Saturday, April 9, 2011

Writer's Block, How Do I Hate Thee?

Today we’re going to talk about writer’s block, the bane of a writer’s existence (outside of form rejection letters, ha-ha).  Sometimes it’s not that you can’t think of anything to say, but that you can’t think of anything good to say, or just that you can’t figure out an interesting enough way to say it.

I’ve been fruitlessly trying to get a good foothold into book 2 with little success for weeks now.  So far, my writing attempts go as follows:  I write a few pages, hate them, delete-delete-delete, rewrite, still hate ‘em, delete-delete-delete, rewrite, weep uncontrollably at how amazing and beautiful these pages are, turn away for a half a second, turn back to find it’s turned into complete and utter SLOP!!  SLOP!!  How could I have ever thought this was good?  Restrain myself from chucking a battery through the computer screen, stare stupidly at that infuriating white space for the better part of an hour, throw my hands up in despair, and go watch Aqua Teen Hunger Force and Squidbillies until I can’t feel feelings anymore.

I have several ‘remedies’ for writer’s block.  I go for a walk, put the whole thing out of my head and work on something else for a while, go off and daydream for a bit, read a book, and (my personal favorite) put on some music that would serve as an excellent ‘soundtrack’ for the scene I’m trying to write.  My personal favorites are Muse, Rob Zombie, Enya, Air Supply…anything nice and emotionally stimulating, depending on the needs of the scene.

Sadly, all these things have forsaken me lately.  I have perhaps 7 pages written that don’t make me want to kill myself, but that’s only an estimate because I haven’t been able to bring myself to look at it for days.  I hate this book.  Eventually I hope I’ll learn to love it, perhaps the way a pretty mother learns to love an ugly baby.


Anyone else have any good tips or tricks for getting past writer’s block?  Or just similar stories of woe and despair that you’d like to share with the rest of the class?



    Seriously. I keep a dead doc fold on my desktop for stuff I do not like for one reason or other. Every writer and editor I talk to says keep everything. First off because you never know when you will change your mind about the material and two, so you can see how you have progressed.

    And do not be too picky. "All good writing is re writing," I forget who said that, but it is perfect advice.

    Good Luck!

  2. Just keep writing!!

    Just write right through the block. Pages 1 through who knows might be crap... but on some magical page number the crap will turn to gold.

    Because... practice makes perfect!!

    You just gotta keep writing.

    Great post.

  3. It doesn't sound like writer's block; it sounds like an attack of the internal editor.

    Just keep writing. Don't allow yourself to re-read what you've written. Yes, it will all suck, but that's okay, because you won't be looking at it.

    Here's the thing: after a few dozen pages, you will get into the groove and figure out what this story is supposed to be. And at that point, you'll know exactly how to fix your sucky beginning, and you'll start liking the new stuff you're putting on the page.

    It's always hard starting the story because you haven't figured out what you want it to be yet. Just press on; what is written can be fixed, but what is unwritten (or deleted) can't be.

  4. Are there favorite scenes in your book you know will come? I use writing these scenes as a reward for plowing through the build-up and the backstory. But maybe pulling out one of these scenes and treating yourself by writing it will get you engaged again? It may be that by the time you actually reach that scene later on, much of what you write now will go to the "gone but not deleted" file. But that's OK, because by then you'll have found your voice, your plot and your reason for writing.

    Now, excuse me while I go take my own advice (*stupid, stupid WIP*)


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