My Writers Circle

Writing => The Writers Circle => Topic started by: JerWil on April 23, 2007, 09:35:07 AM

Title: How do you fight writers' block?
Post by: JerWil on April 23, 2007, 09:35:07 AM
It is definitely impossible to be always in mood for writing. And so I wonder about your experience of fighting writers' block. Please share your thoughts on the matter. Thanks :)
Title: Re: How do you fight writers' block?
Post by: Nick on April 23, 2007, 01:00:46 PM
Our forum sponsors, WCCL, produce a CD which is designed to help writers combat writer's block. It uses the power of 'binaural beats' to encourage the brain to resonate with the frequencies most commonly associated with the creative state. You can read my review of WCCL's Writer's Block CD on my blog at the URL below:

http://www.mywritingblog.com/writer/2005/12/writers-block-cd.html (http://www.mywritingblog.com/writer/2005/12/writers-block-cd.html)

Speaking personally, I don't find that I suffer from the dreaded block very much. As a full-time working freelance I have to write or I don't get paid, and then I don't eat  ;)

But still, I do understand what you mean. If you're feeling 'blocked' in a particular project, sometimes the best thing you can do is leave it for a while. Work on something else instead, or do something completely different. It's easy to get to the point where you can't see the wood for the trees any more, and sometimes you need to take a step back to view your project with a sense of perspective. Often then you will see a way forward that might not have been apparent before.

Hope that helps a bit anyway. I'll be interested to read any other comments from members.

Nick  :)
Title: Re: How do you fight writers' block?
Post by: Gyppo on April 23, 2007, 01:21:40 PM
I largely agree with Nick, but here's a little something else to bear in mind.  When you do feel the urge to write take a few minutes to stop and think about what triggered it.  Don't analyse this to death, just jot downa little note somewhere and see if a pattern emerges.  Does music put you in the right mood, or playing 'word games' with family/friends?  Is there any one person who always inspires you?

Any particuar activity?  I had one writing student who dreamed up her best ideas whilst swimming.  Some of my best ideas come when I'm up to my elbows in engine oil or anything else which makes it impossible to just sit at the keyboard.  Other students have also commented that their ideas come at inopportune moments.  I'm not sure that deliberately starting some 'mucky-handed' activity will work, but if this often happens to you it's worth considering as a strategy when your muse is playing hard to get.

One thing I'm absolutely certain about.  The more you write the easier it gets.  Joining in the discussions on this group helps to keep your brain 'in the groove'.

Gyppo   
Title: Re: How do you fight writers' block?
Post by: thatollie on April 24, 2007, 04:41:35 AM
I find being a member here, has really helped. Keeping a journal, writing regularly & just working on ideas.
Title: Re: How do you fight writers' block?
Post by: paramour on April 24, 2007, 11:19:08 PM
When I start to feel a block coming on, I do a little more research and that gives me new ideas and inspiration. Also, the fine folks here help to keep my brain working. I journal, too. It helps me to relax my mind. I also get my best ideas for writing in the shower. Not sure why...   :P

I have done what Nick has suggested - just put it down and work on something else. After a few days when I go back to what I let simmer, it looks different. That really does work for me.
Title: Re: How do you fight writers' block?
Post by: JerWil on April 25, 2007, 08:10:40 AM
Thank you all for your comments!
Nick, my special thanks for the link ;)
I agree with you guys that everyone has his 'secret' of overcoming block, but when fellow writers share their ideas as you did, it comes much easier to find this 'secret' :)
Title: Re: How do you fight writers' block?
Post by: crystalwizard on April 25, 2007, 11:30:55 AM
When my brain doesn't want to create text, I go do something different for a while. Pull weeds, play with my cats, fire up graphics software and make art, whatever...
Title: Re: How do you fight writers' block?
Post by: CarrieSheppard on April 25, 2007, 05:39:36 PM
This is a regular topic of conversation on here - do a search too - you'll find some other useful comments.

Cheers
Carrie
Title: Re: How do you fight writers' block?
Post by: alight on April 25, 2007, 06:57:44 PM
Trance music, strangely, or some classical - nothing with lyrics. My sister said there's a particular rhythm in trance and classics - anyway it works very well. Have actually thought about buying a metronome  :)
Title: Re: How do you fight writers' block?
Post by: orchid15 on April 26, 2007, 01:30:36 PM
When I get blocked I check two areas .  Am I exhausred or getting sick. Sometimes an extra bit of sleep sets things right.


If that isn't it, then I look at the project I'm blocked on, especially the last part I wrote.  Usually I've written something out of character or changed my plot, and my mind is trying to alert me that I have a problem that isn't easy to resolve.  Once I corect the problem, everything starts moving again.

If that doesn't work, then I put it away a while because my mind needs time to gell before I write again.
I get my best ideas laying in bed after I wake up.  I just lay there and think about my story and let myself daydream for about an hour.

Orchid15
Title: Re: How do you fight writers' block?
Post by: thatollie on April 26, 2007, 01:40:34 PM
Prevention is [usually] better than cure. If you can highlight what keeps you writing and continue to do it, everything should be fine. [I haven't figured it out yet but I'm trying].
Title: Re: How do you fight writers' block?
Post by: Ken100 on April 26, 2007, 03:09:56 PM
I remember hearing an interview on the radio with a famous writer (Frederick Forsyth I think) who said he did not believe in writer's block. He said "You don't hear of nurses getting nurses' block, do you? Or mechanics getting mechanics' block. It's the same for writers. You just sit down at your desk and start writing."

The other one I heard about was Mickey Spillane's account of what kept him writing: Money.
He said his books were doing pretty well, and so he kicked back and relaxed, stopped writing and spent his days sitting by the pool and drinking. One day his accountant turned up at his house and told him his finances were beginning to look in pretty bad shape. He started writing again straight away.

I think it's the hardest of all for those of us who write in our spare time, after a hard day at work, and then an evening putting the children to bed and doing the chores around the house. It can get very dispiriting at times under those conditions, especially those of us working on a novel without guarantee of getting it published.
Not much advice there I'm afraid, just a few ramblings.
I'll try and be a bit more helpful next time.

Regards,

Ken
Title: Re: How do you fight writers' block?
Post by: Linda Aitchison on April 26, 2007, 03:18:41 PM
To fight writers' block, I write - I do hope that makes sense - I just throw words at the page and this really helps - just to get something down. Usually I am writing to a tight deadline for a newspaper or magazine and it just has to be done.

Good luck.
Linda
x
Title: Re: How do you fight writers' block?
Post by: Alex F on May 01, 2007, 07:01:47 AM
I always find listening to the right music gets me in the mood because it gets my thoughts going and from then on it enables me to come up with the ideas I need. I always sit by myself first thing in the morning and when I get home from work just listening to music and wool gathering and then if I get sufficient ideas I will turn on the computer and add more to my ongoing novels. Music is the stimulus that I need often times though, it just turns on my creative part of the brain and gives it focus.

I've never written with the aim of publishing so that has never been a problem with regard to motivation, though now I'm getting happier with my novels, the possibility of trying has begun to enter my mind so I've tentatively got the 'write to get published' motivation starting to become a factor.
Title: Re: How do you fight writers' block?
Post by: thatollie on May 01, 2007, 09:14:25 AM
I think you need to keep switching you music playlist. Different writing puts you in a different mood. I'm sort of odd, in that respect, Classical [the literary fiction of music] makes me want to write Mysteries. Heavy metal [the horror of the music world] makes me want to write Comedy. Folk music [rural music] makes me want to write about cities. I don't know why.
Title: Re: How do you fight writers' block?
Post by: Alex F on May 01, 2007, 09:16:46 AM
Very true. its also the case for me that if my specific character of the moment likes a certain type of music, I find listening to that music as I'm writing about that character helps me imagine them and their actions with much greater clarity. For example I've got one character who is very fond of Acid Jazz, as am I and so when I listen to it even when I'm not writing, it makes me think about her and what I'm writing about her at the moment.
Title: Re: How do you fight writers' block?
Post by: thatollie on May 01, 2007, 09:21:12 AM
I think every character should have a taste in music, it shouldn't affect the story but it's good to have. If someone wants to know how this is on topic, um, it adds to character development. Which is good, right?
Title: Re: How do you fight writers' block?
Post by: Alex F on May 01, 2007, 09:24:26 AM
Oh absolutely, it is a good way of perhaps looking at a part of your character you've never thought about before which in turn could lead to you exploring an aspect of the plot itself and getting yourself out of writer's block. (see that's on topic :D
Title: Re: How do you fight writers' block?
Post by: wildlegends on May 09, 2007, 09:58:58 AM
When my brain doesn't want to create text, I go do something different for a while. Pull weeds, play with my cats, fire up graphics software and make art, whatever...

Couldn't agree more. :)
Title: Re: How do you fight writers' block?
Post by: jagsaw on May 09, 2007, 05:06:48 PM
carry on writing? I dunno.
Title: Re: How do you fight writers' block?
Post by: thatollie on May 09, 2007, 09:25:53 PM
I've heard that writer's block comes from the logical side of the brain taking over, so I try to give it a workout. Exhaust it, so I can get creative. I'll play chess, do number puzzles, plan my next piece. And I find myself back in the mood for writing.
Title: Re: How do you fight writers' block?
Post by: HT_Llewellyn on May 09, 2007, 09:34:16 PM
Well, first you need a very large sword...

No, actually, the way I beat writer's block? I go and research the first thing that comes to mind, whether it's a cheese sandwich or the kama sutra. Usually, since I'm so easily sidetracked, I find myself researching something entirely different after twenty minutes or so, and I have to wonder how I managed to get there. It probably helps that I'll read just about anything. This is how I get inspiration for a lot of things, and it does help with writer's block.
Title: Re: How do you fight writers' block?
Post by: thatollie on May 12, 2007, 10:01:26 AM
I try to develop what info I do have, I have two characters, so how do they interact, how well do they know each other. You speak differently to different people.