Tag Archives: writer’s block

The Hundred Word Solution – Part Two

So, on Monday I asked:

So with all of these fun and wonderful projects, why haven’t I been writing?

Probably lots of reasons: feeling overwhelmed, lack of motivation, miserable summer heat…

Lots of reasons, but only one solution:

Write.

Daily.

Even if it’s just a hundred words.

In fact, when I set up my non-NaNoWriMo Month word trackers I think I’ll make that the daily goal, at least until I get back into the habit of daily novel writing.

In fact, I might even start tomorrow.

After I clean the rat cage, run errands, catch up on blog hops…

A hundred words is still doable.

But which WiP do I add them to?

I’ll let you know on Friday.

Well, it’s Friday.

I’ve written just over a thousand words, which isn’t all that much, maybe, but it’s far more than what I had been putting out.   (The real test is coming up over the next couple days – can I do this while also doing the weekend blog hops? I think I can – I’ll just make it part of my daily/nightly 750words.)

Anyhow, I’ve been working on another scene to insert into Onyx Sun. The scene is clunky and awkward but that can be fixed in editing. And it’s getting less clunky and awkward the more I write.

And I’m starting to look forward to writing. Somehow writing had become a chore, not something that I looked forward to doing and couldn’t wait to get back to, but I find my mind drifting back to this scene in odd moments. (And I haven’t even gotten to the fun part of it yet.)

I don’t know if it’s the low expectation (“just a hundred words”) or something else, but the important thing is that I’m writing.

I’m reminded by a quote from Louis L’Amour:

Start writing, no matter what. The water does not flow until the faucet is turned on.

I think I should print that out and hang it over my computer.

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The Force Reawakens

It’s been a while since I’ve felt like writing.  I think I burned out with the pushing to do 1K a Day for the year. (A goal that I am not going to reach, by the way, but that’s a post for another time.)

Plus, December has just been a pretty lousy month all around and I’ve been told that I can’t get a do-over. (Where’s a Tardis when you need one?)

Actually, it’s not just writing.  I haven’t felt much like doing anything.

But anyhow…

The urge to write — to create — is coming back.

Slowly and tentatively, but it’s gradually edging closer.

I think that part of what is bringing it back is something so simple that I could kick myself for not doing it sooner.

What is that?

I started writing.

Not novel writing, but writing. You know: the pen meets paper kind of writing.

My Passion Planner came in the mail yesterday. (According to the tracking it wasn’t supposed to come until tomorrow so that was a pleasant surprise!)

I started reading through the directions in the front of it.  (It’s more than just a day planner or organizer.  It also is designed to help you solidify your goals and create plans to achieve those goals, and then stick to them.)

Anyhow, just the act of writing stuff down on paper and then organizing my notes into something coherent and workable seems to have given me the pick up (or kick in the bottom) that I needed.

Maybe it was the act of putting pen to paper that did it. (I do know that it’s one of the best ways for me to break free of a writing block.)

Or maybe it was the fact that I was thinking of and working on goals, of making them concrete.  (It wasn’t even writing goals that I was working on.)

Whatever it was, I found myself thinking about my novels again, and my hand was almost but not quite twitching to pick up a pen or hit the keyboard.

Almost.

Soon.

I’m just not quite ready to venture back into it yet.

And when I do, it will be with easier, gentler goals.

And I’ve learned something important.

Sometimes, it’s all right to stop, step back, walk away, and take a break.

Eventually, your muse will find you on your island sanctuary and will hand you the pen you thought you’d left behind in a silent call to return to battle.

 

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It’s Going To Get Better

Nothing like being 9k behind after the first week

According to the stats page I should be at 15000 words by the end of the day today.   I’m currently sitting at about six thousand words and have to leave for work in about an hour, so that is just not going to happen.

But since I have a personal goal of 60k this month I should be at 18000 words so I’m actually 12k below where I want to be.

Yay.

I’ve been managing to get two to three hundred words written before work the last few days.  Not much, but better than nothing.  I’m off tomorrow and Wednesday (and have a write in on Wednesday evening) so I’m hoping to narrow the gap before I go back to work on Thursday.

I’ve figured out what the problem is, though.

Right now I’m writing some stuff that is necessary but not interesting.  I’m setting the scene, creating the backdrop for the main story.  And since settings aren’t my strong suit, it’s been sucking my enthusiasm right out of me.

So, what I’m writing now is kind of lifeless, which means I’m really slogging through it.  I’d love to skip ahead and get to the fun stuff, but I need to get this stuff written so that when I start the revisions I can tweak it to make it more relevant and interesting to the reader, because, as we all know, you can’t fix up what’s not written down.

Maybe I’m strange, but even just knowing what the problem is seems to go a long way toward solving it. Now that I know why it’s so hard for me to write this I can push through, knowing that it’s just temporary and will get better.

And since I’m really looking forward to some upcoming scenes, I’m using them to motivate me to keep going through this part.

But I do finally seem to be settling in to where I’m able to just write and not worry so much about the fact that some of this is going to get moved, rewritten, or outright deleted.  (Yes, sometimes I write even knowing that what I’m writing will be deleted. I don’t do it to pad word count, but to keep up forward momentum so I can reach a place where stuff doesn’t suck.)

(I am also, for some reason, having a really hard time with Jacob’s “voice,” which isn’t helping the process a whole lot.)

But all in all, I’m more or less pleased with the way it’s going and am still confident that I can reach my goal by the end of the month.

Now, if I’m still nine to twelve thousand words behind by Friday, then I’ll worry…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Horseshoes and Hand Grenades

I, um… haven’t exactly gained any ground since Friday’s post.

In fact, residual stress and a sinus-induced migraine that won’t go away have been sapping my energy pretty much non-stop since then.

And what they haven’t taken, work has, so I’m nearly 8000 words behind my goal for the month.

But today will be day five of five in a row at work and then I’m off for the next two days.

And just in time for my two days off, I seem to be coming out of my stress-induced funk and regaining some lost energy, both creative and otherwise.

And even better, I am writing again and making small gains.

Very small, and, actually, I don’t know if I’d really call it “progress” so much as “falling behind more slowly.”  The desire is back, though: not just the guilt of “I should be writing” but the energy of “I want to write.”

Of course, the energy of “I want to write” frequently gets knocked down by my body saying, “You can ‘want to write’ all you want but I need to sleep and I win.”

*sigh*

And then there’s the time thing.  I can’t for the life of me figure out where the first part of this day has gone but I only have a little over an hour left before I have to get ready for work.

But still, the energy and desire are there, so even though I am close to 8000 words behind goal, my motto is:

“Close only counts in horseshoes and hand grenades.”

I’m going to hang up a lucky horseshoe and blast my way through a whole bunch of words.

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Just Keep Writing

While in the midst of writing the other night, I realized that pretty much all of the thousand words I was churning out were going to either have to be cut or completely rewritten.  Talk about discouraging!

It made me want to quit.

I mean, why keep going when you know it’s all going to get slashed out later?

I’ll tell you why.

Because, as much as it sucks to know that you’re writing garbage as you’re writing it (as opposed to finding out how bad it is when you go back later to edit) if you keep going you will eventually wade through the muck and get a clear flow again.

I know this from experience.

And sure enough, eventually the sloggy, awkward, stilted, “I don’t want to be writing this” scenes were behind me and what I was writing began to pick up momentum, moving toward something that was much more fun to write.

That part isn’t perfect yet either (it’s a first draft – it’s not supposed to be perfect) but it’s a lot better than what had preceded it.

And it might still end up getting cut – I’m pretty sure that it’s too much detail that the reader doesn’t need.

But that doesn’t matter either, because 1) it’s better than what I had been writing and 2) it has me moving back into the flow of the story.

And soon now things will be going along swimmingly…

 

 

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PORN!

Now that I have your attention…

I’m still staying even (and slightly ahead) on the 1K-a-Day Challenge.  I did take a break from the novel to write some unpublishable stuff, though.  I needed to write – wanted to keep the habit intact – but just didn’t feel like working on the novel and didn’t want to start something new or work on another exiting project.  It was a nice change, and it was fun, but I do feel a little bit guilty.

Not because what I wrote was some really weird porn (which it was), but because I wasn’t working on my current novel.

But I’m back at it now, and, truth be told, I’m not really feeling all that guilty.  It was fun, no one else will ever to have to see it, and it got… Well, I don’t want to say it got my juices flowing because, well, it was porn and that’s not what I’m talking about.

But that break from “serious” writing did get my (creative) juices flowing again and made me eager to dive back into the current novel without a name.

And, even better, because it wasn’t related to anything that I’m working on, like my little side story that will be part of one of The Academy of the Accord books, and isn’t part of anything that I plan to develop in any way, I don’t feel pulled to continue working on it at all.

I’ve mentioned before that writing a sex scene in your novel can break you out of a run (even if you edit it out later).  Apparently writing flat out unrelated porn also can get you out of a rut.

Or maybe I just needed a brief break.

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In the Mood

Well, I was in the mood.

I was all settled in to edit a short story (of sorts – it’s actually an excerpt from one the Academy of the Accord novels) but four interruptions later I found I was having a hard time focusing on it.

Why is that?

Why is it that even just one little thing can jar you out of the groove, block the flow, destroy the energy that was rolling you toward a goal?

Is it just that your train of thought has been derailed, the track you were on broken and you can’t remember the words that were right there on the tips of your fingers waiting to tie everything together?

Or is it the fear of being jarred out of it again that keeps you from settling back into your groove?

I want to write. I want to finish editing that piece and then I want to get back to the newly started Book Three of the nameless trilogy that I’m working on.

I want to, so I guess I can’t really say that the mood is gone, but…

Well…

The mood is gone and what I really want to do right now is sleep.

Maybe that’s it.  Maybe the irritation at the interruption(s) drains your energy.

I don’t know.

I just know that all the joy and excitement from a while ago has been shattered and I’m…

… out of the mood.

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I’m Writing!

Okay, so I didn’t write much, but at least it was something.  I added a little over a page to my current WiP.  That still leaves me pretty far behind on the page a day challenge, but at least I’m putting words into sentences.  Hopefully I can get another page or two added today, and then on my days off take a look at how many pages I need to do per day to hit my goal by the end of the month.

(I wonder if blog posts count for that?  With three blogs I should have several other pages worth of writing done!)

At any rate, I added to my WiP! Yay, me!

Granted, it’s not a major scene or anything.  In fact, it is mostly background information, but it is background information that serves to push the plot along another notch or two.

And the important thing is that it is words.

So, what got me moving again?

A sudden breakthrough?

Write or Die?

Nope.

A looming deadline?

Nope.

It was something that I should have thought of ages ago — I hand wrote a scene during my lunch break at work.

Sometimes, the old fashioned pen and paper is the best way to go.

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Coincidence?

Like Gibbs from NCIS, I’m not quite sure I believe in coincidence, so maybe synchronicity is a better word, but…

As probably everyone who reads my blog already knows, I’ve been in a writing slump. There have been glimmers of hope, but nothing seems to be breaking me out of it and getting me into that feverish “must write and write and write and write” mode that keeps me up all night and gets me up early in the morning.

Well, it seems I’m not alone.  Two of the blogs that I follow have had posts about writer’s block this week.

Fictioner’s Net  is one and Ink Out Loud  is another.

So what is it with the sudden onslaught of wordlessness? Or at least, the pondering of wordlessness?

Summer doldrums? I know it’s been miserably hot up in my room these last three days and that makes it really hard for me to write. (I did get some more work done on my outline, though.)

Retrograde Mercury?  I know my computer has been sluggish and unresponsive, which makes it hard to write.  I get frustrated and yell at it and scare my rats.

Whatever it is, I need to get over it.  I think I might have to resort to Write Or Die to get myself moving…

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Creativity Killers: Migraines

From time to time I’m going to do a post on things that kill creativity.  This time it’s migraines because I’m on day three of one.  (Well, day two and a half.)

It started on Saturday and since then all of my creative energy has been devoted to finding ways to keep the contents of my stomach in my stomach, and to preventing the metal band around my head from squeezing my eyes out of my skull.

On the other hand, the light show was pretty cool.  Yesterday morning when I closed my eyes there were little sparkles of light like a bunch of tiny fireflies (aka lightning bugs) behind my eyelids.  Kinda neat, but definitely not normal.

(Yeah, I know.  Neither am I.)

So, anyhow, not much the realm of writing or editing got done this weekend, but I’m hoping — since it’s not quite as bad today — that I’ll get something done on my days off.  I might resort to a trip to Northpointe tomorrow with editing bag, laptop, and Sanguine on a thumb drive to get the changes made on the word doc — better lighting, more room to spread out, and no internet distractions.

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