Current WIP(s)

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Blocked or Just Not Creative Enough?

Truth be told I don't think it was either. Since it lasted less than a week, I'm of the opinion I was just in a minor slump and could have easily worked myself out of it sooner had I bothered to use any common sense. Oh, you don't know what I mean do you? Long story short: writing issues, ideas in head, mind goes blank when it's time to actually write the ideas/dialogue out. It was like for that period of time when I tried to write, I would forget everything I'd been obsessing over. Go to something else, thoughts of WIP are back in my head. A complete and total pain in my arse. I have an active, vivid imagination, so it wasn't lack of plots, scenes, or dialogue that was  plaguing me. I had it all up there ready to come out, it just didn't want to.

Great. Now what? I get extremely cranky when I can't write. And when I say can't write, I mean anything. It took me three frakin days just to do the last posting here! Ridiculous. I moped and felt sorry for myself for a minute, then made myself try and write. That turned out great. *rolls eyes* One usually fool proof method I use when this happens is reading. I picked up a book I've been taking my time with and got comfy.So, I asked my writerly type friends for advice.

Oh boy, the things I heard from them. Some of them sympathized, others did not. There were some who had been down the same road before and gave me a few ideas to try and help, prompts and things of that sort, but I'll get to that in a minute. I want to touch quickly on the ones who think, as many out there do, that writer's block does not actually exist. Now, as I said before, I don't think I was actually blocked, just in a funk. But there are people who will tell you, and told me when I asked them, that writer's block isn't a real problem, it's just a myth, whatever. Now, I have gone through one period where I was literally unable to write. We're talking shaking hands, nauseous, sweating, the whole nine yards. It terrified me to try and write. That lasted for a little over six months or so, and was not a pleasant time for me. The whole time, all I did was read. I couldn't write, so I read. I think I managed about a book every day or two, depending on the length. Then one day, without thinking about it, I sat down at the computer and my fingers started flying. Problem solved, blockage taken care of. Don't ask me how, but it was. And I've never had it so bad since then. I've gone through slumps where my ideas are crap, or the words I do manage to produce don't work well with the story. So, all that being said, I don't know how someone can say that writer's block doesn't exist. I've been through it. I know what it's like to be physically unable to write anything. Perhaps those people are just more talented than I am and never have difficulty with their writing. *shrugs*

So, what did I do to get out of my funk? I actually used common sense... go figure. It annoys me that it took me so many days to realize what I should/could try. Because when you think about it, it's just simple logic. Try writing something else. I suppose the fact that I couldn't even do a blog post was stopping me from trying anything else, let alone another story. But I was given the idea of a prompt from someone and I thought I'd give it a shot. Said person gave me three items to write about, told me my limit was no more than 500 words, and sent me on my way. I figured I'd give it a shot, and I'm glad I did.

I wrote my little piece, which with me being long-winded and all came out to 658 words, and I realized I didn't want to stop. I had to keep going. And as somebody told me later on, I'd gotten my MC into a mess, I had to give her the chance to get out. It's now over 1500 words, which isn't too bad considering the circumstances it sprouted from. I posted some of it up on Absolute Write to be critiqued and I've received some good advice so far. Of course I'm extremely grateful for that. I'll always take advice on how to improve my writing. I've also been thinking about other plainly obvious things I could do to help me form ideas for a current WIP or help me move on when I am stuck. I know a few people who swear by any and every form of writing exercise under the sun. They say the exercises spark little ideas here and there and eventually one is going to begin to grow. More than one if you're lucky. And of course there is my favorite standby, reading. I love to read anyway, so it's not hard for me to find a book to escape into. There's usually something out there that can help you get back to what you love. As long as you never give up, there's always hope. :-)

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