Author Topic: How do you fight writers' block?  (Read 5551 times)

Offline JerWil

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 25
How do you fight writers' block?
« 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 :)
Every writer has favorite forum

Offline Nick

  • Nick Daws
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 5922
  • Retired from running MWC but still writing!
    • Entrepreneur Writer
Re: How do you fight writers' block?
« Reply #1 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

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  :)
Check out my writing blog at www.entrepreneurwriter.net. I also have a new UK personal finance blog called Pounds and Sense.

Offline Gyppo

  • Esteemed Contributor
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 72244
  • I've been writing ever since I realised I could.
Re: How do you fight writers' block?
« Reply #2 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   
My website is currently having a holiday, but will return like the $6,000,000 man.  Bigger, stronger, etc.

In the meantime, why not take pity on a starving author and visit my book sales page at http://stores.lulu.com/gyppo1

Offline thatollie

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1443
Re: How do you fight writers' block?
« Reply #3 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.
Never make a decision standing up.

Offline paramour

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 380
  • My name is Pinky!
Re: How do you fight writers' block?
« Reply #4 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.
« Last Edit: April 24, 2007, 11:21:54 PM by paramour »
~paramour.

Offline JerWil

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 25
Re: How do you fight writers' block?
« Reply #5 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' :)
Every writer has favorite forum

crystalwizard

  • Guest
Re: How do you fight writers' block?
« Reply #6 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...

Offline CarrieSheppard

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 4271
  • All it took was a visit to AZ...
    • My blog pages
Re: How do you fight writers' block?
« Reply #7 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

Offline alight

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 34
    • Alison Anthony
Re: How do you fight writers' block?
« Reply #8 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  :)

Offline orchid15

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 344
    • Leona's Happy place
Re: How do you fight writers' block?
« Reply #9 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
"The beautiful part of writing is that you don't havto get it right the first time, unlike, say, a brain surgeon." Robert Cormier
 

website: www.leonashappyplace.com    newsletter:Leonas BrainCandy

Offline thatollie

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1443
Re: How do you fight writers' block?
« Reply #10 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].
Never make a decision standing up.

Offline Ken100

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 931
  • The Devil and Edward Teach - Out now.
    • Ken Preston
Re: How do you fight writers' block?
« Reply #11 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
Let me format your book for Kindle. 20% Discount for MWC Members.
http://www.mywriterscircle.com/index.php/topic,44874.new.html#new

Follow me on Twitter; @kenpreston100<br /><br />
http://www.kenpreston.co.uk

Offline Linda Aitchison

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 895
    • A little bit about me x
Re: How do you fight writers' block?
« Reply #12 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
<a href="http://www.freelancewritingtips.com">"Currently updating and adding to my book on freelance writing</a>

Offline Alex F

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 214
Re: How do you fight writers' block?
« Reply #13 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.
"Hell? There is no heaven, there is no hell, there is only this place, the land of the dead, my friend..."

Offline thatollie

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1443
Re: How do you fight writers' block?
« Reply #14 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.
Never make a decision standing up.