Posts Tagged ‘writer’s block


Just Write. Right?

“Write,” the voices say. “Write,” the internet says. “Write,” my friends say.

Well, that’s all fine and well, but in order to write, one not only has to have the urge and the ability, one has to have something to write about, which is where the problems start cropping up.

I can’t think of anything of value to put down on the page. I wrack my brain, trying to think of something – anything – and come up empty. It’s getting to the point where I dread my pledge to do a writing prompt every day, because coming up with something for those is becoming its own special kind of torture.

There isn’t much that changes or occurs in my daily life; I have very little input or stimulation. I suppose that causes part of it; garbage in, garbage out as some programming wit or another once said. But I’m not exactly in a position to seek out that stimulation, either… and that’s aside from the current plague.

I’m still going to keep trying with the writing prompts, but if they dry up and nothing takes their place, you’ll know why.


Pushing Through

“I don’t wanna.” “I don’t feel like it.” “I don’t think I can.”

I’m very familiar with these mantras; I hear them often enough from my own lips. But sometimes you can shove them aside and find something worthwhile in doing the work regardless of whether you feel like it or not. The almost 8,000 words written on assorted writing prompts in the last week and a half or so says that’s the case, anyway.

Still, sometimes it’s hard to do it. When your body and brain don’t want to let you, when everything seems stacked against it, when it seems pointless do to. But this last week I pushed through that, and made progress, and feel like I should be proud of that.

There’s not going to be a second writing prompt tonight – getting too late in the day and I have other things I must do – but at least I know I still can do it even when I feel like I don’t want to, and there’s plenty more to come. After all, I’m only about 1/26th of the way through the goal of a writing prompt a day for a whole year.

Thinking about it that way makes it seem worse, somehow. Makes me feel like there’s so many to go instead of being satisfied with what I’ve managed already and the knowledge that I can keep going. “Eyes on the prize” is probably a phrase I need to remove from my vocabulary; thinking about the end from the beginning is just disheartening to me.

What keeps you out there going when the going gets tough? What to you say to yourself when your inner voice says “I don’t wanna”? Let us know down below.


Abandoned Letters

I’m sure most writers have one. The drawer where things go to die. Or at least the folder. The manuscripts you started but never finished, always telling yourself one day you’ll come back to them, one day you’ll give them the love they deserve.

I’m staring at that drawer, now… and I don’t know what to do with it. There’s three things in there that matter, that have decent ideas behind them and that I don’t want to let go of, but I can’t seem to get anywhere with, either. One is Distressed, the haunted house story that I’ve shared a bit of on here. Another is Vampire 2.0, a – theoretically – humorous piece where Dracula becomes a cyborg and his position as King of the Monsters is threatened. The last is Believe Me, a ghost story where a psychic on death row, who was previously proven not to be psychic, insists that a killer ghost is on the loose.

I love these stories. I want to tell them. But at the same time I can’t seem to put any words into them. There’s others moldering in the drawer, but I don’t think about them, don’t concern myself with them the way I do with these three.

They’re like letters written to some unknown lover, half finished in a fit of passion then hidden away because their contents are too much, and there’s more to things left unsaid than to blurting them out.

They’re secret treasures, but also secret shames.

I’ll figure out something to do with them eventually – if only because I have no other decent ideas lately, and thus must work on something, even if I can’t or don’t want to – but in the meantime they fester, splinters in the mind that no tweezer can reach.

What about those of you out there? Do you have a drawer? What’s in it? What makes things destined for the drawer, and have you ever saved something from it?


I Told Myself I Would Write Today

I did. But then again, I tell myself that almost every day.

I lie to myself a lot.

But I said to myself “Self, you should at least try. It’s something you haven’t done in a while.”

So here I am, at the keyboard, writing gibberish about talking to myself because I can’t for the life of me come up with anything else to write. I know I should write. I know part of me wants to write, even if it is drowning in the depths of depression and is frequently bludgeoned to sleep by the part of me that just wants to nap all day and catch twelve hours every night.

But I can’t think of anything to write. I looked through the story drawer, and all I saw in there were sad, dead things, a handful of them still struggling to breathe but knowing it was a futile effort. Amongst the dust bunnies and black mold, they had all withered and died, or had clung to life support in a futile hope they could be saved one day, until the drawer was nothing but a hospice or a funeral home.

Sad indeed. But none of them had grabbed me for long enough, none of them could keep me chained to the keyboard long enough, to be saved. I don’t know if it’s cruelty or mercy, but let them die. Maybe it’s time for something new, something that wasn’t conceived in a different time or place, in a different frame of mind.

I feel like Paul Sheldon when he discusses the need to “have an idea.” Misery is a great book for writing metaphors, especially for those of us who are broken physically and mentally and are trying to use writing as an escape hatch. That’s no surprise; it’s where King was when he wrote the book, after all. Perhaps I need to give it another read-through.

The only thing that comes to mind when I sit on my rump, hand against my temple, saying “Think, think, think” like some kind of crippled and creepy Winnie the Pooh is the line: “There’s a monster in my closet.” Spoken not in the voice of a child, as one might expect, but a middle aged man who’s seen more miles than he should have.

There might be something there. Maybe. But I don’t know what, or how to go about it. Writing is a muscle, and if you don’t do it for long enough – like, a year or more – it starts to rot away, and I barely know how to exercise it at this late date.

But I have to try.


What Is There To Say?

Blogging is hard.

I know, that sounds like such a stupid, whinging thing to say, but it is. It’s hard to think of something to say every day – or nearly every day – just to keep your site moving, to keep getting those little dinging bells that say “You’re on a streak!,” to keep people around and justify the money you spend every year to keep your butt parked squarely on your domain name and not fade into complete obscurity.

It’s compounded when you feel like anything you have to say is useless, or has already been said a hundred times before, or will get you cancelled or one someone’s naughty list. Add in a dose of depression, a soupçon of paranoia, and a dash of terror and you have the recipe for why I go silent for long periods of time.

But then, brilliant mind I, figured out what to do… let’s ask the readers! So for those twenty or so brave souls who regularly stop by and click the “like” button every so often, what is it you’d like to see me talk about? What topics would keep you coming back, and what would drive you off? Let us know down below! (Please?)


How to Find Your Way Back to Writing #WritingCommunity — BlondeWriteMore

Some things anyone lost in the forest of writer’s block might need to hear. (Comments disabled below; please visit the original post.)

Ever since I published Instructions for Falling in Love Again I have struggled to find my way back to writing. Soon after my debut novel launched I threw myself into my second book; working title Heartbreak Cafe. This is a story which has been through six drafts and the Romantic Novelists New Writers Scheme. I had […]

via How to Find Your Way Back to Writing #WritingCommunity — BlondeWriteMore


What’s Stopping You?

Every creative person hits a wall or a block from time to time. But sometimes those blocks become ridiculously huge, and your ability to chip away at them shrinks to nothing. Even worse, when someone or something is constantly building that wall, it becomes a losing game to keep smacking away at it. It’s akin to bashing your head against a wall repeatedly, thinking sooner or later your fractured skull will actually break the concrete.

What stops you? What internal or external influence adds bricks to that wall? How do you counter them?

For me, it’s being online. Going online is unpleasant. I’m painfully socially isolated, and want to interact with people. I acknowledge that, as a writer, if I want people to read my work, I have to interact with others. But it feels like any attempts I make are met with explanations of how I’m a horrible person and should kill myself. I get that at least once a day, and while the might of the block button is strong, my mental issues are stronger. I will fret over it all day, either assuming they’re right, I am a horrible person, and I should commit suicide, or I will be fuming at the person who said it for being just plain wrong in whatever assumptions they made that led them to say that to me. Or both. Well. Maybe frequently both.

That usually ends with naptime or some fresh scars on my arms. It almost never ends in me returning to the keyboard or accomplishing anything of relevance that day.

I don’t know how to block it out, or how to chip away at that wall.

Having just moved (and still fighting with my employer and SSI in a vain attempt to get paid, at least for the 9 months I’ve been unable to work, which they still want to fight even though I now have four different doctors all in agreement that I’m messed up), I can’t even hit up my go-to comfort food. There is no Popeye’s in Albany. This is a terrible crime that should be rectified, posthaste. If you’re listening, corporate overlords of delicious fried chicken.

Anyway. Back to the question at hand; what builds your wall, and how do you try to break it down? Let us know down below.


NoNoWriMo Anxiety

So, yesterday I signed up to play with the cool kids in NaNoWriMo. Today I’m panicking.

I have no idea what I’d write for it.

I know I don’t want to use one of my half-finished manuscripts that are strewn about my hard drive like fish carcasses along the shore when the tide goes out. I feel starting fresh is the “fair” and “correct” way to do it, and anything I’m currently working on or previously touched is “dirty” with poor mental states and the stench of abandonment.

So I sat there all day yesterday and most of today, wondering what sort of story I would want to write, and am drawing a blank. I tried leaving the word processor open and staring at it for a while. I tried doing other things, hoping inspiration would strike while I wasn’t thinking about it.

Nothing’s coming to me. I know it’s probably weird to be worried about it, since I’m not supposed to put pen to paper for 25 whole days, but…

That’s on top of the usual issues of “why bother writing at all,” my usual load of depression that says “why bother leaving the bed at all,” and the stress of finances and moving.

Perhaps I should reconsider. We’ll see.

KA Spiral no signature


Writer’s Block

Suffering from it quite badly at the moment. Between physical and mental health – which are always a factor, obviously – and too much exposure to other so-called “humans” on the internet, I’m left feeling paranoid and paralyzed, unable to fill the white space because it feels like anything I type is going to be considered “problematic.”

Part of me is apathetic. Another part of me is chasing itself in circles trying to decide how to appease all potential readers and avoid being punished for trying to tell a story. Neither is capable of putting worthwhile words on the paper. A third part is digging its nails into its arms and ripping little bits of flesh off due to the anxiety and rage inspired by the other two and the social climate that inspired them.

Hopefully the mental storm passes soon. I have shit to do, and I don’t want to leave Ms. Crowe and Dr. Gale staring awkwardly at one another, picking nits and tapping their feet, while they wait for their god to return from his crisis of conscience and resume having the hubris to write about female characters despite being a cishet white male.

Hope everyone else’s weekend is going well. Until next time, folks.

KA Spiral no signature


Momentum and Making Yourself Write — A Writer’s Path

Valid and helpful points, even when I can’t seem to follow them myself. (Comments disabled here; please visit the original post.)

by S.E. Jones Sometimes, you’ve just got to take a break. When you’re so sick of your words that you can’t look at them anymore, when you start to roll your eyes at every possible idea you have, when all of your characters seem to do not much more than walk in circles…

via Momentum and Making Yourself Write — A Writer’s Path

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