I Have a Productivity Problem

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Beautiful graffiti, typewriter, street art, ‘citizens of the world’.  Image credit: Pixabay.com CC licence, no attribution required. 

The problem is simple: I cannot write without blogging.

I started this blog in Jan. 2016, and around February I started blogging a sci fi series that I made up episode by  episode. I hardly had any followers (even now I don’t have very many), but by March 18 I had a complete first draft of a short novel. Fast, isn’t it? Of course it wasn’t all that perfect, I am not John Scalzi and I do need to rewrite, especially considering that I figured out the story as I wrote it.

So  I took it off the blog and decided to rewrite, then gave to a few beta-readers. Now I am extremely close to completing it, so close in fact that I am planning on self-publishing it no later than Jan. 2017. I know I can do it. But I am faced with a strange phenomenon: my creative brain doesn’t work as well if I don’t post my progress online! What does it mean?

Apparently I benefit from immediate gratification of a project broken down to manageable pieces. On the other hand, I feel like I am doing myself a poor service by spilling everything online first, with typos, unresolved plots and such. And especially this worries me because I need to get to writing the second book (probably the final book in the Mazula series). I really want to publish it online episode by episode, but I know that if I end up rewriting it, readers may get confused. Any advice?

P.S. Check out my free short story TSUNAMI. On this web site you can either read it on the ISSUU  web site or download a pdf.

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10 Comments

  1. I think it just means that we all have our own process, and that what works works. I did really well with a novel I was posting on my blog, (just for kicks) until I eventually decided that I really would like to publish it. Then, I hit a point where the words just weren’t coming. I’m in the process of pulling it right now, but I’m going to ask my most active commenters/followers to beta, after I finish it. Now revising in chunks, instead of step-by-step.

    1. Yeah, seems like we went through the similar process. I ended up needing to rethink my characters. The story was more or less good after the first draft. Good luck to you with the rewrite!

  2. I’m quite similar in terms of using blog feedback to keep my spirits up and mojo for writing going. I think most writers have moments where the gremlins drop in and everything seems bleak. The creativity loss is not unusual so don’t stress and it will return. As for blog posting your writing. I use it to test my writing. It’s never edited as hard as I would an actual book about to be published. It’s more to see reactions and let readers see how you spin a tale. I had a spin off series of short stories that were testing something new and adding back story to something entirely different. It appears several commenters want this moving into something deeper. The fact that they have read it is inspiring. But if I choose to turn it into a book then whatever is blogged will get expanded and improved so by the time it is finished the readers won’t find themselves reading something they’ve already seen. It’s a find balance really. If you decide not to self publish and find a publisher then chances are they will ask you to remove anything too close to the book too.

    I’m not up yet published but do have a few projects ongoing. One is ready to publish (decision crisis on what, where and how affecting my creativity!!), one needs editing and then there is the blog sprawl of ideas and testers.

    It’s a conundrum. You need social media platforms to advertise yourself before publishing really and to do that one needs to throw writing samples out. As your other commenters have said, we all have this moment of anxiety and creativity drop. Take heart, it will come back and do what you enjoy doing. If the blog is giving you a moral boost then blog. You might find that actually improves your outlook and creative process as part of the feel good factor.

    As for followers, the best way is to engage other bloggers, visit meet and greets, auto share posts directly to other social media sites. I started in January too across Twitter, Facebook author page and here. I’ve not got massive followings but my numbers so far are 4000, 410 and 500 respectively. More importantly post engagement has found me some really good friends and support.

    I wish you the very best of luck !

  3. I started my Twitter in May or June and now in 4k, FB is in about 1k friends and 200+ followers, and I was hands off on that. Here on the wordpress I think I have under 300, but I my most meaningful conversations happen here. When I started a magazine mid-year, I had plenty of writers to invite directly because of the wordpress. BTW check out the submission page on http://www.jalapenopublishing.com

    Also, I think your comments giving me my confidence back. I’ll probably blog my book 2 chapter by chapter because I know I’ll get there much faster.

  4. My advice is to just do what works for you and to hell with everything else. Just write.
    I often am working on two or three projects at once. At the moment I am doing a typing up/rewrite of an early manuscript, a book of poems and have two projects out with publishers. I put up stuff on my blog as the mood fits. On top of that I have a new Sci-fi novel that I’m doing an outline for. We’re moving house and I have just complete a typing up of my second book – a Sci-fi novel which will sit a month and then have an edit.
    If people like it they like it. If they don’t they don’t. The important thing is to do it for yourself.
    It seems to be coming together for me right now. Next week it’ll probably fall apart. But I’ll keep writing. That’s what I do.
    It’s how you feel about it. That’s what counts.
    How did you get on with Green? What happed to the award?
    I haven’t heard back from you about the short story. Were those changes OK?
    All the best to you Ellie
    Best wishes
    Opher

  5. Re Green, honest to god, just had no time to finish. I loved what I’ve read. The award is pending my friend 🙂 I’ll definitely review it by the end of the year 🙂 So consider yourself nominated 🙂 Keep reminding me.

    Re the short story I’ll get back to you soon. We are in a lot of hot water over the page count and trying to cram things in like crazy, because we don’t have money for large volume printing, it’s tough. Anyway, never mind this. Honestly not sure what the status of your submission yet. I’m more of an air traffic controller, not the editor :))

    Re your writing, I am envious of your productivity 🙂 In a good way.

    And thanks for kind words. Lots of wisdom there.

  6. I’ve started a short story that I’m kind of half way through (2000 words) and have been pondering whether to release it on the blog in ‘episodes’. On the one hand, great for keeping the blog updated & forcing me to write, but I’m not sure how well it works as a reader experience.

  7. First, congrats on your accomplishment. And, since you’ve asked, I’ll share a couple of thoughts on WB (writer’s block.)
    A. You could be suffering from what I like to call post-project hangover. Difficulty shifting creative gears is not uncommon at the end of a project. Sometimes taking a short writing break and doing something social is helpful.
    Or..
    B. Maybe you’ve grown so accustom to your blog’s writing interface that you’re uncomfortable or distracted in other writing environments. You might try writing the same way that was so successful for you in the past, BUT instead of publishing each post, save it as a draft. Or if you need motivational feedback, limit your audience by publishing private invitation only posts.
    Or…
    C. (this is the one usually behind my WB) You’re trying to massage your plot to make unworkable elements fit. Elements (characters/relationships/world building) introduce previously control the course of future plots. Sometimes doing a forensic plot/character analysis of previous works can help pinpoint the sticky elements or inspire a more workable story line.

    Best of luck, Candace.

    1. Hi Candace, thanks, very insightful. I have been thinking about the B option and writing in drafts! Even though in this interface I tend to loose written text because of the internet problems, but for some strange reason, I grew used to it. Feedback is important too, I admit. But I think it is also the fact that when I post episode by episode I can’t go back and rewrite previous episodes and keep writing. I think it saved me ton of time. That’s why I finished the first draft in about 3 months. Also I made a radical change to the first draft. I changed the characters. So now I worry that the three persons (I don’t know how many) who read it will be confused. That’s probably the silliest psychological block. But thanks! I’ll keep your advice in mind ;).

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