Fellow writers....help me conspire

@taface412 (3178)
United States
May 23, 2008 8:02pm CST
I have a story in me that is just screaming to get out. But I have suffered from writer's block for so long (recently recovered) that my focus is gone in a matter of minutes. I never was one for the pen and paper....always computer or typewriter. My mind moves so quickly. But now it is a focus issue. I have taken the advice I found in Writer's Digest for trying to write a page a day, and when I began it was not so bad, but then I lost focus again. Even now I a bit lost for words, and I know I am a writer. I have been doing this since I was a teen and considering I am an old soul I know my work has potential....if I can draw it out of me. I know that mainly the only thing is practice....but what tips can you guys offer me to help me focus on a subject or topic so I can get the words out. Any advice would be helpful...you guys have been wonderful so far and I consider myself an official Mylotter.
5 people like this
14 responses
• United States
24 May 08
It sucks when you get writer's block. I've suffered it a few times myself. What I do when I get writer's block is that I just write whatever word I can think of and start writting from there. I just let the words guide me and pretty soon my ideas are coming out easily. Another thing that you can do is forget about it for a while and come back refreshed. Actually the latter one doesn't really work for me that much anyways. But the first advice does work for me most of the time.
1 person likes this
@kassdaw (593)
• United States
24 May 08
I know everything is different for everyone. I write books for my son, I don't publish or even share with anyone but my 1 and half year old. One thing that I do, I print off a page that has the tile, if I have one already. Then I tape it near my computer or desk. I also write ideas on a note pad infront of my computer. This things help me because I am always looking at them. I can't get away from it. Of course, like I said everyone is different. But I think if you have to see something everytime you sit down, it kind of reminds you. Let's you know that you decided to do it so just do it. Hope that helps or gives you some other ideas for help.
1 person likes this
@skinnychick (6937)
• United States
24 May 08
I would say keep a journal. I have been doing this for a long time and it helps. I write all sorts of things in there. Random thoughts, poetry, events of the day. I find that some of my best stuff in my journal comes from quotes that I ran across and wrote down. Then I write about the quote and how I feel about it- that usually sets off my writing in a whole new direction and helps to focus.
@taface412 (3178)
• United States
24 May 08
I used to keep journals...maybe I should dust them off and check them out....have you ever looked back at stuff you wrote like ages ago and wonder "Wow, that is awesome." Maybe that will help looking back at stuff. Thanks for the skinny, skinny.
• United States
25 May 08
Seems like the stuff I wrote when I was younger had much more depth and feeling at times. I have noticed that when I looked it over out of the blue. I can't figure that out, maybe my mind was less clouded then.
@taface412 (3178)
• United States
26 May 08
yeah me too....I think it is because when we are younger we tend to focus more on the feeling of things and over the eyars our inner child becomes rigid with life's experiences.... That's why I try to stay as young and goofy as possible but I notice my writing has taken on a sardonic tone. And maybe that is what is really holding me back. Maybe I need to go find a swingset somewhere and let the inner child loose. LOL
• Canada
24 May 08
Well in my creative writing classes our prof had suggested when you get a block to do some little writing excersises, such as: describe who you are, pick an object and write about it from the objects perspective, or other things like point example conclusion excersises. They allow you to focus a small amount at a time as most have paragraph to three paragraph lengths. They are excellent in helping you to re-train your brain into being able to run with an idea. I am not sure what the story is that you want to write, but maybe you could focus these smaller excersizes around the initial idea, and then it will end up inspiring you to write. I have found this very helpful to me in the past. If you have any questions or would like any examples you can get in contact with me and I would be happy to help.
@taface412 (3178)
• United States
25 May 08
I am going to try this one...it makes sense and if I run into any problems I'll take you up on that offer. See, I knew I'd get some great advice from my fellow writers.... Thanks
1 person likes this
• Canada
25 May 08
you are most welcome! I just hope that it works for you as well as it has for me!
• United States
26 May 08
To address focus issues, I once found some good advice in a screenwriting textbook: find the "Controlling Idea" of your story. It is something that you hold constantly in mind, and is a filter through which every word of narrative or line of dialog must pass. Check your library for Robert McKee's book, STORY, pp 115ff, for full discusion. When I find the controlling idea for what I'm working on, I print it out and tape it to my monitor. Writers are thinkers, and thinkers tend to be depressives. Writer's block is, I think, an aspect of depression--what I'm saying is, if you are depressed, you've already got the makings of a writer, so embrace it as something that comes with the territory. If it's been a while since you've seen it, find the DVD of ADAPTATION, which has a very big laugh at writer's block. It also features a hilarious appearance by Brian Cox playing, yes, the above-mentioned Robert McKee! Good luck.
@taface412 (3178)
• United States
26 May 08
I will check this book and DVD out. ANd you are soooo right MrWilshire, most of the best writers are depressed individuals.....and have suffered through many hard times. Thanks for the specific advice and I will most definitely follow up on this.
@inked4life (4228)
• United States
24 May 08
There is a great FREE little pice of software called YWriter 2 that allows you tow rite chunks of a story at a time, not necessarily chronologically, and then splice it all together at the end. A greta little tool for writers who have problems focusing on one task. You can start something, go to a new project and then go back and add as necessary...here is the link and good luck... http://www.spacejock.com/yWriter.html
@taface412 (3178)
• United States
25 May 08
I am checking this out....have you used this software? And I am checking the site for directions on it.... thanks for the link and maybe it will work.
@lisado (1230)
• United States
24 May 08
I've found that the harder I try, and the more pressure I put on myself, the worse it gets. I write when the mood strikes and have been told I write wonderful editorials, however, if I HAVE to write something, my mind blanks. If I feel passionate about something I can whip up paragraoh after paragraph without a single thought. If I have to write about a certain top, or have to have it done by a deadline, I get a block and can't move it. My mother has been trying to get me to take some classes for writing but I know as soon as they give me a topic and a deadline I freeze. I have to be able to write about whatever, whenever the mood strikes. Don't push yourself because the block will only get worse. You don't have to write about a specific thing. Think of an event, a fantasy (hot air balloon ride, horseback riding on the beach, something you can almost see and feel) or person (maybe a meeting of a new friend, special date) and save them in different files. You could always use them later, even if it's not in this project. Just let your mind go and write about anything. The focus will come back but if you keep pushing and trying, at least I have found, it comes off fake and unnatural. Robotic. Don't think I was much help, but it's all I've got. :)
@taface412 (3178)
• United States
24 May 08
I know what you mean about deadlines and mind blanking, but I have found a way that helps me get through that.... joined Helium.com and it has helped me to work on that part of my writing....I always was a last minute writer when it came to deadlines while in school....and now years later I have found that deadlines sometimes actually helped me focus.... if you don't use Helium check it out....I started on there just doing their weekly contests to help with my deadline problem...and now I actually participate in their marketplace articles.... But I know what you are saying about forcing the words...they do sound fake and you can tell it is forced.... Thanks for the advice
• Philippines
24 May 08
Have you read "The Artist's Way" by Julia Cameron? It's one of the best books for artists that I've ever read. Julia suggests that we do what she calls the morning pages -- write three pages of drivel. You write anything that comes out of your head first thing in the morning. Write as fast as you can without ever lifting your pen. After two weeks, check back on what you have written. You will usually find a gem of an idea. Sure, the writing may be crummy, but at least you have let yourself go and you have learned to silence the inner Censor which is the enenmy of creativity. One more thing -- do not be too critical of your ideas during the first stages of writing. Just allow your brain children to be born -- don't let the Censor kill them.
@taface412 (3178)
• United States
24 May 08
brain children...i like that. Because to a writer every character is their child...ANd my "little girl" is a fighter, because I have a hard time letting her run....so I will try this suggestion and check the book out. Thanks alot.
@dragxgt (119)
• Philippines
24 May 08
Maybe you can write about today's hot issue... global warming... nature... or i suggest go to Philippines and you'll get many topics. Writing don't need such a very superb focus it something that your interest if its not you're interest then you'll never make a good story.
@taface412 (3178)
• United States
24 May 08
well, when you were a hyper kid grown into a somewhat calmed down adult who still has hyper tendecnies and your mind goes a mile a minute....it can be a bit hard to focus. It's not topics I need it's ways to focus on one subject at that moment to produce a consistent story. But I am getting better since the block has gone away....
@zed_k4 (17635)
• Singapore
7 Oct 09
For my opinion, you can never go wrong if you write about life. Life that is around us, around others; there are just so many things that we can observe and decide to write about and get inspired. Take a few days off, just walk around, observe the things around you; observe and study people in general. The society. There will always be things to write about then. How a mom treats a child in public, how couples walk in front of us have changed with times and many, many more. The world is at our fingertips when it comes to writing...about life. That's why I always rant and rave things in my blog and on other sites. LOL..
• United States
6 Oct 09
Try talking to other writers about it. If you need a place a great place is www.writethepage.com/forums. Tons of writers gather there and talk. Hope this helps!
• United States
24 May 08
I tend to write late at night when there is nothing around to distract me. I find putting on some good music helps me find my space. Writer's block can be tough. I sometimes go quite a while without writing anything. I have to be in a certain mood and mindset to write anything worthwhile. I find I sometimes lose focus on one thing because I start to think about something else and will end up writing that and then going back to the project on hold.
@srijeevan (187)
• India
24 May 08
Hai, Welcome to the world of writers. Became a writer is not as easy as chicken out from its egg shell. But is like skinning of a snake. Scratch, scratch and scratch the writer in you will come out. If english is not your language. stop thinking of writing in english. Write in you own language. don't show it to others untill you complete ten good pages. read every days' output on the next the next day. make corrections if necessary. I think you are having somewhat a big story. All the best...
• United States
24 May 08
Writer's block is such a drag. But, every writer goes through it. Have you tried listening to certain music? Sometimes certain songs will help carry a story into motion. That works for me. I listen to a song with strong lyrics and I write down what it makes me feel and sometimes I put myself in the person's shoes, etc. If I want write something that's heavily character driven, I listen to a lot of slow indie rock songs with dark themes.