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Cure for writers block (1 Viewer)

Book Cook

Senior Member
@David Gordon Burke -- I found that writing longhand is effective, as well. But I gave it up when I sat down to type all of it on the PC. The tedium of it was magnificent. :razz:
 

PiP

Staff member
Co-Owner
I use photographs to inspire me and overcome the 'ideas block' (I won't call it writer's block). Last year I completed #NaPoWriMo. The fact I was focused on writing 30 poems in 30 days really helped as well! Try it.
 

HorseDragon

Senior Member
[Please note that what follows is my view based on either experience or observation. I am not an expert in the psychology of motivation, procrastination or depression.]

I don't believe that there is a 'cure' for writer's block. I think that there are various treatments for it - treatments that follow along the same lines as for procrastination, lack of motivation, and perhaps depression. In fact - I believe that there are times when Writer's Block is more akin to fatigue. At least in my experience.

We are motivated to write for any number of reasons. It's fairly clear that we should at least understand our own motivations. When Writer's Block sets in, it (in my opinion) indicates a blockage in either motivation, or a loss of a clear sense of purpose. I know that I sometimes say to myself, "This is going nowhere. What's the point?" or "I can't figure a way out of this plot hole. It's wearing me down," or "I'm staring at this screen and nothing is coming."

Under those circumstances, I feel that my brain is begging for a rest. If it was playing a musical instrument, then I'd try to play some scales for practice. Sometimes that even feels pointless because it is not creative in the moment. I think that we sometimes burn out for a while, and need to focus on something else. So what do I do?

I set my work aside and do something else. Maybe see a movie, read a few chapters of a book, take a drive out to the country or spend a few days visiting with family. Anything that is not specifically attached to writing. Anything that gives that part of me a rest until inspiration hits. And it does - inspiration grabs hold and I have to write something in my journal, or a feeling emerges that I need to express, of that friggin' plot hole suddenly becomes clear as a sunny day.

But I don't think there is a 'cure' for Writer's Block - only situational therapy, so to speak. Indeed, if the problem is associated with an emerging depression, then it may be a matter of talking with someone, in sharing what is going on in our minds. In my experience, most times it means that I need to take a break and change my routine for a while.
 
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Ralph Rotten

Staff member
Mentor
Curing writer's block depends on the source of your blockage. Personally mine is almost always a decision intersection. It's because I am at a point where I can go left or right, but have not yet worked out the equation to make sure they both get to the same point I'm aiming. In other words, I'm not really blocked; just worried about writing a hundred pages that'll have to be deleted when I realize I just painted myself into a corner. I do the same with other projects like model building.

So for me the perfect solution is to have multiple projects. When I get blocked on one, I put it on the back burner while my subconscious mind unravels the equation (the subconscious mind is much more powerful than the conscious mind.) While that story is fermenting, I write on the other project (until I become blocked there). By the time I come back I have usually worked out the minutia and am ready to pick up where I left off.


I have also experimented with music and found that it works best [for me] if I use music that I have heard a million times. The familiarity of the music works like a metronome for me.
But if I use music I recently discovered, I am slightly distracted because I wanna groove to those jams. I read recently that listening to music while multitasking can diminish your system resources by as much as 10 IQ points.
And I usually listen to NO music while editing. I need to be able to hear the words in my head.
 

ScarletM.Sinclaire

Senior Member
I NEED to try this. I'm at 55k...haven't written anything in a month now. When i first started writing this book I was ECSTATIC. it's all I ever thought about for about 5 months even while writing it. Now I'm less excited about it and trying to muddle my way through and push through this blah feeling. I'll try this when I get home.
 

Jack of all trades

Senior Member
Different strokes for different folks.

Look at what was going on when you were writing well and see if there are any physical differences. Sometimes diet changes can impact writing, for example. I write best when there's activity around. I can't change my neighbors, but I can play music or a show to simulate that. Yes, music with words works better for me. As I said, different strokes... Sometimes it's something that can't be fixed, like when my computer died and couldn't be repaired. I HATE the replacement. I'm still working on how to adapt to it.

Sometimes you just aren't sure where the story should go next. Finding a friend to take a walk with you and kick around ideas (brainstorming) can be helpful. If I do this, I have to avoid deciding on a course of action while still with my friend or I'll be tempted to talk it out instead of write it out.
 

sas

WF Veterans
Ok, this will sound rude. I often sound rude.
My advice: Get a life.

Am I wrong that writers now seem to live in front of their monitors? Live within themselves? How creative can that be? The brain needs to be fed. Hemingway knew how to feed his. Wasn't by being in front of his typewriter, either. He even went and took a bullet. So, ok, you don't want to do that, but do something unusual for you, maybe with unusual people. "Do" is an action word.
 

shouthuzzah

Senior Member
I love to listen to music that... sounds like my book. When I'm having a hard time focusing I do find that turning on my book playlist brings me back into the right mindset.
 
It's not exactly a cure, per se, but it is a workaround I've started using when I want to get past something with the intent of getting back to it later.

Let's say I have to write an action scene, instead of struggling through writing it, I'll do something like this:

*A starts sword fight with B. It's a close fight but A wins in the end.*

Then I move on to the next part. Writing what happens immediately after often makes it easier for me to loop back around and fill in what stopped me before.
 

Ralph Rotten

Staff member
Mentor
It's not exactly a cure, per se, but it is a workaround I've started using when I want to get past something with the intent of getting back to it later.

Let's say I have to write an action scene, instead of struggling through writing it, I'll do something like this:

*A starts sword fight with B. It's a close fight but A wins in the end.*

Then I move on to the next part. Writing what happens immediately after often makes it easier for me to loop back around and fill in what stopped me before.

Yep, I have done this before. Mark the spot and come back when I have it fleshed out.
 

Ralph Rotten

Staff member
Mentor
I NEED to try this. I'm at 55k...haven't written anything in a month now. When i first started writing this book I was ECSTATIC. it's all I ever thought about for about 5 months even while writing it. Now I'm less excited about it and trying to muddle my way through and push through this blah feeling. I'll try this when I get home.


Don't let that book stall you forever. Move onto something else if you are stuck. You will either figure out how to proceed, or abandon the story. Either way, by the time you figure it out you'll have 20k towards a new book.
After all, the first 200k you write is just practice. So if that first book is a stillborn, move on and have another, but don't let it stop you from writing altogether.
 

Carly Berg

Senior Member
My cure for writer's block: First either open the manuscript you're stalled on and read the last page of it, or start a new one and write one sentence or at least a couple of words, even if it's only "My New Story" at this point.

Then jump up and down, hop around the room, beat on the table, somersault down the hall, jump on the bed, etc. Be sure to bounce around enough to get your heart rate up and your blood flowing. If anyone is watching, they should think you are insane.

Then sit down and write. I have no idea why this works for me but it does. Try it! :p
 

Kist

Senior Member
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:)


This is a great idea. I'll have to try it.
 

LadySilence

Senior Member
My block is the fear of bad writing.
I let myself fall into despair, and I don't write anymore.


I found a solution, I started writing a story that I will never let anyone read.


With me it worked, now I'm working on 3 projects.
 

Lee Messer

Senior Member
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:)


I do the exact same thing!!! LOL. Wow.
 

TripleFade

Senior Member
I tend to get inspired reading non-fiction. Anything I can learn something from, I start thinking "Well, what if it were like this?" and I go from there.

I personally listen to Erik Satie's Gymnopedies #3 and "The Way in Breaks" by Evan Bartels as my nerves are shot after burning out (academic/employment), so once I'm back up on action scenes and conflict, I usually go with "Astonishing Panarama of the Endtimes" - Marylin Manson, "Wish" -Nine Inch Nails, and "After the Flesh" -My Life with the Thrill-Kill Kult. Oh, and "Planets Collide" by Crowbar.

Good stuff.
 

SpartanWarrior

Senior Member
Writers Block

Hi, guys I'm new here. I wanted to ask if anyone knows something about writers block. I am writing a book about the old greek gods and king Leonidas of Sparta. In the story Leonidas falls in love with a girl. And that's the point where I don't know how to continue. Does someone know how to deal with this or maybe has some ideas how I can continue writing?
 
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indianroads

Staff member
Board Moderator
You're writing about a real person - so, what does your research tell you that he did?

You should also read about the Spartan culture, race, and how they raised and trained their young men into soldiers.

Research often inspires me.
 

Olly Buckle

Mentor
Patron
Go beyond the point stopping you, what are his hopes? What will become of it if/when he fulfills them? How will others react? Think about where you are going rather than where you are, then you can see how to get there.
 

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