God Of Nothing

Life, The Universe, and Everything…

Forcing the Words

Lost by Kev Stanton

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?

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January 8, 2012 - Posted by | Life | , , , , , , , ,

11 Comments

  1. “[F]our year old little girls need hugs at least two to three times an hour.” Awe, my need for hugs never diminished as I aged either. Two or three times an hour would be awesome.

    For me, I have the great fortune of a coauthor. She beats me with a rolled up newspaper if I don’t get my part of the writing done. But on a serious note, having someone who knows your deadlines (even ones you set for yourself) who can push you and pick up some of the slack when you’re short on time is what got me from “writing is a fun hobby” to my debut novel set to release March 1st. When I can’t handle the blog anymore or I’m fed up with social media, she takes over. I keep all the balls on the air when she’s on vacation and then pass them off the moment she gets back. I don’t know how anyone does it without a partner. I really don’t.

    Keep it up. If it’s something you want to do, you’ll make the time for it, but you have to want it. Having been through the process, it’s so easy to get fed up and do a poor job trying to rush it in the end. You need to have beta readers check over your work and you need to be willing to make changes. It took an editor to get us to cut down our 200k word behemoth, but we did it. Surround yourself with a support system. It will make it that much easier and meaningful when you do get published.

    Eliabeth

    Comment by Ermilia | January 8, 2012

    • Ermilia, Thank you for your words. I’m not ever sure I could stop writing. It’s something I have to do and have always had to do from a very early age. I’ve let distractions slow me down throughout life, but now have the ability to devote more time to it so onward it is.

      Comment by God Of Nothing | January 8, 2012

  2. Ermilia makes great points. All of which I agree with. But then, you hit the nail on the head. Keep writing. Whatever it is, punch it out on a keyboard or scribble it on paper. Let the words go and see where they take you. Two pages or two words, you’ll need both, repeatedly, to get there. Great post, too.

    Comment by A.T. Russell | January 8, 2012

    • A.T., It’s the one lesson in life I’ve learned that applies to everything, Keep writing, keep doing. That saying, “practice makes perfect” is so true, especially in writing. That’s why it is so important to me to write even in the moments I’m not feeling it. Thank you.

      Comment by God Of Nothing | January 8, 2012

      • Thanks A. T. Russell. I have to add one thing though, continue to write, but sometimes move on to other projects and come back. It took Ermisenda and I abandoning book 1 for a bit to work on book 2 to notice some flaws in the story. It took Emlyn Chand writing a novel in a completely different genre to dust the cobwebs off her first novel and ready for publication. There is that moment after you’ve thrown the book across the room several times, beaten your head against the wall, and watched your brain ooze out your ears that you can pick it up again and look at it objectively.

        Comment by Ermilia | January 8, 2012

        • That is like my leave concept on a greater scale. I’ve done that a few times, moving on to other projects because my mind could no longer wrap around the current one. Coming back to it further down the road, with more life experience gave me to ability to carry on the creativity that I had lost for that project.

          Comment by God Of Nothing | January 8, 2012

          • Exactly. There is nothing things worse as a reviewer than when you can tell the author rushed the novel, whether that be during the writing or the editing process. I’m glad to see you take the time to let your projects sit and come back to them.

            Comment by Ermilia | January 8, 2012

          • Sometimes, you just have too. When you get to that point that you have gone days staring at it and nothing is coming, you have to move on. If its a good project, you’ll come back to it and finish it.

            Comment by God Of Nothing | January 8, 2012

  3. I love this post! I have to say, I love the people watching. I do the same thing. Everyone has the chance of being a character in my work.
    I tend to journal when I block. It seems that my blank story pages spawn from things weighing on my mind or heart, even if I don’t openly see it until I begin rambling on the pages of my journal.
    I end up sifting through various thoughts and write until I am wiped out- but…. when I wake up I am refreshed and the words seem to flow like magic. Oh, and it is much cheaper than therapy. LOL.

    Comment by Michelle Anderson-Picarella | January 8, 2012

    • Shelly, thank you Sweet. I love people watching. I would have to say it is the best way to create characters from their outer appearance to my bizarre imaginations of what they are thinking and doing and how their lives may be.

      Comment by God Of Nothing | January 8, 2012

  4. Wonderful post!
    Distractions seem to come in droves when life decides to take a step into our comfortable little world of words. Mine always comes in the form of a ten year old who wants to be held, my 12 year old wanting to paint my nails or my 14 year needing me to go pick up one friend or another. I’d like to say I handle it all with grace, but that would be a lie…Those distractions usually lead to the worst cases of writer’s block for me. I get so wound up I can’t think of anything but writing. Then I can’t write. Walking away helps, but the best way I can find to deal with it is through music. Losing myself in a song reignites the creativity. I get lost in the emotion, the power of the song and then suddenly I’m off again.

    Comment by Dawn Kirby | January 8, 2012


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