Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Fighting with writer's block and killing it dead.

Writer's block is that nasty, greasy bitch who likes to come visit at the most inconvenient time and cause all sorts of drama and emotional upheaval. It likes to leave us unsettled and wanting a gods damned break, just a little bit of one, just for a few hours, so we can get our train back on track and chugging along. Sometimes we can back hand the bitch and shove it out the door but sometimes, even if we've slapped it and ourselves, we just can't seem to recover.

It was easier when we were younger. We didn't have as many hang ups. We didn't have as many worries or things that invaded our writing time or space. There weren't roommates, in-laws, and health problems, work, homework of the assumed 'higher education' levels and a social life. We weren't too worried about grammar and spelling, speaker tags, whether or not to use this word rather than that word. If we decided to share it with someone they would tell you how awesome it was because they wanted to encourage you and would forgive all the little mistakes and focus more on content. If we didn't share it, then it was our own little treasure. We only had to really focus on our story, play time, and the simpler things in life.

I have to say finding time to write hasn't really been an issue in some respects, it's getting things around me to settle enough so I CAN write. I have come across a problem where I live that makes it very difficult for me to write and trying to come up with compromises simply aren't working. Goting other places doesn't seem to help much either. Thus a lot of my writing drive has been squish-squashed. Health complications have also made it difficult to really focus on much of anything.  Which is very sad because writing used to be my coping mechanism for just about everything. Writing used to keep me sane, well saner.

So what does a person do when that's taken away and hindered? Fight for it! It's hard, so very very hard, but you have to fight for it, even if it's scratching at the surface and you just write blogs or letters to trusted friends bitching about someone or something. You have to write short stories and it doesn't matter if it is crap. Sometimes you need crap. Sometimes you have to get the steaming pile of shit out of your system so the good stuff that has been trapped can surface. If you're angry, write something angry. Take what ever you are angry about and turn it into a character and then torture it, make that character suffer. I know that sounds twisted but at least you will have written something.

I've read some opinions from published authors who say writer's block doesn't exist, that it's a writer being this or that, that they just don't want to sit down and write. That we basically just need to suck it up and just sit down and do it if we want to be successful. Whether it's all in our heads or there are some other problems going on, they all seem to agree that you have to write through it. If this is the job you want, then you have to treat it like a job.

Here is the blog from Larry Correia (he wrote Monster Hunter International) that has be of some help and inspiration to me. He doesn't hand hold. He gives it to you straight, which I think is what most people want and need. It's not a five minute read so read it when you have a few minutes. The second link is his post about time management.

Ask Correia: How to be a professional author.

Ask Correia: Time management for writers

I don't know if this is going to help anyone and this isn't some magical cure-all. These are just some ideas and harsh realities meant to help knock us all back into gear. We're probably always going to battle with this problem from time to time. I mean I've spent months dealing with and fighting against things out of my control. There were, still are, and will always be days where I'm far too panicky and emotionally raw (that happens when you live with chronic pain but that's for a personal blog) to set foot outside my room much less deal with all the noise and commotion in my house. I swear there have been days where I've actually wanted to break every TV in my house and wished everyone had a bad case of laryngitis. There were, still are, and probably will always be days where my back pain makes it hell to sit in a chair for short periods of time much less long ones. Sometimes I can make sitting on the sofa work if only because I can change my potion more frequently. Sometimes I just can't and have to squeeze in as much as I can for as long as I can stand it. But it has only been recently that I have actually really worked on my works-in-progress- novels. Before that, I was still writing, just blog posts, e-mails, and letters. But I was writing something.

The point is simple, you can't stop. You have keep writing something, anything. I'm not going to say 'if I can do it then you can do it too'. No, that's one of those cheap cop-outs self help and diet plan sales people try to get you to buy into their crap, good advice or not. This is entirely on you just as much as it's entirely on me. A story isn't going to write itself. So look that writer's block bitch in the face and have a fight it with, blow it up, torture it as much as it tortures you, but kill it dead and when it comes back to life, kill it again. 


  1. Maybe I'm a character someone created to beat the shit out of when they feel angry and need to take it out on something. Sure feels that way.

    Created to be hated.

  2. P.S. I'm REALLY liking the design you guys chose for this site.

    [daily captcha name: yaymor, lol]