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Overcoming Writer's Block

xx Overcoming Writer's Block
Apr 29, 12, 11:15:01 AM by White

Writing is an eb and flow of creativity. It is only natural then that over time we find that certain things eb the creativity while others create a flow. Typically the eb presents itself as a writer's block or as a muse demotivator.

Writer's blocks or muse strikes can be triggered by any number of external influences. Unfortunately these are not aspects of our lives that we can control. What we are capable of controlling is the methods and tactics we can use and leverage to overcome the blocks and strikes.

Overcoming a Writer's Block is not an easy feat. The most common contributors to this kind of block are:
  • Time Restrictions
  • External Stress
  • Shift in Moods
  • Loss of Interest


The list could go on so feel free to comment/reply with your own de-motivators! The short of it is that they suck, plain and simple.

So how do you beat them? How do you convince yourself to write even when every external element is slaughtering your every muse and creative cell?


Beating Writer's Block...

There is no magic wand, no miracle spell, or easy resolution on how to defeat Writer's Block. In truth it is an art form all of it's own. Part of the success to defeat a Writer's Block is through trial and error and discovering ways to coax your muse to write when it desperately does not want to.

At my request several members of our site (Dani, Jamie and Phedre) offered their own solutions in addition to mine. The next time you're suffering from a case of muse strike or writer's block take a gander to this thread and try our methods out for yourself.

  • Free Writing. This process involves sitting down at the computer and opening a blank Worddoc. It is very simple - release all your thoughts that pertain to a plot or character into the document. Time yourself for 5 minutes and just type. Take no breaks and write for 5 minutes straight. This will create a flow of concentration on the character or scene and often will provide lines or pieces that you can later leverage into a post. Feel free to share your free writing in the Plotting forums as a public place to get it all out.
  • Photo Prompted Free Writing. The beauty of using play bys is that they are actress or models who have a portfolio of photographs to peruse. Many times these photographs, or movie clips, will provide you with the kind of inspiration that it will take to write. Alternatively you can choose a scene from a movie or a still picture in which you complete the story. This kind of Free writing allows you to build a plot - or at least a thread - based on something visual. Often times the visual aid will help break the block.
  • Forgo Quality. Not every post that you write will be pulitzer winning material. The sooner you understand and embrace that the less writer's block will torment you. Sometimes you simply need to focus on writing to continue the story rather than writing to become a word smith. In an RP community there are many other writers who rely on your ability to continue spinning the story with them. If you stall so does the overall story and it creates a domino effect.
  • Reward Yourself. Not with points, those are intrinsic. Reward yourself with a little perk for everytime you write. Maybe that piece of chocolate you've been craving? Or the TV episode waiting on your DVR? Set the reward and watch your muse take flight.
  • Make a Schedule. Set a time each week - or day - where you will place yourself at the computer and write without distractions. Set a routine an follow it - this should help force you to write in a defined setting.
  • Shut Down Distractions. Turn off your messenger. Shut down your e-mail. Silence your phone. Put away all the communication distractions and take time to simply write. You will be amazed to discover that without all those friendly messages you might actually get more accomplished.
  • Music Inspiration. Several people suggested music as their cure to writer's block. Music can set the mood for a certain scene with just the right song. It can soothe the muses with the right notes. You could pick a song that is linked to the character you plan to write - or something that describes the character or a relationship between others in the thread. You could pick a song for the emotion or feel it evokes from you. Or choose a song because you connect with.
  • Start at the Middle. The start of a post is sometimes the hardest part to craft. Why not start in the middle? Or the end? Start where you have an interest to write and build outwards from there. Sometimes the dialogue itself can inspire the writing beyond it. Create a core for the post and work outwards from there.
  • Quote Inspiration. Whether it be for a title, a tagline, a signature or just as pure inspiration quotes can offer us a lot to work with. There are a ton of quote based sites out there. Search around and find something inspiring.
  • Graphic Inspiration. Take a few minutes to create a signature, or update your avatar. Sometimes graphic inspiration is just what the muse needs. A little refresher in graphics goes a long way for writer's block.
  • Forced Writing. Suck it up and write. This is in the same vein as "forgo quality" - but the "suck it up and write" category means for you to do just that. Don't think about it. Don't whine about it. Just write.
  • Re-Read the Thread. Often times inspiration can come from the source that you're pouring back into. Threads are written as a flow but if they've gone on for a period of time you might have forgotten the initial inspiration for that flow. A reminder of what has occurred to date in the thread and everything that entails can help provide significant inspiration.


What about you? Yes, you! The one reading this blog post. How do you beat writer's block? Go ahead and comment. We want to know!



Written by White - with assistance from Dani, Jamie, and Phedre


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xx Re: Overcoming Writer's Block (Reply 1)
May 06, 12, 08:17:01 PM by West
I do not consider myself to be much of a writer. I dabble where other people are experts. I think that makes it easier for me since I do not seek to be perfect when I write.

I think my recommendation is to remember that writing here is a hobby and not a job. It should always be fun and the pressure minimal. When it becomes stressful you need to evaluate the reasons why.

Is it because you think you're letting someone down? I do not believe that any member of this site would judge you for a bad post. You are among friends and never forget it.
xx Re: Overcoming Writer's Block (Reply 2)
May 07, 12, 05:19:56 PM by Dani
You are among friends and never forget it.

I love West and this line. Remember it and live by it. At the end of the day we are all still friends and our writing is because love for the art and each other. <3
xx Re: Overcoming Writer's Block (Reply 3)
Oct 10, 15, 04:39:02 AM by Idariel
Hello everyone!

I have two big secrets I use when I can't move a character or story forward.

The first one takes some preparation, but really pays off when writing. When I am making a character, I break down her description into clinical, bullet point detail. This one is unfinished, so you can see the development from pure description to description that supports character.

  • Hair: Honey Blond
  • Eyes: Blue Green eyes
  • Skin: Pale, with a faint dusting of freckles usually hidden by cosmetics.
  • Voice: Yseult's voice is a vibrant, living thing easily able to fill an audience chamber or pierce the tumult of a training field. She has both natural and trained projection, clear enunciation, and excellent diction. She enjoys singing more than dance, and has a warm soprano when moved to participant.
  • Posture and Movement: Raised to rule, she has a gliding walk, a regal carriage, graceful and fluid hand gestures, and a profound ability to wait. Sitting, walking or standing she waits with a gentle patience that easily charms observers.
  • Demeanor: Yseult was adored and indulged almost from birth. She expects to be adored, and is a trifle spoiled in that her Clan does adore her; her saving grace is a genuine delight in other people.
  • Scent: Yseult is whimsical, changing perfumes and soaps with her mood. What remains constant is the scent of cookies; she tends to have rather expensive tea cookies secreted about her person at any given time.
  • Psychic Scent: A delightful mix of storm and meadow, the scent of the Highlands in Fall.
  • Birthright Threads:
  • Offering Threads:
  • Smile and laugh: She has a mischievous smile and an infectious laugh.
This lets me be certain that each character looks and sounds unique, but more importantly reading and fiddling with the description triggers and utilizes the critical side of my mind; once I've let that part have its way, I can write a whole lot easier. In addition, the focus on character description leads to contemplating personality, which helps the character speak out.

My second trick is to change pace. If I can't move the post I am working on forward, I write something else with that character. Maybe her past, her future, or a letter. Usually I find that thus unlocks the character, and then I can write the scene I need to write.

I hope this helps!

Idariel

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