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Writer's Block


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I'm having major writer's block at the moment and can't really seem to get out of it. It's lasted almost half a year. The only other thing I've written in that time, is one short dabble on this site. Either I don't know what to write about or I just can't seem to will myself to write, even though I really want to. And suggestions on how to try and get out of this funk?

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Have you been stressing about writing? That could make it last longer too. When I still wrote quite a bit, I tried to completely get away from writing for a while if it didn't want to flow at all and started again after a while.

For me that usually worked in overcoming writer's block. Otherwise I'm afraid I don't really have any advice. Best of luck with it!

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The only way I have found to deal with it is by writing. Have you any unfinished projects at all? Or something you have intended to begin for a while? Set yourself a certain number of words to complete in a day. For me, on a really bad day, I still try to complete 500 words, but you can start lower than that if you want. I have found, that even on a really awful day, when I really don't want to, I can still force myself to write, and experience has taught me that the writing I produce then isn't significantly worse than the stuff I write at other times.

Best of luck!

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I'm a known sufferer from this, myself, so I don't have a lot of tricks but... do you by any chance speak any other language? Sometimes I have found that switching between writing in different languages can squeeze the writing past the block.

Something else is "flow writing"; just write anything and everything you can think of, care nothing about how the sentences look or if it's even coherent, just write. Do this in the morning, and do not look at it again until earliest in the afternoon. Then you might pick out some parts of it that are useful, or sometimes you can just brush it up a little and use it all. My writing coach introduced me to this and it works for me. :)

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I'm a known sufferer from this, myself, so I don't have a lot of tricks but... do you by any chance speak any other language? Sometimes I have found that switching between writing in different languages can squeeze the writing past the block.

This is something I can't help commenting because it's just too personal. :lol: Yes I too think this can help. There's way less pressure because second language writing is always second rate writing, there's also way less options to choose from so it's easier that way too. But also, it can be killer addicting. Myself, I've been writing since a little kid very actively, until somewhere in my early 20's I just hit some wall I am still not sure what it was, and for the last almost 10 years I've almost given up. Could't get back there, no matter what... until I started writing fics here, in my second language (English). In some strange, backwards way I have managed to climb over my writer's block.... so now, I can write... in English. frusty.gif So yeah, I think it's a trick worth considering, but perhaps also something to exert some caution with.

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Oh definitely! I'm way worse with words <--- (look at that alliteration by the way!!) in my own language nowadays, especially when it comes to dialogue.. maybe because most dialogue I hear is English (I don't go out much). So, it's a great way, but you're right pig, I should mention that it should be used with caution! :)

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I've been hitting these same kinds of road blocks in writing. I have a lot of stories I want to write, but there always seems to be one window around 4-6 AM in which I can write well and be happy with how the words flow together. The rest of the time it just feels like a lumpy thing haphazardly cobbled together, or words simply won't even come, no matter how long I spend sitting dumbly with word open. I'm still trying to find a solution myself, but some things I am working with might help you:

First, I find getting away from the computer can help my mind flow more smoothly. This is a common problem I personally have, something about the computer shuts down my thoughts and pulls them into that inactive blank stare state. Possibly Pavlov conditioning from looking at stupid internet memes? In any case, getting away from the computer helps me with that immensely.

The problem then is that I am horrible at writing on paper. The different in speed and effort between my writing and typing drives me absolutely insane. I'm still working past this bump. ^^;

I can also attest to the benefits of writing in other languages. One of the biggest problems that I think keeps me from writing is that I sit down to write, my fingers are typing at one pace, and my mind is imagining everything twice as fast. So I can't keep my mind focused on one section long enough to actually write it. What writing in another language does is it provides a challenge that slows my mind down and lets it use all that creative energy it was putting toward speeding ahead into translating what I'm trying to say.

One other thing I've used, never for writing a story, but to be able to get anything out, is to take a sound recording and do some amount of it orally. Even if it's just talking about what you want to write. It's like brain storming. But instead of having to wait for my hands to keep up with my mind, I can just speak freely. It goes faster and easier, for me at least.

If you find something that works to help you, I'd love to hear what you can get to work!

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One of the biggest problems that I think keeps me from writing is that I sit down to write, my fingers are typing at one pace, and my mind is imagining everything twice as fast. So I can't keep my mind focused on one section long enough to actually write it.

I can SO relate to this! Ironically, it usually ends up with me writing nothing at all, because I can't keep up with myself. It's awful!

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I'm currently writing a full-lenght novel and I can tell you that I've run into writer's block on several occasions. I once took some writing classes from the author who wrote "An Indecent Proposal," which later became a major film (it had Robert Redford Demine Moore in case anyone has seen it?) Anyway, he had lots of great information to impart and when I was suffering from chronic writer's block he gave me the one best piece of advice... Just write, so I agree with what vet. said.

The point is to just keep yourself going. Write something even if you know it's not great, you can always go back and edit later. And If you're not sure what to write then just start writing some random stuff or even the alphabet but just keep your fingers moving! This definitely helped me get past the second chapter I had been stuck re-writing for several months. Another trick is to write the parts you already have planned. Let's say you have a story in mind, you know how it starts and how it will end but you're not sure what to fill in the middle with. Write the beginning and the end and if there's a few special scenes you've been itching to write, then write those to. Once you've written the parts you really want, it becomes easier to fill in the rest.

And sometimes, I find that if I can't come up with something right away, I'll just go entertain myself with something else and usually that's when I'll get an idea. Ernest Hemingway said he used to get some of his ideas while on the crapper, or as he called it "the throne of reflection"...seriously that's what he called it. Anyway, hope this helps you out, feel free to PM me if you want any other writing tips.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I subscribe to the

on writer's block. (apologies if this youtube link is against the rules; it has nothing to do with sneezing, but if you want it removed, go ahead). If the Butt-In-Chair method works for you, where you have to do 2000 words a day (I calculate based on page-count, not word count, but whatever) works for you, great, but I could never do that. A lot of times if I'm having trouble with something in general and it seems really, really hard, I'll just set it aside and do the easier stuff first. Then I might get back to it later and it might not seem as hard anymore; this is for a lot of things, not specifically writing. But if I'm having trouble writing, maybe I'll stop for a while and do some reading or something and then try again later. Reading stuff helps my writing, too. Might be worth trying. :) A lot of people might say I have bad writing habits; I only write on my days off, which means I only write about 2 days a week. I get up at 6am for work and when I get home I don't feel like reading or writing most of the time. :P But I do finish most of the stories I start eventually. :yes: Hope at least some of the things I've posted here are helpful. My method is usually I know what I want to happen in whatever scene I'm writing, at least in broad strokes, so a lot of times if I'm having trouble writing a scene its more to do with figuring out the write words and how best to phrase everything. My methods might not be for everyone, but it's what works for me. :)
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I'm not sure this will work, but it seems everyone else has given a lot of great advice so far. I've had writer's block for nearly two years now, but at the same time, I think it's selective writer's block. But here are some of my own experiences and what's worked (or not worked) for me!

I used to write a LOT of emotional short prose. I wrote and revised a ton of it in the span of one summer and then abruptly stopped for some reason I still can't quite identify. But I also found that I could write stories more easily - more particularly fanfiction - as the months wore on. It was just what I felt like writing, so I ran with it. I wrote a lot of it for myself and left quite a bit of it unfinished, but at least it was something.

But anyway, continuing off that, in my experience, it's helped sometimes to write in a style or format that I'm not used to, something that seems interesting or new, or just going with whatever sort of thing sits in my mind for more than two seconds. If you've been consistently writing in one style for a long time, try switching to something new, or something you haven't used in a long time. If you're used to stories, try short snippets to get your thoughts out, or vice versa. Or if you're used to writing in a serious tone, try humor?

At this point, I'm just tossing out ideas, but I find that a simple change of pace does wonders for writing/art blocks.

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  • 1 month later...

I am going to surprise no-one by saying that I am at the mercy of constant bouts of writer's block and have never found a solution other than to wait it out.

Yes, the guy who has a still-unfinished story on this very site that was started in 2008 has writer's block issues. What are the odds?!

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I write partially for a living and often get blocks. My solution is to open another World document and start writing self-indulgent crap. Just write whatever awesome nonsense comes to mind, and screw if it's good or not.

Usually I'll start writing fanfiction with mary sues and hurt/comfort and OOC-ness and all that drivel that can come with fanfiction. Write like no one's ever going to see it (because in my case, they won't). Try to tap into that feeling when you were a youngster and you'd sit and write for hours and hours because it was fun and made you feel good.

Once you really let loose and allow yourself to write that freely again, switch back to the actual story you're working on and see where the feeling takes your piece.

Because honestly, the worst thing for writer's block is to stop writing altogether. It makes it just that much more difficult to get back into it. Better to coast and write something fun and simple than come to a complete stop and then try to punch the gas again.

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