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A discussion to stoke your writing fire.
Posted: 10/12/2008 1:51 PM PDT
Thanks for the tips everybody, I really appreciate them.
I think I'm good to go now. I've got 2 works that I'm working on simultaneously, though one (the one that's now up to 139 pages, I think) is the one I'm focused the most on.
I let that one sit for a month or two and I figure that's what I needed to get back to it. A break.
Posted: 10/12/2008 11:44 AM PDT
Sometimes the best thing you can do in that situation is just stop writing those huge multi-chaptered things, and knock off a short story.
It will keep those creative juices flowing, but allow you to have that sense of pride that you've actually finished something.
But, if you do this, it cannot be related to any of your multi-chaptered works, and you cannot continue the short story past--at most--ten pages. Even if this makes it into crap; you cannot go beyond that limit. And if you're struggling with the short story, delete it. It's not precious, it's not something that you've poured your heart and soul into; that's your multi-chaptered work. It is a way to relieve the stress of all those creative juices.
And who knows, you might get an idea off the short story that will take your preciouses to new heights.
Posted: 10/6/2008 1:44 PM PDT
Writing can be a lot like falling in love -- there's that initial rush of infatuation, but that almost never lasts all the way to the finish line. It has to be replaced by a solid commitment and some creative problem-solving instead. Just like with a relationship, it can help to know that you shouldn't expect to feel inspired ALL the time -- and if you lose your inspiration for a while, it will likely come back if you hang in there, and try some new stuff to keep things fresh.
From what you've said, you might try giving yourself permission to skip over those months between point A and point B...for now. If they feel to you like a boring obstacle on the way to the juicy stuff, they'll probably feel that way to the reader, too. So go ahead and get down to where you "want to go." When you're done, go back and fill in the gaps -- you very well may be inspired to find new ways to attack the middle by the process of writing the end.
I'd also recommend a change of scene -- if you're used to writing at home, try going to a cafe or the library for a week or so.
Or, my all-time favorite way to cheat writer's block: If I feel frustrated by an inability to make progress on a project, I make a hard and fast rule that I'm not allowed to work on that project for a given period of time (I like two weeks, but a week may do it). During that time, I'm required to free-write for an hour (or more) every day, but I can't work on my stalled project, or start any new projects. Just free-writing. After two weeks of free-writing, I'm so sick of the sound of my own voice, it's a relief to get back to work.
Posted: 10/6/2008 1:22 PM PDT
I'm actually not a Gemini, though sometimes I feel like I am. I have two very different directions that I'm going in life. I'm in college right now, less than a year away from getting the B.S. I've been working for for the past 4 years.
I have equal interests in science as well as my writing, which is fiction with a little bit of poetry mixed in. I generally don't like to write anything non-fictional or autobiographical, though there are biographical elements in everything I write. Where else would I get inspiration from, right?
I'm working on 2 of my works simultaneously, or so that's what it feels like. I'm focusing more on one than the other currently. I just turned back to the one I'd been working for for close to a year now, written almost all on a notepad. I'm now up to 136 pages hand-written, so of course there's no way I can stop writing it or give up. My inspiration for it came from a series I started reading into, but I'm avoiding reading the next book in the series (just came out in August) because I don't want it to influence the plot too much. I'm sure when I type the whole thing up, I'll fix a lot of it up in the editing process. Right now, I'm just working on getting to the next big chunk of it.
The issue I'm probably going to run into right now is drawing out my plot to the point where it's the right time to start working on a big scene that I have coming up. I don't feel I can simply say in the next chapter "Months later, the time has finally come"... If I don't have much of a plot between where I am now and where I want to go, it feels like I'm cheating by skipping through a whole bunch of months. At the same time, though, I'm trying to fill in the gap, but I'm really not all that interested in writing the alternate storylines going on (aside from the core relationship). So I either skip ahead and feel like cheating or I write more on the other characters through my main character's eyes where I'm really not all that interested.
The second work, I'm actually just starting, but it might not be my first priority because not much has happened yet and the inspiration isn't quite there, but I can just see it.
Connecting the dots is more/less what I have to do with my larger work now. But if worse comes to worse, I can always skip ahead, write the part I want to write and fill in the blanks later.
And yes, you did help me, so thanks a lot Karisha.
Posted: 10/4/2008 11:43 PM PDT
Are you a gemini? lol. I am, I have about the same number of stories going on too. The trick is finding the source of your inspiration. I thought for sure that the story I wrote, Losing Direction, would be a flop after the third chapter because the emotions I had in the first three chatpers were so strong and I lost those emotions because my life changed. But...I reread my own work and remember where all the emotion came from. I also started meditating, which is really just ignoring all those little things that bug you to concentrate on nothing. So...don't trash your works. Keep them. As your inspiration changes...you will move back to work that is in that same area of inspiration. And don't STOP writing, even if you have a million things going on. If a fresh idea is in your head GO WITH IT! It is better to hav too much than to end up with *whisper*writers block *gasp*
Be happy you are blessed with so much creativity!
If meditation and rereading your work doesnt work (thats alot of WORK! :) then focusing on something else would be best. It will come to you like an Epiphany in the middle of doing something else. The answer will just come to you when you stop thinking abou it.
You could always draw out your plot? It will become more like connecting the dots for you then.
Hope I helped!!!
Posted: 10/2/2008 4:08 PM PDT
I have the problem where even setting the time aside to write will only succeed in one of two outcomes:
1. I will spend an hour staring at a blank piece of paper, willing my thoughts to organize themselves into a semblance of order.
2. I will just sit down and words will flow out and everthing will go really well and I will come away feeling really great, only to realize ten minutes later that I have just started writing something new and completely off topic from my last idea and that it has no basis to go anywhere.
Either way I feel as though the time has been wasted and I come away feeling very discouraged.
Posted: 10/1/2008 5:19 PM PDT
that happens to me all the time to. Sorry, I'm still trying to figure out how to do it....
Posted: 10/1/2008 2:51 PM PDT
You can't base writing anything solely off inspiration alone. If all writers did that, nothing would get finished. There are times when you have to create your own inspiration. What usually works best for me when the muse suddenly sputters and dies is to share what I've written with someone and bounce ideas off of them. Another thing that has helped is writing something every day. It doesn't matter how long it is, or even what it is. It can just be a sentence, but setting time aside every day for writing helps to force your mind in the habit of writing, regardless of inspiration.
Inspiration is the key to starting. Perseverance is the key to finishing.
Posted: 10/1/2008 1:01 PM PDT
There have been times when something has inspired me and I started writing about it. And then after a while, the inspiration just disappears.
I currently have five works of fiction that I had started. One of which I'm working on right now (with steady inspiration coming from my class in Greek mythology).
But I'm afraid that the works I had started might never be finished simply because the inspiration just isn't there anymore. There have been a couple of instances where I've written something and I later deleted it on the basis that I couldn't think of anything else to add. I really don't want to happen with a couple of works I've started.
One of them, I've been writing for probably a year now, mostly on a pad of paper. Now I'm up to 130 something papers all hand-written, but I find myself stuck.
I have so many things going at once that I don't know where to continue. At the same time, there's something I want to start writing, but I have so much going on right now that its best that I don't chance it.