Writer’s Block

Breaking the Block

Posted on

So I’ve posted in many places, mostly on the JulNoWriMo Forums, about my “writer funk” as I’ve been calling it. And a single tweet on twitter, and I’ve had my own words thrown back in my face roughly half a dozen time.

Just. Keep. Writing. Or power through. Write anyway.

For about a week now, I haven’t. I just had given up. But today I was chatting with a friend (whom I talked into do JulNoWriMo with me this year) who had finally started working on his. He was at over 900 words. I was, at last count, under 800. You know what I did? (After much whinging to him) I started writing. I’m now at over 900 words as well and will be (hopefully) well over 1000 when I go to bed today.

So, how to break through the funk? (Or dissolve writers block, if you want to put it that way). Get a writing partner. Ask their wordcount. Beat it. Lather. Rinse. Repeat.

If you’re not working on projects of the same length at the same time, keep a daily wordcount and ask that they do the same.

Don’t have a writing partner? I’ll gladly volunteer! Send me a tweet @ThatNerdyWriter or contact me here on my blog. I’ll be posting (hopefully) daily updates with my words written so you can keep up to date with me (and possibly beat my daily word counts) without having to wait upon my replies. (But please do get in touch, I like talking to new people, especially other writers.)

Just keep writing!

Advertisements

Editing is Hard

Posted on Updated on

It’s kind of like bashing your head against a brick wall.

Until you know what you’re doing.

Well, that’s what I assume anyway, as I still haven’t quite found a way that works for me. My hard times may have something to do with the fact that I was a LOT younger while writing most of it, and I didn’t know how to stick to one view point. Nor did I know what a scene was. Or a chapter. Apparently.

Adding to the frustrating factor is that so much of the behind the scenes has changed, therein changing what actually happens. Some characters don’t exist anymore, others play a MUCH larger role than they had entered with and it’s just a big mess at the moment.

Also factoring into this, is the fact that my writer-brain is rebelling against all attempts at fiction on the computer. I can’t write anything new, unless I do it by hand. And also editing kind of stops at opening a new scene and staring at the blinking cursor.

So with my new (free) printer at hand, full of ink and an empty three-ring binder, I hope to beat this editing block so I can get The Cursed to beta’s and get it to my Editor by October. Fingers crossed.

Wish me luck!

On Writer’s Block

Posted on Updated on

 

Today we will be speaking of the myth that is the Writer’s Block.

Now don’t rant and rave at me about how Writer’s Block is real, and you’ve suffered through it. I am not, in fact, saying that Writer’s Block does not exist, but that it is not some intangible, smoke-like substance that clogs the creative mind with no rhyme or reason. There is always at least reason. And a way to break past it.

So what’s your reason?

Stress

Stress is a part of everyone’s life, none perhaps more so than the creative. Writers such as myself, who have never been published, never seen a penny resulting from their endeavors, worry. And we worry incessantly. Is this the right thing? Should I be doing this? Maybe I should put up the pen/keyboard/pencil/paper and get a real job.
These are the thoughts that plague us daily. Those who are not *real* writers will give into them, and will hang up the mantle forever. However, if you are anything like I am, you cannot quit writing for long. You *have* to do it, because if you don’t the voices of the unsung heroes and uncorrupting villian’s in your head will drive you nutty. Well, nuttiER.
Honestly, the easiest way to get through a stress-induce block, for me, has been to just step away from it for awhile. Go do something that needs to be done. Feed the cat, take the dog for a walk, take out the trash that’s been piling up, take a shower, read a book, watch a movie, eat something that doesn’t come in a box ferchristssake. Try coming back to it at another time when you’ve got less on your mind.

Railroading

I use this term for when an author is trying to *force* their characters to do something. In my experience, writing is like a fart, if you have to force it, it’s probably shit.
If you have a plan for your characters and they are just not doing what you tell them to, don’t try to railroad them. Let Chris kiss that girl even though he’s engaged, sell his car, and move in with his best friend. Let them take that dark, scary path in the woods even though it’s clearly marked as dangerous.
This is the easiest block to break, for me. If you want your characters to do A, but you want them to do B, let them do A. Perhaps start another file, or notebook, to keep them separate if you’re not sure. Trust me, if you try to make them do something they don’t want to, most character will rebel and find ways to do what they want to anyway.

Lack of Planning

This is my biggest down fall. I am very much a pantser. Now if you don’t know the word, it’s someone who writes “by the seat of his/her pants”. Or without a plan.
I don’t write outlines. I know many writers do, and it works quite well for them. I, however, cannot. I have tried before and writing an outline is too awkward for me and it takes away the element of surprise when it comes to the writing process. I do, however, start with a clear beginning, and something of a clear ending. Normally I have many possible endings in mind. They get shuffled around and changed as I write.
I have hit this “Lack of Planning” block here recently. I know where the characters are (obviously) and I know where they need to get to. But what happens in the interim? I have slowly been working my way through it, and that’s all you can really do.
Work through it. Keep writing, no matter how much it hurts. To steal words from some author (Idon’trememberwho), “Kill your darlings.” (Maybe it was Stephen King?) Put them through the wringer. I through a werewolf at my vampire and poisoned human. It revealed something of the vampire I didn’t know. And neither did the human. It puts a whole lot into perspective and is something to keep in mind for future reference. So just keep writing.

Fear

To me, this is the easiest, and yet most difficult reason to understand. What do we fear, you ask?
Not getting it right. Finishing. Not being perfect. Not being good enough. Making no sense. Any number of things. It depends on the author.
You know what? STOP BEING AFRAID! It’s *your* book. It’s not going to bite you, it’s not going to run away screaming, no one has to read it until you are one hundred percent happy with it, no one EVER has to read it if you don’t want them to.
I’m going to quote another author here. (AgainIdon’trememberwho, ifyouknowtellme.) “The first draft of anything is shit.” (Was it Stephen King? OrdoIthinkeverythingisSK?) Don’t worry about it not being perfect. I’ll tell you what, I had a problem with this for the longest time. I didn’t want to write anything if it wasn’t perfect.
You know what that got me? An unfinished Work In Progress for eight to ten years. I could have finished it a *long* time ago if I had stopped worrying. So just STOP. And just write it ferchristssake.

Other ways to beat Writer’s Block

Alright, so that’s all the named causes for Writer’s Block I can think of, if you have any, leave a comment below.
I do, however, have means of overcoming writer’s block that do not pertain to anyone type of block, but may help with any or none. Bear with me here, I know this post is long.

Talk to People

Especially, especially, if you are writing fiction/fantasy. Remember, what is fantasy to you, may not be so to someone else.
At work, I recently began asking questions of a gal there, she is a Pagan, and I realized, through the night, that a lot of her beliefs lined up with what I already had in mind or written. And talking to her some more gave me more ideas. So talk to people. Ask them questions, if they’re alright with it.

Google is your friend

This is another side of the same coin. But applies to nonfiction as well.
If you want to know something, google it. Look for forums discussing it. Meet people. Talk to them. Learn from other people, not just the internet.

Anything else

If you’re stuck, and you’re writing nonfiction, pick up a fantasy novel. And vice versa. Go for a walk/jog/run. Take a bubble bath, stand in the shower, talk to the cat/dog/rat/snake. Talk to yourself.
Sometimes, the best thing you can do is to just do something else. I know I’ve said it before, but it’s true. It works. Sometimes.

Food for thought

What form of Writer’s block do you suffer from the most often? Why?
Do you never suffer from writers block (freak)? Why not?