As a writer, I often find that writing is a tenuous activity because it is so easily put off because of a world full of distractions from errands that must be run to getting lost on the Internet. There is family that must be tended to; four year old little girls need hugs at least two to three times an hour. There is food that needs to be prepared and eaten. A whole gambit of things can distract you. As I am writing this blog, I am realizing that even this blog is distracting me from working on my novel.
You can’t stop life from happening around you or to you but you can control some aspects of it. I try to write in a comfortable quite location, far removed from family and friends. I set specific times to write and try to follow that whenever possible. It doesn’t always work, but it does let the people in my life know that writing is important to me and it’s something I need to do.
Writer’s block is another killer of dreams. I have spent countless hours staring at my computer, the blank white page in Word that cannot be filled with letters, words, sentences, and paragraphs. I know the story, I know the plot, but getting that information from my wandering mind to the page seems to be as elusive as the pink unicorn my daughter wants to ride so badly.
I love to write, it is something that I seem to do well and people respond well to my written stories. I enjoy creating worlds and the characters that live in them. Unfortunately, more often than not, I am distracted, led away from my words and come back only to find an empty white page mocking my creative soul. I hate that.
I once read that S.E. Hinton, a favorite author of mine as a teenager and writer of “The Outsiders” and “That Was Then, This is Now,” had sever writers block after the release of “The Outsiders.” After three years of it, her boyfriend told her to write two pages a day, of anything, as long as she was writing something. I’ve often use this to get beyond my writers block and distractions. Sometimes what I write is just meaningless and will never be used but sometimes there is a spark of something that leads to a bigger project.
My current work in progress is one such spark. It was fueled by a bad day of writing when the words to the story I wanted to write just would not come out, would not make their way to the keys and onto the screen. That spark lead to more words, then sentences, then paragraphs, and soon I had more written from that spark then in the original project I was working on.
Another thing I do, which actually sounds counter-productive but seems to work for me is leave. I pack up my thoughts and go out into the world where I spy on every passerby I can find. I watch people, the girl with amazing blue eyes behind the counter at the 7-Eleven, the guy chomping down on a burger while ignoring his wife go on about something I can’t quite hear, the kid running like a warrior through the toy section at Target. Whatever, anything I see, it’s all potential to be something in my created worlds. The kid might become a soldier storming the enemy. The guy might be plotting his escape from the life that has become less than wonderful. The blue-eyed girl a love interest to the protagonist. It’s all out there and it’s all ready to be transformed into something magnificent.
The actual working mechanics of a writer is generally and most often fairly solitary and boring, spending hours alone in front of the computer or pad of paper. It is so unlike working in an office environment where there are other persons to interact with, experience life with. It is so important to go out there and experience, even if it is just watching others. It breeds ideas, allowing me to create my worlds, my characters, and the situations they have to live through, hopefully making then more real and believable.
In the end, whether by choice or fortune’s fate, I am a writer, it is something I have to do and there are sometimes obstacles that must be overcome as in all things. I may someday become an author of published work or maybe not, but I will always be a writer even when it is hard to write.
What do you do when the words won’t come out?
- No More Writer’s Block (greatmentor.net)
- Some Thoughts on Writer’s Block (asserttrue.blogspot.com)
- Writer’s block (examiner.com)
- Writer’s Block: Or, How To Pull A Blog Post Out of Your Ass (ricardobueno.com)
- Writers Block? Try this Quick Tip (problogger.net)
- S.E. Hinton, Hopes and Dreams, and then, it was gone… (creationsandinspirations.com)