How to Break Writers Block (REPOST)

19 Sep

I know I promised a real post today, but I’m swamped with AP History homework! Big test tomorrow so in the meantime enjoy this informative post from writing-world.com! (Hey at least I’m posting I shan’t recant on my promise!)

by Jacob Myers

Writer’s block. All writers suffer from it at some point during their writing career. Some can bypass it pretty quickly, but for others, it takes time, time, and more time. Writer’s block can hit a writer at any time. You could have the best intentions to sit down and spend hours writing. You have a strong desire to write something new, refreshing… something meaningful. Yet, when you sit at your desk and put your pen to paper, your mind draws a blank. That void is simply writer’s block, and though it often seems to come at the worst time possible, thankfully, there are ways to break it.

While some see writer’s block as a sign of true weakness, an indication of doubt, or a sign that the imagination is truly failing, the fact is that writer’s block is not only common, but shows just how complicated and complex writing of all types, including fiction writing, can be. Here are some tips, tricks, and ideas to help break your writer’s block. Not all of them will work for everyone. Pick and choose which ones to try, and see how effective they are for you. If one doesn’t work, move onto the next.

1. Realize. Sometimes, as writers, we tend to drift into our stories more than we should. We tend to leave the real world and go to another. When writing, it’s important to realize that you’re only human, and while you may push and push to be the greatest fiction writer out there, the fact is that when we lose this sense of realization, our works suffer. Your imagination flags, and before you know it, there’s a huge void of nothingness floating around in your brain. There are times when, as a writer, you have to step back and realize that things won’t always go as planned. Make mistakes; they only make you a stronger writer. This just may get your brain out of a certain mindset and into one that allows you to explore and write.

2. Give yourself a break. Remember that nothing and no one is perfect. Your writing isn’t perfect, you’re not a perfect artist, nor is any other story or any other author. The point is that, as a writer, it’s not rare to set goals that are too high. High standards are great to have, but when they are too high, writer’s block can easily set in, as you’re too focused on finding that one detail that seems like pure perfection. The goals and standards you have for yourself should be attainable. Out-of-reach goals are merely that: out of reach, stressful, and frustration-inducing. Cut yourself some slack. It really does help. 3. Bend your structure. The most important part of any piece of literature, especially fiction writing, is structure. Writers tend to stick to this structure, but they often stick to it a little bit too much. Just because your story needs strict structure doesn’t mean that your ideas and imagination do as well. Restricting yourself too much can cut off your creative thinking. With so much structure, your imagination isn’t able to run wild. Instead of creating your structure out of steel, turn it into rubber — something flexible that allows you some leeway. Otherwise, you’ll be stuck in a one-idea mindset.

4. Try freewriting. Freewriting allows you to take your mind off the project at hand and focus on something different. Stream-of-consciousness writing seems a bit weird to some writers, as we like to have structure and coherence, but sometimes writing something as it comes along gives our mind the freedom it needs. Freewriting is truly a gift to writers, as you’ll think of many new things you’d otherwise never consider writing down. No matter whether you’re stuck beginning a piece of work, trapped in the middle, or struggling to create a great ending, freewriting gives you the chance to think without any sort of boundaries or restrictions.

5. Think! Take some time alone, sit down, and just think. Think about the things that interest you. Think about a story or article that caught your mind recently. Think about things that always seem to catch your attention but that you don’t give much thought to. Consider your past, or future events. Think about your secrets. When you think of all these things, write them down, write about them. The point is to think about something new so that you can take your mind off the project you have it set to. Minds need and enjoy freedom, and sometimes as a writer you have to give it that. Take some time and think about something OTHER than your story, and before you know it, you’ll think about the perfect idea that brings you back to your story again.

Try these suggestions, and see which ones help to break your writer’s block. Don’t stress if your writer’s block doesn’t go away as quickly as you’d like. Give yourself and your imagination some time. Allow your expectations to settle, give your mind some rest, and soon enough the writer’s block will be a thing of the past.

Copyright © 2012 Jacob Myers

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{THINGS I DIDN’T SAY} Thoughts on Life and Swedish Fish

18 Sep

Hey all, I got super busy today, but will have a proper post for you all tomorrow I promise. In the meantime I dug up this old thing. A draft that for some reason I never posted. I guess I  was feeling philosophical on the 13th of June 2012 because this post is rather wishy washy hipster-esque. Still, it isn’t dreadful and I find it interesting to see what I was thinking while working on old manuscripts.If  you would like to see the post that began just before this take a click on over HERE. Otherwise enjoy!

I am sitting in my room with a bag of Swedish fish and a bottle of SoBe. I was writing, and should be writing now. But for a second, between bites of candy and sips of orange flavored water ,I stopped. I feel like this isn’t where I’m suppose to be.

And no I am not getting down on myself. Especially not after yesterdays post.I was just thinking that I’m in some kind of suspended animation, or full of so much energy that I can’t sit still… ha, then again maybe that’s the sugar! I just think that I have potential.(but not in the way your thinking)

I feel like what I’m doing now is just building up to something crazy good. I just kept writing, but it’s in someone else’s voice. I don’t know how to say it exactly. It’s like I’m about to jump out of an airplane,or rush down a hill on a roller coaster, but until then I’m just at the top waiting.

There’s a story in the back of my mind right now, and it feels insanely close to me. It’s a really personal story, and I don’t feel like I can write it. Right now I can’t or else I’ll ruin it, because the moment I tip over the hill there is no stopping it and there is no knowing where this coaster would take me.

And I’m just kind of here on the precipice of everything. waiting… so I suppose it’s a good thing I have candy.

A Prompt: Spring has Sprung

17 Sep

Hey all, in preparation for diving back into THE SHADOWS THAT FELL I’ll be doing a series of prompts. Today I’ll be using my MC Violet.

The prompt is:

Write about a special moment in your characters life, their fondest memory. What ever it is they turn to when they are in the worst of things.

Violet sat beneath the shade of the oak tree, flipping through an underwhelming version of “pre-world society and eloquence for the young lady”. Her mother laid humming beside her contentedly flipping pages on a net screen. Violet caught photos of eyelashes, models on the runway below the glare of the sun that filtered through the leaves. Makeup. Something she hated ever since her mother had begun painting her up like a china doll last year. Seven, she was seven, and suffocating under powder and lip shine.  And she hated it, maybe even more than “Soceity” and “Eloquence” smashed into a stuffy old paper brick.

“Mama, I don’t wanna read this…” she tossed the volume into the grass and glanced longingly in the direction of her brother. Wice was sparing in the grass with his swords-play teacher. They used sticks instead of the rubber swords today, and Violet could her the thwack thwack thwack of the collisions in between her brother’s dodges.

Want to, darling. We don’t say ‘wanna’. You’re a big girl now, aren’t you?” her mother skimmed through another makeup page not lifting her eyes.

Violet sighed, dramatically falling over onto her side in the grass. Her cheek pressed to the cool dew that hadn’t quite burned off in the shade. “I can’t… can not” she corrected herself, ” read another page! Can I please spare with Wice?”

Her mother sighed with a smile and set the net-screen down, “Darling, you’re a pretty little girl not a boy. I shan’t let you do this much longer…”

Violet glowered up at her mother from the ground thinking of smearing her painted face in the grass.

“But I suppose… just one more time won’t hurt…” she smiled. Violet shot up from the grass her hair tangled with grass blades.

“Yes!” She cried, she pushed up off the grass and ran out of the shade into the sunshine.

“Do not mention this to the ladies at circle though!” her mother calls after her, but she didn’t here a thing. She rushed out into the center of the yard,

“Wice, Wice! It’s my turn!”

Wice whipped around from a jab and rolled his eyes, “Violet this is ser-” Wice’s instructor whapped him upside the back, and sent him sprawling into the grass face first. Violet giggled, and yanked the stick from her brothers hand, “Mom said it’s my turn.”

Wice grimaced  and rubbed his back, “Finally, I’m starving!” Wice sprinted across the yard and back into the house in search of food.

“I see you’re back for more little flower?” Instructor Kunk said smiling. Violet had always loved the old man, who was quick as running water, and just as refreshing.

“Of course!” And with feeble strokes Violet struck and laughed in the afternoon sun, her mother smiling secretly behind her screen, and her brother sneeking brownies beside her. Of course, that was before things changed for good. For worse.

 

hope everyone participates in the prompt!

Genius and Thievery!

16 Sep

Hi everyone! I have been super busy today, and still have a ton of homework to do before I head into school tomorrow. So, for today’s post I’m totally cheating and re-posting an awesome idea from Brigid’s blog My Life as a Teenage Novelist. After you read her awesome advice below go ahead and check out her site!

Fun with Wordle

Howdy, y’all!

So, if you don’t know what Wordle is, let me briefly explain how it works. It’s a nifty little website, where you can enter a bunch of text, and then it creates a “word collage” based on what you enter. The more frequently you use a certain word, the bigger it is in the collage. Fun, right?

But not only is it fun, it’s also a useful tool for writers––because it shows you what words you might be using too much.

For example, here’s what happened when I entered the entirety of my book UNRAVELING:

 
Uh wow, the word “like” is freakin’ HUGE! Same with the word “know” … and there are a lot of other words that are relatively large. 
 
Now, this is what happened when I entered six of my books at once:
 
 
The results are actually pretty much the same. Looks like no matter what I’m writing, I use a lot of the same words. Particularly “like” and “know,” for some reason.
 
Well, I take this as a sign that I should go back through my manuscripts and take out some of those words that I’m using way too much. 
 
So, my question of the day is: What are some words that you use too much? Have you ever used Wordle to find out––and if so, did the results surprise you?
Isn’t she a genius? Check out her site!
Re-posted from My Life as a Teenage Novelist

They were the Hipsters before Hipsters.

15 Sep

Friend: “… and thats what a hipster is.”

Me:, “I’m sorry but you just described every writer I’ve ever known.”

The soap box is coming out folks because this whole ‘hipster’ business, it’s ridiculous. These people were totally are  just copying writers! They just made up a new name for writer and decided to be ‘deep’ out from behind a desk. Think about it.

People say hipsters are (for one) apathetic/lazy. That’s every stereotypical writers ever mentioned! All writers do is complain and laze about until they absolutely force themselves to write something down. They work in their pajamas for heaven sakes! It doesn’t get much worse than that.

Second of all hipsters read and then apply what they read to sound ‘deep’ and ‘philosophical’. W.R. I.T.E.R. Writer. All writers do is read and then pretend they have any clue at all about what they are read. Then they write it down slap a stamp on it and send it out to other people to absorb their genius!  Actually I can’t think of a group more apt to sit down with a stack of books, meditate on it, and then philosophically or ironically (another characteristic of hipsters) discuss them than writers.

Then you have the denial aspect of ‘hipster culture’. Anyone who is a hipster supposedly denies their hipsterness. HELLO!!! Writers have been doing that for eons before the word hipster swung around the block. You ask someone if they are a writer they will usually say “no, not really, I write but I’m definitely not a writer.” I rest my case.

Of course hipsters hang out in cafes and drink herbal tea and no one does that right? Uh no, not except writers! Writers have been lining Starbucks and every other teashop and coffee house in the nations pockets since cafes existed! In fact writers will sit there for hours and work in mysterious silence sipping their drinks till they go cold. Or even better letting them go cold next to them because they are just being so philosophical that they can’t pull themselves away from their screens. Top that hipsters!

And so, my dear readers let us give a round of applause to those who were hipsters before hipsters:

Lois Lowry (The Giver) Not only is she sporting an edgy non-mainstream hair cut ,but she’s also wearing over-sized glasses, a turtle neck, and she has a shelter dog with her. She is so much better than any hipster that It’s just unspeakable!

Nathaniel Hawthorne (The Scarlet Letter) Flaunting his mustache. Wait people had facial hair before hipsters!? No way. O.o

Jane Austen… Sporting a vintage hat. That’s right hipsters she wore a hat before you!

I hope I have brought to everyone’s attention that hipsters a totally just copying writers! Any Hipster want to take that up with me? Or am I too philosophical for you?

 

*I really hope everyone took this as a joke about hipsters haha

 

3 Writer’s Essentials

14 Sep

Post: 4/17

I’m so tired from this week, and so I’m just going to be a bum and make a list for today’s post. 3 cheers for my level of motivation! So here are three writer’s essentials.

1.Post it Notes. Why? Because they are genius! You can stick them in your car/bag/locker/notebook/planner and darn near anywhere else and instantly be able to have a place to write down ideas! On top of that they are colorful and who doesn’t like colorful paper squares? Crazies, that’s who.

2. A Fancy Pen. I feel like all writers need at least one fancy pen. It makes you feel all professional, and on-top of that it might make you like editing! (Yeah that’s a lie.) Even if it doesn’t, at least you can carry it around and look like you know what your doing, because honestly I rarely do. It just makes you feel writerly!

3. A Comfortable desk chair. I only say this because my pretty staples desk chair( of 4 years) broke and so I’m using a fold-able right now and my back has no support. This is no condition to sit in folks, especially when you are falling asleep at your desk. I never realized until now how much I desperately need a good chair. Thus, you need one too. If you’re spending hours in that chair it better be good!

That is all. Continue about your day citizens.

 

My Feelings about Matched by Allie Condie

13 Sep

Post: 3/17

So Yesterday I wrote a post about books people love that I hate/hate that  I love. In that post I brought up the book Matched by Allie Condie, who you probably know got rave reviews and bunches of hype for her Matched series. I hated it and said as much. One of my readers asked why and I began to respond in a comment and then realized that it was much too long, and so you get what you see here today.

Where to begin with this…

I’m sorry, if you loved this book because I’m going to have to rip it to shreds right now. I apologize in advance.

To start off, the whole book just ticked me off because I love Lowis Lowry to death. I have read The Giver six times and it’s amazing and she’s amazing and… yeah. You get it right? So when I read Matched I wanted to go club whoever let it out of the slush pile because I saw so much of the work being dead on The Giver. It’s a society where your job/mate is choosen for you, the fact that you have to take ‘pills’ to suppress your natural emotions and sedate your brain. Anything half way decent in that book was ripped right out of the giver and then basted in Condie’s particular brand of bland.

Besides this ,Condie decided to spice things up with a little forbidden reading/books (*ehm* also from The Giver). The MC’s only redeeming quality is that she likes poetry but the reasons behind this rebellious behavior are hidden in the soup of Allie Condie’s pacing. For some reason she throws in Dylan Thomas’ poem “Do not go gentle into that good night” and okay I guess I get it (its a dystopian, the poems about not submitting to authority), but… just WHY? WHY! Why did you throw a piece of (really overused in the first place) literature. It was like throwing a pretty dress in the mud because you thought it’d make the mud look better. All you’re doing is ruining the dress.

On the same note with the fact that the poetry is completely irrelevant since we have no reason other than the MC’s grandfather’s death*(if i remember correctly) for her to like it  we equally have no reason for her to like Ky over Xander. It made less than zero sense to me! The only reason she starts to like Ky anyway is because the ‘society’ has a glitch in her Match card (that tells her about her match) and so it totally defeats the purpose of her rebelling since the idea came from the society in the first place! Besides that, why would Ky’s information even have been in the same pool to match with her if he was a lowly worker? It doesn’t make sense. There’s no way that the computer/matchers (or whoever matches people ,I forget how it happens) would have those two sets of data in the same place. So, yeah, GAPING PLOT HOLE!

Then when Ky and the MC do get together I just found the romance so BLAH. I didn’t really like Ky in the first place. Xander was obviously a better choice. Neither of them had much personality, but at least Xander was kind of happy go lucky! Then Ky is banished or sent away and the MC is all: boo hoo! Then the Peace keepers (or whoever the law enforcers are) come in and are like, “take these pills now!” and so she hides her pill and doesn’t take it. OOOOHHHHH rebellion! Not really, keep reciting your poetry dear.

Anyway I just really hated it and it made me beat my head against my desk and cry wondering how she got a million dollar contract for THAT.

Now, for those of you who loved the book, feel free to yell at me and tell me why I am wrong! I love a good debate 🙂

*The euthanization of old people, yeah, that’s from The Giver too. Just saying.