript ONE more time to make sure it's as clean as possible' then procrastinate with 'then again, no one's asked for it, so what's the rush?' then find something shiny to focus on instead.
Would you sign my story for a Klondike bar?

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Brian_H
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Re: Computer, thy name is Satan

Post by Brian_H » February 11th, 2010, 2:51 pm

I too spend far too many hours hunched in front of my monitor playing video games or finding similar ways to squander my precious free time away. Lately, I've been picking apart query letters in a poor attempt to distract myself from the pitiful truth that I am too frightened to submit my own :). Nevertheless, there are those rare nights when nothing in the world can distract me from my quest to write the perfect novel; where everything else fades away into white noise.

Those nights are when I'm at my best, so I rationalize and make excuses for all those other nights in order to hide the fact that most of the time I'm a hopeless procrastinator. Usually, the empty logic placates my inner critic. If it will help you, I will happily share my top five lame excuses with you.

1. I want my writing to be focused and concise. If I'm having trouble focusing on my story because Diablo 2 is calling to me, I should immediately stop writing and do something else (like play Diablo 2). --Note: It used to be World of Warcraft, but that game took more of my life than my free time.

2. I cannot write well amidst distraction, so when I feel distracted by something I need to address it right away and make it a priority until it's behind me and I can get back to serious writing. I use this one a lot.

3. [Blank] is my inspiration. -plug in anything you want here (i.e. real life, fantasy, horror, romance, etc.); the beauty of the internet is that everything is accessible to you. By surfing the net and interacting with [blank], I am doing research for my book, and opening up to new ideas for expanding my plot.

4. I can return to my writing whenever I want to. I own the computer, it doesn't own me. If this one rings hollow for you, you're not alone.

5. My aimless wondering is what brought me to Nathan's website, where I met all these new, helpful, friendly people, who all share my passion for writing. How can something as good as that , come from something bad? My logic is undeniable, right?

I hope these helped. You shouldn't feel bad about bouncing back and forth from your writing. If you force it, it will sound forced. Your best writing should be fun, not work. Like how I snuck in another two goodies in my closing? Trust me, when your creative juices are flowing, you'll have no trouble putting 'ink on paper' for hours at a time. I have to go, someone just beat my high score at http://www.pinballforidiotswhithnothingbettertodo.com

Brian H
It always seems impossible until it's done.

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christi
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Re: Computer, thy name is Satan

Post by christi » February 11th, 2010, 3:04 pm

LOL. I actually clicked on that link when I was all 'no way that is a real site.'
Would you sign my story for a Klondike bar?

http://christigoddard.blogspot.com/

Nick
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Re: Computer, thy name is Satan

Post by Nick » February 11th, 2010, 3:04 pm

I've just discovered another way my computer distracts me:

By doing research.

I'm setting my story in a fictional city. I'm basing said city on my knowledge of cities I've been to, but it's not really sufficient info. So while I can use my imagination to fill in information to a point, I've been talking to friends who live in aforementioned cities (I'm sure you can see how this one falls apart) and I've been using WikiTravel. WikiTravel is like cocaine. Start out just looking up a district of a city...or a landmark...or something just for pictures or information or something, and next thing I know I'm playing Where In the World is Carmen Sandiego, so to speak.

Oh, and with WikiSource as well. I've had the Aeneid open all day (which I haven't read in years) and just rediscovered the tab a few minutes ago. Why should I be writing about my lowly Detective-Investigator when I can read about Aeneas, despite the fact that I know the whole story by heart?

*sigh* Technology, she be a double-edged sword. Oh well. I did manage to finish that chapter this morning, and I may or may not get more done this evening. Right now my brain's kind of in cooldown from churning through what I started last night. The middle is going to need some definite reworking -- the dialogue feels a bit stilted to me -- but the rest of it works quite well I think, particularly the last few paragraphs. Main character is turning out to be a little not-so-likable. This will probably stay the same for the first few chapters, but hopefully I can find ways of making him come across like less of an asshole without having to modify him too severely. Shouldn't be too hard, really, as the asshole traits are traits that will make him a good cop once I get to the actual policing.

And yes this thread is pretty much becoming a place for me to bemoan about my writing woes. Feel free to join in with your own. Misery loves company, as they say.

Also, I am so clicking that link. It better not be fake, Brian. CURSES! FOILED AGAIN!

Edit:

Also, this is a great way to procrastinate: http://armorgames.com/play/133/bowman

And as I you can tell I use "and" and "also" to divide thoughts in messages a lot. It's kind of hilarious to go through my chain of Facebook messages. Every other sentence begins with "and" "also" etc.

Elizabeth Poole
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Re: Computer, thy name is Satan

Post by Elizabeth Poole » February 11th, 2010, 11:26 pm

CURSE YOU, SHINY FORUM OF WONDER!!!!!

I was doing so well with my editing too (I wasn’t really). *sigh*

Brian, I have another excuse for you: Helping other people edit their queries and partials is also helping yourself get better at editing! How’s that for you? I love helping other people, in a way that may or may not be co-dependant, AND I get to hone my editing skills! Exactly what I need to work on right now, huzzah!

And Nick, I know your pain. Researching the city that my book is set in, yet I have never visited, is an obsession of mine, and once I get Googlemaps out, it gets ugly.

I am not one of those people who feels like I have to wait for the magical faerie dust of inspiration to hit me, but I do prefer to be “in the mood” as it were, to write. It helps that my desktop is not connected to the Internet, and that is where I do my writing, but if I sit down at my laptop for just one minute…I am in this forum, working on my blog, and reading How to Write articles.

But I am really frustrated right now because I am in that awful in-between stage of writing. I am no longer a beginner (at least, in the most basic stage of beginning, I still have a lot to learn), but when I read books about writing, or read blogs, or do other things to strengthen my skills as a writer, I feel like I need something…more. Again, it’s not that I am so brilliant that my skills have surpassed the likes of the Internet, but most of the information out there is very basic stuff. Once you get the basics down, you’re left floundering in the sea of Intermediate, neither good enough to be worrying about contemplating the symbolism of Tom Swift’s toe lint, nor green enough to find “How to Create a Character” particularly useful. I still read about those things of course, because I think it’s a good idea to experiment and see what works for other people.

I read a lot of books, in general and about writing, so I have that base covered. I write a lot, every day, and work on editing my old work, as well a put the majority of my efforts towards editing my novel (the first one actually good enough to consider it for publication). I read a lot of agent blogs, and writer blogs, and write in my own blog, so I am familiar with the guidelines once I am ready to start querying.

I guess I just need to keep plugging away…I just feel like I have reached a learning plateau until I finish my editing, and can start editing another book. I don’t like learning plateaus. *pouts* I like feeling like I am learning as I go (which of course I am as I edit, just not in the same way).

So…yes. The forums are very shiny. I am very happy to have found a bunch of writers who are roughly at the same stage I am. The other forums I have been to were 90% very green beginners, and it was a little difficult for me to get feedback (not that I don’t love/appreciate/respect/make cookies for newbies, either, I was one once myself, and still am compared to the published authors/unpublished authors with a hundred rejections hanging in their studies like trophies).

Here’s to Nick for starting a thread where we can be all artsy and bemoan the trials of being writers! Oh the agony! Oh the tortured existential horror of it all! *swoons*
Proud owner of a Plot Wolverine

http://writerelizabethpoole.blogspot.com/

Nick
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Re: Computer, thy name is Satan

Post by Nick » February 12th, 2010, 7:19 am

Elizabeth Poole wrote: And Nick, I know your pain. Researching the city that my book is set in, yet I have never visited, is an obsession of mine, and once I get Googlemaps out, it gets ugly.
Like I said, cocaine. WikiTravel is even worse than Google Maps/Earth for me. I start clicking through everything. And I almost called a bar in Hong Kong last night because it sounded interesting. Only thing that stopped me was I couldn't find my phone. I lose that thing way more often than I should.
I am not one of those people who feels like I have to wait for the magical faerie dust of inspiration to hit me, but I do prefer to be “in the mood” as it were, to write.
Personally, I'm only ever "in the mood" if some degree of inspiration has struck. Can be just one sentence, but I need that inspiration springboard and I can roll from there.
It helps that my desktop is not connected to the Internet, and that is where I do my writing, but if I sit down at my laptop for just one minute…I am in this forum, working on my blog, and reading How to Write articles.
I'm doing all my writing on my laptop because the main desktop is in my mom's room, and whereas before it was the family computer, now that I have my laptop I pretty much never have access to it unless she kersplodes our router again. Used to have an old desktop in the basement that I did all my writing on, but that was back when I did audio drama and things, so that's most of what was on there. Cat toppled the monitor, so now I just have the modem/base/majig. Kind of want to see if my grandparents will give me their old, old, old computer terminal. Still wish I could write on my typewriter, but that's a no-go for a first publication, at the very least.
I like feeling like I am learning as I go (which of course I am as I edit, just not in the same way).
I always learn as I go. Never have a plan, really. Just throw it in first and punch it.

I'm putting off writing right now, actually. But I just woke up 23 minutes ago and still haven't used the bathroom or eaten breakfast, so writing isn't exactly high on my priority list. It probably should be.

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NHWriter
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Re: Computer, thy name is Satan

Post by NHWriter » February 12th, 2010, 10:35 pm

When I'm writing, I turn off the computer's wireless modem. As soon as that thing comes on, I'm done for a couple hours at least. So it stays off until I'm done writing.

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Re: Computer, thy name is Satan

Post by ShelleyK » February 15th, 2010, 10:59 pm

My reasons I think think that is because I was 24,000 words into my YA novel, a week since I backed up on my external harddrive and I get the windows black screen of death, requiring that I reformat my harddrive. SO an entire week or work lost.

The good news is that the week of work that I had to recreate ended up going in a different direction than the original, and I like this direction better.

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marilyn peake
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Re: Computer, thy name is Satan

Post by marilyn peake » February 16th, 2010, 2:18 am

Oh, The Shiny Internet! Sigh. I’m trying to work on this as well. Chatting and posting online actually wakes me up, gets my mind going when I’m tired, and perhaps the best excuse of all: allows me to practice writing (grammar, sentence structure, stuff like that). Problem is that I end up going back again and again ... and again ... to interesting online writers' chats when I should be working on my novel. Today, I did much better. I spent hours working on the outline for a revised version of my science fiction novel early in the day, actually reached a point where approximately ¼ of the outline is complete, and THEN chatted in these Forums. :)
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.

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