musings · writing

writer’s block strikes again

It’s 1:00 in the morning and I should be writing.  Or sleeping.  Or doing almost anything but what I’m doing right now.

I’ve succumb to writer’s block.  There.  I admitted it.  But this time I’m going to give myself a white flag for next time.

Maybe for you, maybe for me.  Who knows?

All this tired girl knows is that she can’t go another round in this ring.  Not tonight.

Tip #1: Find a routine that works for you and stick with it.  I don’t know about you, but for me that means a workspace with music and some flavored water.  I know, you thought I was going to say wine.  I’m boring, I know.  But so not interested in my characters all sounding like they were the ones have a little too much fermented grape juice.

Tip #2: When your routine stops working, dump it like your crazy ex-boyfriend.

Tip #3: Escape your perfect (or not so perfect) workspace every once in a while.  Fresh air, a shower, a walk, talking to your loved ones who have probably forgotten what you look like.  No?  Just me?  Okay then…

Tip #4: Set goals for yourself.  Personally I do better with deadlines, timelines and clear-cut goals.  Maybe it’s a chapter, a single page, one measly paragraph, or maybe it’s figuring out why that darn character keeps saying one thing when you want her to say another.  Whatever your goal, stick to it.

Tip #5: Find some music you can write to.  First I want to say, please please please DO NOT SPEND HOURS CREATING THE PERFECT YOUTUBE PLAYLIST!  Because then you WILL get sidetracked and then when the whole day has passed, you will curse me for even suggesting such an outlandish idea.

Okay.  Whew.  Got that disclaimer out of the way.  Music for me is a very important part of the writing process.  Depending on what type of scene I’m writing, I have different music I listen too.An intense scene?  I crank ZZ Ward, KISS, AC/DC, Lorde, and All That Remains.  Sad?  Softly in the background I play 10,00 Years by Christina Perri, Like I’m Gonna Lose You by Meghan Trainor, The Driver by Charles Kelley, and Let It Go by James Bay.  Happy? Can’t Stop The Feeling by Justin Timberlake, Happy by Pharrell Williams, Fight Song by Rachel Platten, and Aw Naw by Chris Young.

Yes, you may laugh at me for my ridiculous assortment of music.  I have a wide variety of musical taste, what can I say?

Tip #6: Keep your workspace full of things that make you think of your story.  Don’t keep things around that make you think of the last story you were writing.  This is a BAD IDEA.  You could start out writing about Smurfs and mushroom houses and suddenly there are knights and dragons invading from your previous story and cowboy-filled saloons from that one before that.  Nobody wants to read about Smurfs, mushroom houses, knights, dragons, cowboys and saloons all in the same book.  Trust me.

Tip #7: Write fast.  Get everything out of your head and down on paper or Word document as fast as you possibly can.  It doesn’t have to be right the first time.  It won’t be right the first time.  Just get it out there.  You’ll go back later and tweak and change and cajole your story into becoming something more, something better.  For now, just write.  Who cares if it’s out of sequence?  I don’t.  You’ll fill in the gaps later.

Tip #8: Cut yourself some slack.  If you’re anything like me, you are your worst critic.  Please don’t beat yourself up over a bad writing day.  Everyone has them.  Just go to bed and tell yourself tomorrow will be better.  And it will.





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