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Best Cure for Writerblockitis?

Discussion in 'Writing Discussions' started by Map the Dragon, Jun 13, 2011.

  1. What's your best cure?
  2. Black Dragon

    Black Dragon Staff Administrator

    In the short term, nothing helps me more than going for a walk. Preferably a quiet walk around the neighborhood, or through a nearby park. It clears my mind and helps me to refocus.

    In the long term, outlining makes all the difference for me. I always begin with a master outline of the overall story, and then outline each individual scene. I work out all of the kinks in the story on the outline level first, and make sure that it all clicks. Then, when I go to write, I know exactly what is supposed to happen in each scene. Even if I'm not feeling inspired to write, I force myself to hammer out what I'm supposed to write. It may not be great, but it's something that can be revised at a later stage in the process.
  3. Chilari

    Chilari Staff Moderator

    An assignment deadline. I always seem to do the most writing when I've got something else to do. Take Saturday for example. I was on campus, surrounded by books and articles about ancient Corinth for an assignment I handed in yesterday (20 minutes late), and I spent about 4 hours writing my novel instead of working. Then on Sunday and Monday I banned myself from writing fiction, promising I could write all I wanted after my project was submitted, and last night I just couldn't write at all.

    In all seriousness, though, there are three things that get my writing juices flowing. One, as Black Dragon said, is a walk. There's a park not far from where I live and beyond that is a pedestrianised Victorian road lined with massive trees and fancy railings, and it has really nice houses along it and the city museum and some sizable green areas. If it's nice weather out, I head up there and just walk into town and back. The second thing that sometimes enables me to get back on track with writing is a shower. A long, hot, stress-free shower. I get many of my best ideas in the shower. Number three is music. Generally when I write I have a selection of music - an album or several albums by the same artist - that I associate with that novel. Listening to that music gets me in the mood for writing that novel. Part of the reason I started working on my novel on Saturday was because I was listening to a shuffled playlist of some 250 of my favourite songs, and one of the songs that came on was from the album I associate with the novel I'm writing at the moment. (On Sunday and Monday I didn't listen to that playlist any more; I put on my studying albums instead).
  4. sashamerideth

    sashamerideth Maester

    Short term things like finding something, anything, that has nothing whatsoever to do with writing or even the written word.

    Long term, doing more of the short term stuff.

    Sometimes I will write short stories, another project, or play with my computer until it breaks, and then fix it again. Repeat ad infinitum.
  5. balthore

    balthore Scribe

    Like Chilari, music is a huge influence on my writing. My roommate will be watching TV or something and I'll just put on my nice headphones and zone out while I write. And my music is based on what I'm trying to write most times. The more angst I'm trying to have, the heavier the music is.

    I also seem to get some of my best ideas when I'm not even thinking about writing at all. We will be sitting at the bar, listening to a band, and having a few adult beverages...and something will pop into my mind all of a sudden. I'll usually end up scratching it out on a bar napkin or something like that.

    And I have started outlining things more then I used to. It has helped keep me focused on what I'm trying to do. Also writing on other projects will sometimes kick in the creative juices when nothing else will.

    Recently though, I "discarded" almost 400 pages from my original work. I just didn't like how it flowed at all. So now I'm brainstorming on how to recover what I've taken out, or start almost from scratch and see where things go from there. So outlining will be paramount to what I'm doing now.
  6. BeigePalladin

    BeigePalladin Sage

    I draw for a bit, generally something unrelated, but occasionally it'll end up shifting from something random to something I could fit into the writing, which i can then write, and so-on and so-forth

    Or I work on my video-game, but that's mostly in the graphics stage ATM anyway, so the same theory I s'pose
  7. Dr.Dorkness

    Dr.Dorkness Minstrel

    Music helps me a lot. Taking a walk too. The best I think is a combination of the two. For me that is. also watching discovery and such channelshelp me alot. Especialy the religous programs and those about ancient civilasations.

    And if I realy need my muse to work for me a glass of whiskey or a smoking a tiny bit of marijuana (which is not illegal here) will do for me. Though I rather avoid that last one.
  8. Fnord

    Fnord Troubadour

    Just write. Anything.
  9. Derin

    Derin Troubadour

    So true. My friends call this escape velocity -- the sudden momentum you gain in your favoured creative endeavour to help you escape the need to do something you don't like for just a little longer.
  10. Chase Simba

    Chase Simba Dreamer

    I meditiate. Generally, the short story or book is already there in my head, I just need to put it in order and words. Meditation helps clear my head and lets me do just that.
  11. CicadaGrrl

    CicadaGrrl Troubadour

    Walks, music, walks and music. If I'm working on a project I always create characters first. Then world and plot someway afterwards. A kick ass software for writer's block, or any kind of brainstorming is Inspiration. It's made mac and pc and was created for schools. You can quickly and easily create outlines and maps--I'm fond of maps and turning them into outlines, if necc.

    You need a bit of space for this one, but I love it for long term projects. As an extension on Inspiration, I have a gigantic, six by three piece of sheet metal nailed to my office wall. I sit there listening to music and spinning in my chair and pacing, and every time I come up with an idea, I just stick on a piece of paper and stick it up there. Eventually, patterns begin to emerge and I have a book on my wall. It's casual and fun. I adore it.

    I also make myself outline. I also scene sketch. These are quick and dirty scenes where I scribble down basic actions, dialogue, and short, omniscient emotions and thoughts. I either use these to get me excited about scenes in the future in my book. As tintilating tastes of where I want to go. Or as building my characters' histories, esp. if they intersect.

    And, of course, free writing is solid and traditional.
  12. razzazzika

    razzazzika Scribe

    Combine all three! Go for a walk in the rain with your MP3 player! LoL! Nah, but seriously. For me it's the same sort of clear your head stuff. The best ideas come to me when I'm on a bike ride, or car ride.
  13. Chilari

    Chilari Staff Moderator

    Something else which helps, beside the rainy musical walks, is writing documents or whatever about what I want from the story, my thoughts on the characters and the way they interact and such like. It gets my thoughts in order and inspires me to write.
  14. JoanofArch

    JoanofArch Scribe

    Someone else already said this, but long hot showers are a godsend for writer's block. There's nowhere to hide in the shower; you have to be brutally honest with yourself. I've solved so many plot-problems and character motivation issues in the shower :)
  15. victoria stiles

    victoria stiles Acolyte

    Every writer at one time or another suffers from writer’s block. It’s that painful inability to get your thoughts down on paper and it comes after all different kinds of writers.And one major key to beating it is to not let it stop you. writer’s block is not cured by taking two aspirins and going to bed. Different writers experience different creative blocks, different treatments are often advisable. way to get bogged down and overwhelmed is editing as you compose. Going back over the same sentence or paragraph time and time again will only help you to lose the train of thought that could result in a great work.
  16. UnionJane

    UnionJane Scribe

    Read a really juicy fantasy, which for me is any of the Harry Potter series. Reading takes your mind off the current road block with your work and can help refill your creative juices. Or of course reading the Mythic Scribes forum. ;)
  17. Argentum

    Argentum Troubadour

    Most of them have already been said. Long, hot showers and walking around while listening to music are both great ways to clear the mind. Being alone helps. What I do also, is when I get a writer's block, I just stop. I give my mind a break. I watch movies or read books I like and generally just leave my book alone. Books, songs, movies, they all help in some way and from them I usually get ideas and from those ideas plots and whatnot. Sometimes the creativity of others sparks helps spark mine.
  18. Sevvie

    Sevvie Dreamer

    I listen to the 16 different versions of Scarborough Fair I have through my amazing headphones(Helps almost every time!)...And I drink Crystal Light strawberry "Energy"(It has caffeine in it) flavored water. :)
  19. Wings&Weird

    Wings&Weird Dreamer

    Music, doing things that I enjoy and forgetting about writing. Reading quotes also helps me, for some reason. Or writing a completely random story.

    Trying new things also seems to spark my creativity.
  20. Theankh

    Theankh Scribe

    Reading other people's work helps - I read some Patrick Rothfuss recently and it sparked off all these ideas in my own head.

    Loads of people mentioned walks! I walk about half an hour a day to and from work, which is great for thinking in, and I have a playlist on my ipod of songs that I think of as related to my book - there's one specific song that I even renamed 'Adrianna's Theme' in my library because it's exactly suited to that character.

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