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Cure for writers block (1 Viewer)

squidtender

Space Lord
Patron
I've seen many posts about writers block and a general lack of enthusiasm that seems to happen to all of us half way through a story (especially the longer ones). So, I have a trick that I use and I thought I might pass it on. When I start a new novel, I find a few songs that I think go good with the type of story it is. My current novel is a hybrid of action and horror, so I used Drowning Pool's "bodies" and DMX's "Party up", both of which worked well for certain scenes in my story. When I feel the midway blahs (usually about 50-60k words), or anytime I need to make myself excited for writing the story, I listen to these two songs. I try not to listen to them very often, because the more you hear it, the less it has an effect, but about once a week is a good number. Music is great for triggering memories, and if you can associate certain songs with how excited you are at the begining of your work, then that will help when you feel like giving up on it. I hope this trick helps some of you, the way it's helped me:)
 
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abuistrago

Senior Member
It does work, not only to remember how excited you were about the story in the first place, but as a source of inspiration as well! Excelent tip :)
 

WiredNun

Senior Member
I find 1) plotting out the rest of the story, at least in a general way, 2) writing the end of the story then filling in the middle, and 3) reminding myself I am making $100 a page (presuming average ebook sales) helps. As well as the suggestion above, which I use.
 

Max22

Senior Member
I do this too! Recently I've started to listen to film soundtracks, they are good at setting atmosphere without the distraction of getting caught up in the lyrics. I really like Zodiac's soundtrack, works well for me and fits the tone of the story I'm writing.
 

Morkonan

WF Veterans
I've seen many posts about writers block and a general lack of enthusiasm that seems to happen to all of us half way through a story (especially the longer ones). So, I have a trick that I use and I thought I might pass it on. When I start a new novel, I find a few songs that I think go good with the type of story it is. ...

Music frequently helps writers, but most prefer music that doesn't have lyrics. In instances where it does, they prefer lyrics that can't be easily understood. Like, Gregorian Chants, for instance, for someone who doesn't understand Latin.

The regions of the brain responsible for interpreting music are also the same regions tied to emotion and, coincidentally, regions that are activated when we write.. or read. Funny how that works, isn't it? As a result, it shouldn't be surprising to writers that a session of listening to certain types of music can serve as an inspiration for overcoming a writing problem.

The term "Focus Music" has started to gain attention in pop-culture. A Google of "Focus Music" will likely turn up a lot of pieces of music that people listen to when studying or attempting to solve creative problems. For myself, I listen only to "Focus Music" that does not have lyrics and I frequently find myself creating new ideas for stories or for solutions to writing problems when I'm spending long hours traveling and listening to focus music.

Most writers that have written instructional aids for other writers comment on listening to music and most are in favor of the practice. Most emphasize that the music is free of spoken/sung lyrics, though. I like to listen to a variety of artists that specialize in that sort of thing, especially in gaming and theatrical music. There are a great many who list their works on Youtube and I also have a good playlist of such saved music on my own computer, for tough times.. :)
 

garza

Senior Member
When I was young and still reporting from the field I discovered that when the 105 quit firing for ten or 15 minutes I was able to think better and make notes with a steadier hand because the ground wasn't shaking. Unfortunately the orchestra was never there with us so we had no music, as such, but small arms fire with the occasional 'thump' of the mortar kept us all entertained. The effect could be spoiled if someone next to you suddenly died, but that normally proved to be only a momentary distraction.

If you are intent on your writing, what goes on around you, pleasant or not, should have little impact on whether or not you continue to put one word after another. If music helps, fine, but it should not be needed. In the field you learn that there is no such thing as writer's block.
 

Tiamat

Patron
I've found that the best cure for writer's block is to stop whining and start pounding away at the keyboard. Sure, you might end up with what corn looks like the day after you've eaten it, but at least you have a starting point.

However, I tend to use music to get myself in the mood as well. Case in point, a few weeks back, I was struggling with a romantic scene in my novel (I'm crap at writing those), so I put Apocalyptica's "Romance" on repeat for about fifteen minutes before writing the scene. It seems to have worked; I'm pleased with how it came out.
 

VampFact

Senior Member
I can certainly attest to the truth in this. I'd never made the connection between the music I'm listening to and the writing I'm doing.
Now I can't help but think about it.
 

Nickleby

WF Veterans
As always, kids, your mileage may vary. Some people might prefer to relax with a white noise machine (sounds like surf). I'll put on music, but if I slip into the zone, I don't listen to it, it's just ambiance.

One thing that stops me cold is a television. It's like a cloud of stupid spreading across the room. As soon as you get a whiff, any ideas you were entertaining will pack up and go to Porlock.
 

shadowwalker

WF Veterans
As always, kids, your mileage may vary. Some people might prefer to relax with a white noise machine (sounds like surf). I'll put on music, but if I slip into the zone, I don't listen to it, it's just ambiance.

One thing that stops me cold is a television. It's like a cloud of stupid spreading across the room. As soon as you get a whiff, any ideas you were entertaining will pack up and go to Porlock.

I'm the odd duck, I guess. Music totally destroys my concentration; television in the background, however, is my white noise. The mumble of voices is preferable to anything with a rhythm to it.
 

Motley

Senior Member
I also can't write with music playing, unless it is some mood instrumental stuff with no words. I'm a huge fan of Relaxing ambient sounds, listen, create and download while I write though. It's a great way to drown out the real world and set the mood for whatever type of stuff you're writing.

Writer's block? Keep writing. I also use visualization techniques to keep me flowing. I know someone who imagines themselves in a barrel floating toward a huge waterfall continuously... never reach it. For some reason, train wheels do it for me. I think I can... I think I can... and I usually do.
 

Staff Deployment

WF Veterans
The term "Focus Music" has started to gain attention in pop-culture. A Google of "Focus Music" will likely turn up a lot of pieces of music that people listen to when studying or attempting to solve creative problems. For myself, I listen only to "Focus Music" that does not have lyrics and I frequently find myself creating new ideas for stories or for solutions to writing problems when I'm spending long hours traveling and listening to focus music.

Couldn't find something suitable on google, unfortunately.

Personally I put DeadMau5 on infinite shuffle / repeat. All of his songs are so similar that they kind of blend together. On some of his albums he even blends them together for you, in like an hour-long track.
Of course the music is kind of bland, but I don't think it matters too much. I use it as background ambience and it's pretty good. Not perfect, but good.
 

shabazz

Senior Member
Music for me is much distraction, I get carried away. I usually write when I get inspiration but my being able to write these 40,000 words i have done so far is an indication I will write a lot. I love being indoor too,boredom makes me pound into my keyboard. Also reading through posts on WF gives me a lot of enthusiasm.
 

Kryptex

Senior Member
The best thing, in my mind anyway, is to converse with other writers/people.

Just recently I managed to help Potty do parts of his story, just because we were spitballing to each other.
 

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