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Old 01-27-2013, 09:48 AM   #1
Papaya
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Stuck

I've been working on my book over the last two years, and have managed to write my way through many a rough patch, but this latest block has me stumped.

The short story is that right before the holidays I had a falling out with my father because he still hadn't read my book after two years. He hung up on me after telling me he was a lousy father and to get used to it. He has not contacted me since. I'm 32 and this shit is still happening.

Anyway, since then I have not been able to bring myself to write anything. Does anyone have any advice on how to get past an emotional block such as this one? I'm deep into revision, and so close to the finish line, but I can't seem to bring myself to keep going.
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Old 01-27-2013, 10:01 AM   #2
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I'm sure there are some things people on here could tell you that would point you in the right direction or help, at least, a little, but I have to honestly say that this is one of those things that only you can answer/ solve to your satisfaction.

You just have to give yourself a more powerful reason to keep writing than the one that is stopping you.
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Old 01-27-2013, 10:08 AM   #3
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"The only thing standing between you and your goal is the bullshit story you keep telling yourself as to why you can't achieve it," - Jordan Belfort.

You don't have to agree with the criminal above, but his words ring true.


Short version: Get to writing.


Long version: Your emotions are compromising your work efforts. You can either go through 3 years of therapy, maybe try homeopathic remedies to level out your emotional situation and try to find some balance in your life that you can start writing. You might go through stages of assessing the problem, approaching and challenging it, and overcoming it. And in the end, you're going to get to writing. Or, you can start compartmentalizing and push aside your emotional troubles when you start writing.

Try this:
Sit down. Play some music, put headphones on. Sit quietly and breathe. Avoid thoughts that might unsettle you.
Then, start writing. Keep writing. Aim for 500words a day doing this.
Done enough times, you start to create a mentality that when you sit down, you can write without the background noise getting in the way.

And in the end, not writing isn't going to do anything. Writing does a lot. Some people find writing therapeutic, as I do.

So, get to writing.
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Old 01-27-2013, 10:49 AM   #4
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I appreciate you both taking the time to respond. You are both right. I needed to be reminded why I started writing to begin with because I too find it therapeutic. Writing my novel did me a lot more good than any therapist ever has.

I will try the exercise you outlined. Thank you for suggesting it as I think it will help me get past this latest challenge.
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Old 01-27-2013, 01:16 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by Papaya View Post
I've been working on my book over the last two years, and have managed to write my way through many a rough patch, but this latest block has me stumped.

The short story is that right before the holidays I had a falling out with my father because he still hadn't read my book after two years. .
Sorry to hear about the unhappiness.

I just wanted to point out that if the book your dad hasn't read is the same book you've been working on for two years, it might be a much better idea not to show it around until it is done. Otherwise you'll just have a whole lot more things to fight about and get blocked by, and it will slow your progress immeasurably.

If it's a different book, try not to fixate on it. As far as I know, only one person in my family reads mine - and then only after the books hit the actual bookshops. I have no problem with that, because I'm not part of my family's work-worlds either.

Best of luck! Try not to let things like this get in the way of your writing - it won't help at all.

Last edited by mccardey; 01-27-2013 at 02:19 PM. Reason: pre-coffee typo...
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Old 01-27-2013, 02:15 PM   #6
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It is certainly pleasant to have the approval of parents. Even at 32. But it should not be a prerequisite to us being able to do what one does in life.

A captain wouldn't let his ship sink because his father had never been a passanger on it.

A boxer would not complain he only lost his world title because his father wasn't sitting watching.

It's time to pull yourself up by your boot straps, stop blaming others, and stop the excuses. That's the hard line as I see it, I am afraid.
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Old 01-27-2013, 04:46 PM   #7
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Why are you insisting your father read your book, to the point it has caused a "falling out?" We all want our parents to be proud of us, but it isn't something that should be forced, particularly to this level. If there are other issues with your father, this is just antagonizing them.

Both of my parents are gone, and I didn't start writing fiction until they had both passed. If they were alive, I am sure my mother would have read everything I've written because books were part of her life (degree in English/literature, advanced degree in library science, worked as a middle school librarian). I can't ever remember seeing my father with a novel in his hands even though he earned an advanced degree and worked as a school administrator. I suspect he would have shown no interest in reading my stories, however, he would have been impressed (proud?) to know they were published.

Emotional issues can impact our writing and our ability to concentrate on our developing stories. Having gone through an unexpected divorce, I have felt that emotional anchor. Eventually, we have to make a decision. Let the anchor restrict our voyage or either pull it in or cut the line. Family approval can be a heavy anchor, but it's one that is worth pulling in.
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Old 01-27-2013, 05:04 PM   #8
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The other issue (re: expecting reads from parents, SOs or family-and-friends) is - what if they don't like it?

If one assumes that they must want to read it, or ought to read it, or that one is entitled to have them read it, one might be assuming as well that they are going to like it - or react in the right way to it. That's another thing best avoided, I would think - another reason to work against placing too much demand on family and friends as readers.
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Old 01-27-2013, 05:04 PM   #9
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I agree with everything said before me, please stop trying to pressure him into reading it. I know it's not on the same level but when I was in college, I had this fantasy on my head of me and my dad going to an ice cream shop and eating ice cream together and bonding. I tried to force him to go to the ice cream shop with me several times and all it caused was anger, shouting and heartache, all over some freaking ICE CREAM. I finally got over it and we bonded in other ways.

Who knows why your dad doesn't want to read your book? Who knows why my dad repeatedly didn't want to go to the ice cream store? Fathers are mysterious beings sometimes. Just be glad he's in your life and keep writing. Maybe he'll read your book once it's published. But even if he NEVER reads it, still try to find a way to not let it hurt you or stop you from writing.
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Old 01-27-2013, 06:17 PM   #10
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My mother always supported my writing--I think it was pretty much her idea I be a writer, tbh--but she never liked what I wrote. My father doesn't get why I like to write SFF. Usually if he reads something of mine, the feedback is that he doesn't understand it. I haven't shown him anything in a long time.

Parents are who they are. It'd be nice if they were better. It'd be nice if we were better. Have a cookie.
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Old 01-27-2013, 07:17 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NeuroFizz View Post
Why are you insisting your father read your book, to the point it has caused a "falling out?" We all want our parents to be proud of us, but it isn't something that should be forced, particularly to this level. If there are other issues with your father, this is just antagonizing them.
Yeah, this.
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Old 01-27-2013, 07:33 PM   #12
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Why are you insisting your father read your book, to the point it has caused a "falling out?" We all want our parents to be proud of us, but it isn't something that should be forced, particularly to this level. If there are other issues with your father, this is just antagonizing them.
To clarify: I didn't ask him. I've already learned better than to ask anything of him. He insisted on reading the book while I was still working on it because he supposedly wanted to read it so much. This was not something I created. All I did was ask him to be honest with me if he didn't like the book because I wanted real feedback. And the fight wasn't really about reading or not reading, it was about how he treats me, and I suspect the reason it impacted my writing is because that was likely the last time I will speak with him.

I appreciate the constructive advice as to how to get over this, but the rest of it doesn't really help as that is not what happened.
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Old 01-27-2013, 07:48 PM   #13
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I appreciate the constructive advice as to how to get over this, but the rest of it doesn't really help as that is not what happened.
It isn't always helpful, but we do the best we can with the info we're given...

There's an area called Conquering Challenges that might be a better place if you were wanting more in the way of support and less in the way of discussion. If you ask a mod that might move this thread there if you want...

Hope that helps more than my other replies
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Old 01-27-2013, 07:54 PM   #14
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And the fight wasn't really about reading or not reading, it was about how he treats me, and I suspect the reason it impacted my writing is because that was likely the last time I will speak with him.
I think you have your answer. You know that your issues with your father really have nothing to do with your writing. You need to accept this on a deeper level, so that you can internally separate the two, and then you should be able to write again.

It also sounds to me (and excuse me if I'm crossing a boundary here) like you're subconsciously punishing yourself by not writing because you think you're not good enough for your father. When actually, I expect a lot the issues come from not from you, but from your father's end - he has his own things he needs to deal with - he acknowledged this in the phone call by saying he's a lousy father. You need to accept this, and stop punishing yourself for his insecurities: they will stem from something else entirely.

Anyway, that's my conclusion from a very limited knowledge of the situation! Apologies again if that's entirely wrong, just trying to add a new perspective
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Old 01-27-2013, 08:01 PM   #15
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It isn't always helpful, but we do the best we can with the info we're given...

There's an area called Conquering Challenges that might be a better place if you were wanting more in the way of support and less in the way of discussion. If you ask a mod that might move this thread there if you want...

Hope that helps more than my other replies
Thank you for the feedback. No worries on the misunderstanding. I didn't want to dump too much of my personal drama on all of you, but that left me open to misinterpretation. I get that.

I am so new to the forum that I am still learning my way around, and I apologize if this should have been posted elsewhere.

Anyway, thank you all for the advice and encouragement on how to keep going. This has actually really helped. WillSauger gave me some great tips on how to push past this block, and I am actually looking forward to trying the exercise out. I haven't been excited about writing since, well, you can guess....
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Old 01-27-2013, 08:07 PM   #16
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I think you have your answer. You know that your issues with your father really have nothing to do with your writing. You need to accept this on a deeper level, so that you can internally separate the two, and then you should be able to write again.

It also sounds to me (and excuse me if I'm crossing a boundary here) like you're subconsciously punishing yourself by not writing because you think you're not good enough for your father. When actually, I expect a lot the issues come from not from you, but from your father's end - he has his own things he needs to deal with - he acknowledged this in the phone call by saying he's a lousy father. You need to accept this, and stop punishing yourself for his insecurities: they will stem from something else entirely.

Anyway, that's my conclusion from a very limited knowledge of the situation! Apologies again if that's entirely wrong, just trying to add a new perspective
You have nothing to apologize for as what you said is actually incredibly helpful, thank you! I never really saw it like that before, but I think you are 100% correct. I so appreciate you taking the time to point this out to me.
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Old 01-27-2013, 08:12 PM   #17
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You have nothing to apologize for as what you said is actually incredibly helpful, thank you! I never really saw it like that before, but I think you are 100% correct. I so appreciate you taking the time to point this out to me.
I'm glad! I'm sure we'd all like to be updated when you do get started again.
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Old 01-27-2013, 08:26 PM   #18
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You just have to give yourself a more powerful reason to keep writing than the one that is stopping you.
This. Never let anyone take away your power. Just sit down and write and no longer allow your father (or any family member) to read your stories. When they ask, just politely tell them not until it's published.

I think your writing and your relationship with dad are two different things.
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Old 01-27-2013, 08:27 PM   #19
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I'm glad! I'm sure we'd all like to be updated when you do get started again.
I will keep you posted on how it goes. I have some business to handle today and tomorrow, so I will be scheduling my first 500 word writing session on Tuesday. And I am actually looking forward to it. What a difference this has made. Thank you again!
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Old 01-27-2013, 08:32 PM   #20
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I have nothing to add but warm wishes for success that you get past this sticking point.

And
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Old 01-27-2013, 08:34 PM   #21
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I have nothing to add but warm wishes for success that you get past this sticking point.

And
I can feel a group hug building ......



Anyone?
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Old 01-27-2013, 08:36 PM   #22
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Old 01-27-2013, 08:37 PM   #23
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Why not? Three is never a crowd -


There! With Papaya all squashed in the middle.

ugh

Sorry 'bout that, Papaya
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Old 01-27-2013, 09:49 PM   #24
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Jamesaritchie is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentsJamesaritchie is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentsJamesaritchie is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentsJamesaritchie is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentsJamesaritchie is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentsJamesaritchie is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentsJamesaritchie is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentsJamesaritchie is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentsJamesaritchie is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentsJamesaritchie is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentsJamesaritchie is so great that we've run out of appropriate compliments
Whatever the fight was really about, you're thirty-two, not thirteen. Get on with your own life and let your father be who he is and what he is. Every minute you spend worrying about ho whe treats you is a minute you've wasted. Life is short, and you can't waste any of it. He is who he is, and that's enough.
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Old 01-27-2013, 09:51 PM   #25
mccardey
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mccardey is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentsmccardey is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentsmccardey is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentsmccardey is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentsmccardey is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentsmccardey is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentsmccardey is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentsmccardey is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentsmccardey is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentsmccardey is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentsmccardey is so great that we've run out of appropriate compliments
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jamesaritchie View Post
Whatever the fight was really about, you're thirty-two, not thirteen. Get on with your own life and let your father be who he is and what he is. Every minute you spend worrying about ho whe treats you is a minute you've wasted. Life is short, and you can't waste any of it. He is who he is, and that's enough.
James, did you just come in because of the Group Hug? Why, you old softie...
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