Friday, July 9, 2010

Breaking the Block

A week ago Thursday, I decided that the Friday-post-that-never-was should start with: "A year from now, I'm going to write a post filled with all the good advice that I don't know to use now."

Thinking of that, I realized how much advice I've taken in over the years.  And that advice you don't take isn't particularly helpful...

Everything, from seeing a shot of Vin Diesel as I channel surfed to waking up with the chorus of a once heard song in my head, has been giving me ideas for characters and setting.  Meanwhile, the collaboration was staring at me with accusing eyes and a stagnant word count.  I told myself to focus...and ended up playing a lot of Plants Vs. Zombies and Bejeweled. 

Growing desperate, I desperate, I dusted off the my copy of The Artist's Way and started to do an exercise that had given me success in the past.  It's a long term recovery sort of thing, so I also started to follow my own advice.  "Just one line."  I had a few days in a row where that's as far as I got on my little section of story.  Then someone had posted what I'd been ignoring: use the ideas that you have.  Instead of blocking out the inspiration that was coming to me and sitting on the story that was blocked, I wrote the ideas down.

It wasn't exactly a floodgate, but when I went to write "just one line" that afternoon, I was able to write to the end of the chapter.

Somewhere in there, you know, if you happen to be stuck, is my advice to you.

9 comments:

Metz Photography said...

Great advice!

There are nights where I just stare at the screen with nothing in my head. I think my characters do that to me on purpose for payback for all the crap I put them through.

Angela Addams said...

I usually don't have a problem with writing because I have a quota to meet each week...at least when I have a project I'm working on. Right now I'm working on rewrites and it doesn't really fit with the whole quota thing especially when it's stop and start while I wait on more notes. I do have another novella that I should get started on but for some reason I'm having trouble switching my brain over to those characters. It's something I'm going to have to work through though cause I don't like sittine idle for too long.

Seleste said...

I don't know if I could do a collaboration. It would make me crazy when I was writing and crazier while I was waiting for others to write. I applaud you for even attempting it.

And it IS great advice :)

An Again said...

Metz, I can't blame them for wanting a little payback. ;-)

Angela, I'm jealous! I've tried to cultivate the sort of discipline that would lead to writing whether I feel inspired or not, but that often means sitting there like Metz, blank screen taunting me.

Seleste, it's (the other) Julie that deserves your applause. I'm the one who has made her wait, though I've been clear on what I would write when I found the words so she could work around.

I think the strength of our collaboration--the differences with which we approach a story--has also become my weakness. I stumble over bits that are in such a different style than my own.

Nicole said...

I'm currently stuck too... but I suspect my writing will get unstuck when my nose does. I really hate it, but I have a hard time writing while sick. The focus just isn't there. :(

An Again said...

I hope you feel better soon, Bookie!

An Again said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
天花天花 said...

一時的錯誤不算什麼,錯而不改才是一生中永遠且最大的錯誤............................................................

懿綺懿綺 said...

Of two evils choose the least.............................................................