NYC Midnight : Creative Writing & Screenwriting Homepage
Forum Home Forum Home > GENERAL DISCUSSION > Creative Writing Corner
  New Posts New Posts RSS Feed - What are you working on?
  FAQ FAQ  Forum Search   Events   Register Register  Login Login

What are you working on?

 Post Reply Post Reply Page  <1 5678>
Author
Message
Corrie View Drop Down
NYC Midnight Addict
NYC Midnight Addict
Avatar

Joined: 20 Aug 2014
Location: Newmarket, ON
Status: Offline
Points: 867
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Corrie Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19 Mar 2015 at 10:01pm
Originally posted by FunnyFreakNotCreepy FunnyFreakNotCreepy wrote:

I just signed up today and it looks like I missed round one.  That sucks.  This is my first time doing this and I am super bummed that I missed the first round.  Have I missed the second round too?  Any help would be appreciated!


I think you signed up for the screenplay challenge...that hasn't started yet, so you're good. The short story comp is underway though.
Here's my 1st Round story: Pleasantview House
Back to Top
plkphoto View Drop Down
NYC Midnight Black Belt
NYC Midnight Black Belt
Avatar

Joined: 14 Jan 2015
Location: AliceSprings OZ
Status: Offline
Points: 2386
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote plkphoto Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19 Mar 2015 at 11:09pm
Originally posted by FunnyFreakNotCreepy FunnyFreakNotCreepy wrote:

I just signed up today and it looks like I missed round one.  That sucks.  This is my first time doing this and I am super bummed that I missed the first round.  Have I missed the second round too?  Any help would be appreciated!

Try the other corner of this world (Screenwriting Bar & Lounge), where people are currently discussing what genres they don't want to get... I think it's still a while before the first round for the screen play challenge. 


Don't worry, NYC Midnight closes entries before the first round starts, so it's impossible to join and miss it! The exact dates/times of each round (starting and ending times as well as results given by) should be in the rules you had to read (or at least say that you read) to enter. You can find them linked on here:


If you haven't yet, I definitely recommend that you read through the entire Official Rules and Participation Agreement, as it often gives you important things like formatting guidelines and file naming procedures, which might disqualify you if you don't follow them.
Back to Top
justmel View Drop Down
NYC Midnight Addict
NYC Midnight Addict
Avatar

Joined: 25 Jan 2015
Location: Wisconsin, USA
Status: Offline
Points: 592
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote justmel Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25 Mar 2015 at 4:17am

A belated and very sincere thanks for the responses to my plea. 

Shari—you totally “get” what I was asking.  Kerry and Jay, not so much, but I appreciate your comments.  The thing is, it’s not about passion, or anyway not a lack of it.  I love to write.  I’ve always loved to write.  I think I’d be better at it if I did it more, but I’ve always known that one day I would be a Writer, capital W.  In my 50s now and realizing time is running out, I take my WIPs (present and future) very seriously.  There is nothing I’d rather do than spend hours and hours writing every single day.

But.

Welcome to the world of the adjunct “professor”:  If I’m not sleeping, in the bathroom, or in the car, I’m working.  Even when I’m not physically at work, I’m either grading stuff, prepping for classes, updating my course delivery page, holding office hours, or emailing students.  (And yes, my husband hates it—but it does pay the bills.)

I love my job.  (I don’t love the pay, but I do love the job—I’ve been doing it for twenty years.)  But I have to be in a “zone” in order to do it well—and from the beginning of a semester to the end, I’m never caught up.  There’s always work waiting to be done, so I can’t shut off the “Work Zone.” 

What I want is to be able to write too.  And I’ve tried.  Really and truly I have. 

This competition was my latest venture into trying.  I paid good money to enter this thing, I told myself.  I’m jolly well going to do my best.  Well, that worked out OK.  I got into Round 2, which was way more than I expected.

But I’ve been in Writing Zone ever since they announced the Round 1 prompts—and guess what?  I’m having trouble getting back into Work Zone.  Yes, I’m going to work, but I collected a mountain of student papers weeks ago that I still haven’t finished grading.  I still have thirty-plus left to go.  And that's just one example.

What I really need is balance.  Balance between Writing Zone and Working Zone.  That’d be ideal.  That’s what I was asking for in my original post.

I like the ideas you’ve suggested, Shari, and once I get out of Beating Myself Up Zone, where I’m currently stuck doing nothing productive at all, I’m going to try them.  These especially:

1.    Tell myself I WILL write every day, even if it's only 250 words. (I’ve tried this many times before—but it won’t hurt to try again)

2.    Create an "action plan" of things other writers have suggested (I love the Maberry idea and might give that a shot)

3.       learn to stop self-sabotaging my creative writing . . . realize, I get one life . . . and I love writing too much to keep short changing it.  (this one almost brought me to tears—yes, yes, yes)

4.    find out where we self-sabotage (ahhh, this is KEY)

5.    figure out where writing fits in our lives, and figure out what we want to do about it. (I know what I want to do about it—I just have to figure out how to do it)

And this will be my new mantra:  It is OK to write!  It is OK to write!  It is OK to write!

Anyway sorry for taking up so much space here . . . and thank you all again for being awesome.

melinda

Back to Top
douglasesper View Drop Down
NYC Midnight Groupie
NYC Midnight Groupie


Joined: 15 Feb 2014
Location: cleveland, ohio
Status: Offline
Points: 183
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote douglasesper Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25 Mar 2015 at 8:46am
justmel,
 
totally hear you on finding balance...and I have failed miserably at finding it, heh. the healthiest thing to work on though is avoiding the beating yourself up zone because it can only do harm, not help. you need to allow yourself those periods where writing takes precedence over work no matter how backed up you get. those words need to get out and eventually as they do, the pressing absolution of writing zone will allow you to creep in some work as well...at least, that's what I keep telling myself.
doug
r2h7 eye for an eye
password: nycmidnight
Back to Top
mrjaywilson View Drop Down
NYC Midnight Addict
NYC Midnight Addict
Avatar

Joined: 20 Jan 2015
Location: California
Status: Offline
Points: 682
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote mrjaywilson Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25 Mar 2015 at 9:04am
Originally posted by justmel justmel wrote:

A belated and very sincere thanks for the responses to my plea. 

Shari—you totally “get” what I was asking.  Kerry and Jay, not so much, but I appreciate your comments.  The thing is, it’s not about passion, or anyway not a lack of it.  I love to write.  I’ve always loved to write.  I think I’d be better at it if I did it more, but I’ve always known that one day I would be a Writer, capital W.  In my 50s now and realizing time is running out, I take my WIPs (present and future) very seriously.  There is nothing I’d rather do than spend hours and hours writing every single day.

But.

Welcome to the world of the adjunct “professor”:  If I’m not sleeping, in the bathroom, or in the car, I’m working.  Even when I’m not physically at work, I’m either grading stuff, prepping for classes, updating my course delivery page, holding office hours, or emailing students.  (And yes, my husband hates it—but it does pay the bills.)

I love my job.  (I don’t love the pay, but I do love the job—I’ve been doing it for twenty years.)  But I have to be in a “zone” in order to do it well—and from the beginning of a semester to the end, I’m never caught up.  There’s always work waiting to be done, so I can’t shut off the “Work Zone.” 

What I want is to be able to write too.  And I’ve tried.  Really and truly I have. 

This competition was my latest venture into trying.  I paid good money to enter this thing, I told myself.  I’m jolly well going to do my best.  Well, that worked out OK.  I got into Round 2, which was way more than I expected.

But I’ve been in Writing Zone ever since they announced the Round 1 prompts—and guess what?  I’m having trouble getting back into Work Zone.  Yes, I’m going to work, but I collected a mountain of student papers weeks ago that I still haven’t finished grading.  I still have thirty-plus left to go.  And that's just one example.

What I really need is balance.  Balance between Writing Zone and Working Zone.  That’d be ideal.  That’s what I was asking for in my original post.

I like the ideas you’ve suggested, Shari, and once I get out of Beating Myself Up Zone, where I’m currently stuck doing nothing productive at all, I’m going to try them.  These especially:

1.    Tell myself I WILL write every day, even if it's only 250 words. (I’ve tried this many times before—but it won’t hurt to try again)

2.    Create an "action plan" of things other writers have suggested (I love the Maberry idea and might give that a shot)

3.       learn to stop self-sabotaging my creative writing . . . realize, I get one life . . . and I love writing too much to keep short changing it.  (this one almost brought me to tears—yes, yes, yes)

4.    find out where we self-sabotage (ahhh, this is KEY)

5.    figure out where writing fits in our lives, and figure out what we want to do about it. (I know what I want to do about it—I just have to figure out how to do it)

And this will be my new mantra:  It is OK to write!  It is OK to write!  It is OK to write!

Anyway sorry for taking up so much space here . . . and thank you all again for being awesome.

melinda


Justmel,

I get you, trust me. For the better part of 2014, I was an aerospace engineer spending 15-16 hour days making sure planes don't fall apart while in the sky. That left roughly 8 hours for sleep and whatever else I needed to get done. I dedicated 4 hours to sleep (which was easy because that's how I've been for the last twenty years), and that left 4 hours for the rest juggling visiting my mother in the hospital, editing for other writers, exercise daily for mental and physical health (mostly rock climbing, though), reading to keep the skills up, and of course writing.

Back then it was writing before work, each break (including lunch), after work, and any other time I could fit it in: while in line at the DMV, toss in a sentence or two while at the grocery store, even wrote while cooling down between boulder paths (although, I'd never suggest it because trying to type with tired rock climbing fingers can make you insane with frustration haha).

The reason I said what I said about passion, is that you'll find a way to do it. These days, it's much easier for me, and I suppose it's an added benefit that I'm single so I don't have to worry about another human being. Even if I did, though, and my life was still chaotic, I'd still try to get writing in, even if it meant I had to do it in the shower or at a stoplight or when I'm relaxing before sleep.

If you love it, you find a way, excuses be damned. I think the fact that you've finished at least two stories for this contest is proof of that? Though, I'm sorry to hear that work suffered as a result. Methinks the school ought to give you an assistant. ;)

Whatever the case, we're all writers and we all have a passion for it, obviously, or we wouldn't be here. So, tell your students to listen better in class and start writing papers so good you won’t have to grade them… that way you have more time to write. haha

In response to how you might balance your work zone and writing zone, I don't really know how you would handle that. Each person is different, but it's something that takes practice anyway. It's not fair for me to say that kind of thing will be easy, because it won't. I've always been able to do and think about 30 things at one time, have three different conversations going at once, etc... so I balanced work and writing like I balanced my focus. As Shari suggested, you just have to force yourself to do it, even if you resist, because eventually you'll naturally find a balance (well, hopefully, anyway.)

Thanks for sharing, Justmel! It's interesting to peek inside the lives of writers. Where they come from, what they do, and how they do. :)
Back to Top
SEHBicycle View Drop Down
NYC Midnight Regular
NYC Midnight Regular
Avatar

Joined: 26 Jan 2015
Location: Westerville, OH
Status: Offline
Points: 278
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote SEHBicycle Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25 Mar 2015 at 11:30am
Originally posted by justmel justmel wrote:

This competition was my latest venture into trying.  I paid good money to enter this thing, I told myself.  I’m jolly well going to do my best.  Well, that worked out OK.  I got into Round 2, which was way more than I expected.

But I’ve been in Writing Zone ever since they announced the Round 1 prompts—and guess what?  I’m having trouble getting back into Work Zone.  Yes, I’m going to work, but I collected a mountain of student papers weeks ago that I still haven’t finished grading.  I still have thirty-plus left to go.  And that's just one example.

Woo-hoo on the success, and good luck with the school zone!
Originally posted by justmel justmel wrote:

I like the ideas you’ve suggested, Shari, and once I get out of Beating Myself Up Zone, where I’m currently stuck doing nothing productive at all, I’m going to try them. 

Aha!  I know that zone!  Good luck.  Silly perfectionist.  I have had to learn to beat THAT side of me into a better balance.  Any time I do only part of a big task, I now say, "it's better than it was before."  I've learned that some things don't have to be as good as I can get them.  And power tools.  Buy power tools! Or, tools.  The right tool for the right job.

 

Originally posted by justmel justmel wrote:

And this will be my new mantra:  It is OK to write!  It is OK to write!  It is OK to write!

 

Perfect Mantra!

 Here are a few other suggestions that writers in my NCFS group had, which have helped me:

1.   Write or edit during lunch hour. I used to take a 30-minute lunch. This week I put in the formal request to start taking a full hour, b/c so many days, I started to get on a good roll for ideas--whether fresh ideas for D2 or hack/slash stuff out of the ch.--but then I'd have to abort b/c my lunch was over. Now my workday starts at 7 instead of 7:30.  [OK, DOH, I gave that one.  But it was the expansion from :30 to :60 I should have focused on--that I learned there was a more "optimal" time to put into the writing, else I felt cheated when I had to clock back in]

2.   Find a way to compress other tasks. Some of that is “saying no,” and some of that is saying, “do I really need to hunt for 5 new sponsors for the bike club? I picked up this task b/c no one was doing it.”  This is the last year I’ll do sponsorship, and I’m only asking the folks who said “yes” last year. I’m one of 300+ members. Time for someone else to take up the task when I send the “I’m stepping down” message.  And I won’t feel guilty if no one picks it up, and I WILL stop doing it!

One you've already hit on, and congrats on making it to round 2! Spend money on your writing, in ways you suspect will: help you improve, take your writing seriously, value your writing, whatever. I’m doing it for all 3 of these.

Finally, I’m learning to set “regret” aside. Do I miss doing 60-mile rides?  Do I miss riding at the 22-mph pace for 2 hours, my heyday’s “best ever” athletic shape, and the 20-mph pace I was at before I got serious about the novel?  Yes.  But I no longer REGRET that I’m not there.  I remind myself, my novel is my baby. I have SOOOO many babies in my idea file, and the “aborted novels” files.  What I would regret is not having the chance to flesh them out and share them. So, I no longer begrudge myself the time I’m spending on my fiction.  I’m learning to value my 20- or 30-mile rides.  I’m making new friends as I find a different clique to ride with at more tame paces. I’m riding for health and life-long fitness now, instead of my OCD’s side and my “gotta prove myself” side.

 

Good luck to you, finding the way to balance your profession with your writing. My issues with my day job are that I’m pretty good at it, I love it, and it pays REALLY well. That means to set it aside, I’ve got to keep investing in these novels and see if my storytelling improves enough to land an agent, and then the years to build a career as a novelist so I can quit the day job. That’s the dream I’m investing in. I’m less passionate about my day job. Mostly what that means:  I don’t take home the emotional burdens I used to; I no longer wrestle with work problems at some I have the solution when I get back to work.  That means my creativity is easier and easier to turn on when I’m in the natural setting.



Edited by SEHBicycle - 25 Mar 2015 at 11:34am
Back to Top
justmel View Drop Down
NYC Midnight Addict
NYC Midnight Addict
Avatar

Joined: 25 Jan 2015
Location: Wisconsin, USA
Status: Offline
Points: 592
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote justmel Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26 Mar 2015 at 12:01pm

@Doug:  Thanks—it means a lot to know I’m not alone.  I love this advice:  you need to allow yourself those periods where writing takes precedence over work no matter how backed up you get.”  You are so right.  It’s high time I shifted my workaholic tendencies away from work and into my writing—or at least divided them more equally.  I need to start thinking of my writing as legitimate work.  I have to see myself as having two jobs that demand—and deserve—equal effort and dedication.  This is BIG.

@Jay: Wow, your schedule leaves me breathless.  And you’re right—if you could write in the midst of a life as hectic as that, I have no excuses at all.  And that made me think:  Excuses?  Am I making excuses?  At first I thought, No, they’re explanations, not excuses . . . But you know what?  You’re right.  I have been making excuses.  Oh, if only I had time, then I’d write.  I think that attitude is born of fear—and it needs to stop.  Notes to self:  1) The real reason you’re not writing year-round is not that you don’t have time—it’s that you’re afraid it will be crap.  2) All first drafts are crap.  But that’s what revision is for.  And 3) You can’t revise a blank page.

@Shari: I could go on about how I don’t get a lunch hour and I don’t watch TV or do volunteer work or go to parties, but all of that would just be another list of excuses.  I waste plenty of time, and that time needs to be spent writing instead of making up more excuses for why I’m not writing. 

Thank you, thank you, thank you.  For the insight, the wake-up call, the encouragement, and especially for your patience and your willingness to take the time to respond.  It means more than you know.  Clap

melinda

Back to Top
lallison View Drop Down
NYC Midnight Addict
NYC Midnight Addict
Avatar

Joined: 22 Jan 2015
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Status: Offline
Points: 326
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote lallison Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26 Mar 2015 at 12:14pm
I hadn't responded on this thread because I was ashamed to say I didn't have anything going on but actually that's not completely true.  I've been editing a collection of my father's stories for self publication.  Intended it for xmas gift but it's almost April and.....so you know....

justmel, I work in the financial industry and manage two teams of people, serve on the board of an active non-profit and volunteer regularly with my therapy dog pretty much every weekend.  Add that I'm preparing to move into a new place and just the general mayhem that is life.  I really do understand and have a thousand and one of my own excuses for not writing daily.

I find myself using down time (what there is of it) at work to do some writing (don't tell my employer!) and my new house has a great office set up I am looking forward to and some evenings go straight to the laptop with ideas in my head.  I do need to get more disciplined about writing daily.

I'm working on it!  Doing this contest was a nice kick in the hinder for me and communicating with so many other writers has been inspiring and motivating.  Especially this second round.


Back to Top
kerryadrienne View Drop Down
NYC Midnight Addict
NYC Midnight Addict
Avatar

Joined: 15 Jan 2015
Location: United States
Status: Offline
Points: 404
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote kerryadrienne Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26 Mar 2015 at 12:45pm
Once I started thinking of writing as a basic function of my existence, I made time. You know--you spend time on the toilet, and nothing keeps you from going. (same with eating, and to some extent, sleeping) Make writing just as necessary. You may not get those long "read a book" toilet moments every day, but you can get those quickies in. 

Also, once it's a habit, not only does writing come more easily (most of the time)--but you crave doing it more. Suddenly, you have more bathroom time. 

Yeah, you still get constipated. (all.the.time) But sometimes, things just flow. 

I'll stop now.

kerry
Rd 3: One Night Under the Big Top
5th place: Rnd2: 8: Headcount
1st place: Rnd 1 grp 16: Dead in the Water
Back to Top
lallison View Drop Down
NYC Midnight Addict
NYC Midnight Addict
Avatar

Joined: 22 Jan 2015
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Status: Offline
Points: 326
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote lallison Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26 Mar 2015 at 12:49pm
Originally posted by kerryadrienne kerryadrienne wrote:

Once I started thinking of writing as a basic function of my existence, I made time. You know--you spend time on the toilet, and nothing keeps you from going. (same with eating, and to some extent, sleeping) Make writing just as necessary. You may not get those long "read a book" toilet moments every day, but you can get those quickies in. 

Also, once it's a habit, not only does writing come more easily (most of the time)--but you crave doing it more. Suddenly, you have more bathroom time. 

Yeah, you still get constipated. (all.the.time) But sometimes, things just flow. 

I'll stop now.

kerry
There's a picture I'm going to have trouble getting out of my head now.....thanks.  LOL
Back to Top
 Post Reply Post Reply Page  <1 5678>
  Share Topic   

Forum Jump Forum Permissions View Drop Down

Forum Software by Web Wiz Forums® version 11.08
Copyright ©2001-2017 Web Wiz Ltd.

This page was generated in 0.078 seconds.