Although I've been a member of the Survive France community for quite a while, I've only just joined this writer's group - I think (it's just possible I was already a member but had forgotten).
I write a blog of my own which is part of my gite business site, and publish, edit, and contribute to my own news/blog/magazine site for English speaking people living, or owning property in Northern France. I also contribute regular posts to a blog site about boats and sailing - writing mostly about French boats and French yacht designers.
I have spent quite a lot of time during the last few months since Christmas writing a novel - but, as a result of too many distracting events recently, I've lost my rhythm and momentum. Currently I've stopped at 30,000 words. Although the whole plot is already fully developed. I've lost confidence in my storytelling ability and can't get back into writing it.
OK, so maybe some virtual contact with other writers could help - there's no-one around here, it seems. First, may I invite anyone writing about France to contribute as a guest author on Frogsiders? You would be most welcome, and it would take some of the pressure off me to come up with regular new stuff.
Second, please give me a good verbal slapping and make me finish the damn book! I think it's a good story - but I'm not sure I'm a good enough writer to tell it properly!
That's all for now - quite enough, I hear you muttering. I'd better go and visit my ancient mother for a drink and a boring daily chat.
Hi Janice, just noticed your response. It's been a long time since I looked in on this site, mainly because I found another distraction and have been working hard at it instead of completing my book!
I have now more or less given up writing as a contributor to various blog sites. I should have settled down to work on the novel instead, but I started to restore an old boat and put in hundreds of hours of manual labour before sailing it in a week-long festival of sail in Brittany.
I'll get back to writing, I promise, as soon as I have had enough salt water hydration.
I hope you're enjoying France. I'm a long way from the Dordogne - up north in the Pas De Calais
With this summer's weather that shouldn't take long. Cheers! Patrick
Hi Patrick, it's been some time--almost a year!--since you posted this, but I'm new to the site and was just looking through for anything related to writing, specifically fiction. I'm in CA at the moment, but will be coming to France in March--not quite sure what area I'll be in the long run, initially the Dordogne. I've written, and had published, quite a few novels, but I'm a bit bogged down on the current manuscript. I've found in the past that working with other writers through a critique group, either on line or in person, is often all it needs to get things going again. I'm thinking of trying to join one, or start one once I'm in France. If you're interested, perhaps you'd drop me a note. My e-mail is firstname.lastname@example.org, or you can post here. Best, Janice
Thanks for your response. I've been away for a few days (in the Channel Islands, where part of my novel's story is set) and couldn't reply because I couldn't remember my log-in!
I think you're right, I'm finding easy distraction in writing other stuff instead of the novel. Writing isn't as easy as it probably looks, so if something else less demanding crops up, you tend to do that instead. In my case it seems to be writing short blog posts instead of ploughing on with the full-size opus. It's like taking time off to paint the garden fence when you ought to be getting on with building the house.
I've reached 30,000 words and the book will finish somewhere around 120,000 if the present ratio of synopsis words to finished work continues unchanged. It does seem as if there's a long, long way still to go.
Please do write something for Frogsiders if you ever have the time and motivation. The editor won't mind if you don't contribute regularly!
All the best
Hi Patrick, thanks for sharing your experiences. I think it sounds like it's not so much a case of lost of motivation to write - it sounds like you're still doing lots of writing, just not on your book.
I don't know what it's like for the professional writers out there, but I find that I have to be in the right frame of mind to tackle my book, but as long as I'm writing something then that's good. I'm not writing a novel, so can't comment there, but am writing about our experiences as a family moving to and living in France. I've written 50,000 words but still have a few chapters to finish and there's a lot of work yet to do, but haven't actually touched it since October. My blog took over for a while, but now I'm not even managing to do more than a blog post a month at the moment. However, I am very busy promoting our other businesses at the moment and feel that these need to take priority for now. I will finish the book, but I've got to wait till I feel the urge to continue. Maybe I'm wrong, maybe I should be pushing myself to do it, but I find if I push myself when I'm not in the mood, I'm never happy with the results. If I wait until the urge hits me the words just flow without really thinking about them.
So I would advise to keep writing your blogs, promoting your gite business and trust that the urge will return to complete your book. I'm sure it will. I've had a quick look at Frogsiders - looks very interesting and a good idea. If I ever get the chance I'd be happy to do a guest post sometime.
Good luck and happy writing