Monday, September 17, 2012

Writer Ramblings

I've been thinking about this blog all week and just couldn't put my finger on a really good topic. So, if you don't mind I'll just do some free writing, or rambling and see what pops up. (This is a good devise when you're blocked, and right now I'm blocked!)

What do you do when life interferes with your art? Get frustrated. Yes. Go with the flow. Sometimes. Write anyway. Sometimes. (Life is the fuel that feeds our writing, so getting frustrated is probably not going to be a productive response. But I do get frustrated. When I'm neck deep in laundry and bills to pay all I can think about is sitting on the deck with my notebook and writing. So, maybe I should just get 'er done.)

Do you have to be unemployed or retired to truly dedicate yourself to your craft? No. (But I have to admit to wishing I could write all the time. If I were unemployed I'd probably worry about paying the bills. If I were retired, I can only imagine I wouldn't be able to sit still ALL day and write. So, maybe my writing 30 minutes most weekdays, and a couple of hours on the weekend days is more realistic. Does social network writing count? Never mind. That's a dumb question.)
What do you do when the words just won't come? Keep writing? Read a good book? Go for a walk? Listen to music? Talk to a writing buddy? Sleep? (I've tried all of the above and right now nothing is really working. This is the driest spell I've ever experienced as a writer. I can usually work through with one of these methods, but...maybe I just need to keep trying and hope the dam will break!)

There are three books jamming my brain right now. The one I'm working on and two others I've started but haven't finished. I have a acquisitions editor who likes my writing. So What In the Sam Hill Am I Blocked About? (I don't know, and it really shouldn't matter. I'm a writer and I'm estranged from my passion. It feels awful. Some people treat tough times with retail therapy, psycho therapy, reading therapy, exercise therapy, even drug therapy - I'm not interested in anything that is going to cost me money so that leaves: reading and exercise therapy. Guess I'll keep doing those things and hope that the great white page will stop intimidating me soon. Wish me luck, writer buddies.)

How do you cope with writer's block? 


Jacqueline Seewald said...

Hi, Bonnie,

Well, I am retired and so I suppose I have an advantage. However, I also have a bad back and so can't afford to sit for very long at a time. So I get up and do other things and then come back again to the computer. I've learned to cope. While I do housework, I'm writing in my head. Same with walking or stretching exercises.
As for being blocked, it happens to all of us. Make certain you sit down at the computer each day. Since you're still working, aim for some time early in the day before work if possible or in the evening instead of watch TV, etc. Do some stream of consciousness writing. Write a rough outline for your new novel. Give your main characters names and descriptions. It will all start to come together.

bdtharp said...

Good suggestions. Thanks, Jackie. I'm sorry to hear about your back. Take care! - BD

Karen McCullough said...

I generally make bargains with myself. Since I like playing solitaire on the computer (yes, bad habit, but...), if I have trouble getting started, I'll tell myself I only need to write once sentence and not worry about how good it is or even whether it's exactly right for the story line at that point. Just one sentence, then I can play a game of solitaire. Then I have to do another sentence. Usually after three or four sentences, it gets rolling and I find myself writing three or four sentences at a time, then a couple of paragraphs, etc.

elysabeth said...

Hey Bonnie,

I too am blocked. I don't have an acquisitions editor but have put a self-imposed deadline to have this book finished but for some reason I've lost interest in the story, not because I don't feel it is a compelling story to write, but I've been away from far too long to get the momentum back and write the story.

Here's a thought - why not switch stories with another writer and you write a couple of pages in their story and they write a couple of pages in your story. After swapping back, then maybe it will spur on new ideas to carry your story forward or will allow you to pick up where you left off and get back to writing the story. I don't know if it will work or not but it's something I've been thinking about - it's kind of a brainstorming session in a round about way.

I don't know if I'll ever get Imogene's story written or not but something will give and the story will really start flowing.

I think I need to follow Karen's advice - write a sentence, two or a paragraph before playing games on my tablet and limit the time I actually play the games, although it is very difficult with things like bubble blast and spades and spider solitaire. And sometimes I do actually have work to do so that interferes with my writing and play time - lol. Actually I should say my writing and play time interfere with my work time.

Great rambling post and thanks for sharing some insight into what is going on with you rigt now - E :)

Elysabeth Eldering
Author of FINALLY HOME, a middle grade/YA mystery

bdtharp said...

I never thought about a writing swap. Interesting idea. I did that once during a workshop and it was fun. I was thinking during my AM walk that I could go back to a children's story I started months ago. It'll be shorter and should be fun. (Now if I can just find my notes...).

Thanks everyone. These are great ideas. Sometimes it is very lonely when you're blocked, but it's nice to know others have the same trouble from time to time. :-)

Mary F Schoenecker said...

I write in my head often during daytime activities, but sometimes it leads to burned food, or forgtten attention to routine. At night it disturbs my sleep! Sooooo, I'm determined to stick to my laptop, with a few breaks now and then. Writing isn't easy,but those of us who are retirees can hopefully make adjustments.

bdtharp said...

The smoke alarm is a must at my house. I often ponder stories and characters and forget I'm cooking or cleaning, then find the mess later. I'm writing long hand now and have pulled out another project or two, so I think the dam is breaking!

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