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writers block HELP

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message 1: by Claire (new)

Claire | 12 comments I haven't been able to to write more than a few words in the last year... I need to break this deadlock but nothing seems to be working, any suggestions?

message 2: by C. (new)

C. Gold | 62 comments What runs through your mind when you sit down to write? Lack of ideas? Crippling sense of 'this is stupid'? Do you feel forced into writing a book 2 and are just not enthusiastic? Are you giving yourself enough time to write or is real life getting in the way?

You need to identify WHY you are not writing and whether you even want to write before you can work on fixing it.

Then you need to decide WHAT you want to write that brings back that enthusiasm you once had. Maybe it's a new genre or book 1 in a new series.

message 3: by Carole (last edited Apr 30, 2018 05:53AM) (new)

Carole P. Roman | 1245 comments Mod
Give yourself a writing assignment of just one page or maybe two. Like you have homework. It doesn't have to be about your book. It could be the start of another book, a blog post, or a magazine article (hint). Start small.
I try to write every day- whether it's for me or something else- a review on Amazon. Give yourself smaller goals- write a short story or a poem- change genre- go outside your box where you think you know nothing. Start a blog on Medium and when the claps start coming in, it may boost your confidence and also push you in the direction where you need to go. Sometimes when we are blocked it's because we've exhausted the subject. I've changed genres and have written under a different name when I felt I couldn't produce anything.

I also read one of my favorite books or read something you know will be horrible. When I read something that leaves me stupefied that it was published, it inspires me to write something I know is better.

message 4: by Simi (new)

Simi Sunny | 173 comments Whenever I have a writer's block, I do have a break until an idea hits me. And when I do take a break, I grab the opportunity to find something that can spark an idea for a book. When that happens, I instantly write it down and make sure to add it to the book (if it fits with the story, that is). Part of being a writer is to observe, whether you're watching a movie/tv show, reading book or news articles, and seeing the world around you.

Or you can try what Carole said. Make up your own writing assignment, something fun that can help you write more and get an idea for your book. That, too, works for me.

message 5: by Claire (new)

Claire | 12 comments I think part of the problem is a change of job. I can't afford to not work for a living and last year I got a promotion at work. The new workload is quite tiring and very computer /mouse heavy. As I have to use more brain power in my day to day life, its tiring me out. Another problem is that I have two sequels to write, one is older than the other which was on hiatus when I wrote my last book. I guess I'm also feeling the pressure to complete a trilogy, but I write something and it doesn't seem right.

message 6: by D.J. (new)

D.J. Cooper | 246 comments It takes time to settle into a new role. Maybe when you’ve been there a while you’ll be able to balance everything better. I took to writing long-hand in notebooks last year. It got me away from the screen a bit more. Yes, I had to type it up afterwards but I could choose a good time to do that.

message 7: by Claire (new)

Claire | 12 comments I'll have to give that a try.. thanks for the help guys.

message 8: by Wolf (last edited May 02, 2018 08:02PM) (new)

Wolf DeVoon | 12 comments Claire wrote: "I think part of the problem is a change of job. I can't afford to not work for a living and last year I got a promotion at work. The new workload is quite tiring and very computer/mouse heavy."

That's as adverse as humanly possible, quite horrible. Over the years I made choices to maximize my creative liberty. Less money, fewer jobs, torched credit cards last year and sold my car. The result was 300,000 words POD that gave me a settled sense of being a serious writer. I know it because I'm starting a new project, and this time I'm not going to push myself to write every day. I don't care if it takes years to complete, because I'm nearing 70 and this might be my last book. One never knows.

message 9: by Lori-Ann (new)

Lori-Ann Claude | 2 comments If you feel forced to write, that never helps. When I feel less inspired, I reread my own work. That often gets me back into the mindset I was in especially if it's a book I haven't finished.

I actually went a few years not writing except to open my drafts a couple of times and reading snippets although I always thought about my series.

There can be times when it's just not the right time. What actually got me to write seriously was a problem at work with a colleague. Doing renos around the house didn't occupy my brain enough to turn off the negativity I was experiencing with that colleague. Starting to write again was the only thing that got my brain to stop thinking about work.

Like you, my day job involves sitting at a computer all day and typing away. so I do something that breaks the day job from the writing. When I finish the day job, I exercise/take a walk, watch a recorded TV show, then after supper, I'm recharged and ready to write. I work from home so I have 2 spaces in the house, one for the day job and one for writing to keep the 2 activities separate.

The few years I didn't advance my writing, I gained life experiences. That fueled my writing.

Don't be discouraged that you're not writing - your mind is likely still thinking about what you're stuck on. It's often by being away from your work that you get hit with new ideas.

message 10: by Julie (new)

Julie (jstalmer) | 5 comments Writing is akin to meditating, don't worry about what interferes. Here's a few things to try:

- switch it up ~ if you are on the computer, grab a pen and notebook and write that way and don't go back until you've broken through. If possible try a new location far from the computer. If you typically start longhand, then go to the computer. The idea is the same and that is to shake things up.

- morning pages ~ buy a special notebook or journal and set it on your bedside table. When you wake in the morning, stay in bed and write three pages. It doesn't matter what you write. You never need to read it, it's for no one else's eyes ever. Whatever comes, write it down. Stressed about writer's block? Write that down. In the mornings before one is awake, one likely will have no filter and will write with the greatest of ease. The pressure is off as this doesn't have to be good writing or even coherent. Incomplete sentences and thoughts don't matter. Punctuation doesn't matter. Legible handwriting? Who cares. Just write. Sometimes it will be nothing but what you are worried about or petty complaints. Let it out, write it down. Your pen flying across the page is all that matters. It has the added benefit that it works a bit like meditation in that it clears room in your head once you get the things cluttering it written down.

- read read and read ~ a writer should read more than they write. If you have a writer you love, read them. A favorite book? Read it now. Hear of a new book that sounds interesting? Get it and read it. Just keep reading and if something strikes you, write it down. If it sparks something, write it down. Read great books back to back and take the time to think about what resonates with you and write a thoughtful book review about the components that make a great story and be honest about what worked for you as a reader and what didn't.

- play with words ~ read a classic novel by an author that has a way with words. Take one chapter and write down the turns of phrases that resonate with you or that you really like. Take those snippets and create a work of art like a poem. Play with them until they say something that means something to you.

- pick a word, any word ~ pick a word or subject matter, set a timer for five minutes, and don't stop writing about it until the timer goes off. No thinking, just write without pause. Don't worry if you find yourself rewording the same thoughts or just typing random words or if it seems unrelated. The point is to get down whatever comes to mind as you focus on just one thing.

- explore, excavate, express ~ write down everything about summers or first grade or family vacations or a favorite aunt. Don't worry about form, this is a data dump. This helps open you up and let's you have material for future stories.

message 11: by Alyson (new)

Alyson Stone (alysonserenastone) | 194 comments I am in the same boat! I am in the early stages of the final draft of my next book and am working on a side project in the mean time. It has taken me a week to write 1,000 words. :(

message 12: by Carole (new)

Carole P. Roman | 1245 comments Mod
Smart advice. Sometimes it's good to take a breather.

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