Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Writer's "Block" (but not)

Last night, talking with my newest Twitter friend/writer friend/fellow Albertan (@nataliexmurphy), the subject of Writer's Block (but not) came up and led me to one of her blog posts regarding the terrifying annoying subject. I've been going through the same thing for the past little while, and boy is it frustrating. But after @nataliexmurphy led me to her blog post, I found there were many comments from multiple people. (If you would like to check out her post & the great comments, go here:  )

It made me reflect on my own writer's block procrastination stubbornness STRUGGLES. From reading everyone's comments on her post, I felt RELIEVED in the fact that I'm not the only one going through this. There were many great ideas and suggestions to drive past it, but I'm not entirely sure what it is I'm trying to drive past. At first I thought it was the Block, but I don't have the lack of ideas floating around in my mind. And I definitely don't have the lack of time to write (quick update on the layoff situation - yes, still jobless...). Thought it could have been procrastination, but it feels more like I'm being stubborn with myself. Or that I WANT to write (god, do I ever), but when I sit down and try to get myself to do it, I don't. It's almost as if the front of my brain, my immediate thoughts, is to WRITE, now! And the back of my mind, the "hidden" thoughts, are like 'do this instead, do that, do you REALLY want to write right now?'

I want to kill that voice. 

I don't know why ANY part of my brain would try to defer me from writing. I love to write. ALL of me! So this whole struggle is very unfamiliar and very frustrating. It feels like all I want to do is RUN, but my feet are glued to the floor. Sure, I've had my share of the "block", but this is different. I think (like @nataliexmurphy) I have too much personal stress/anxiety going on that it is taking over all of my mental and emotional efforts that I need to put into my writing, so maybe that part of my brain stupid voice is trying to tell me that I need to deal with other things before I can focus on writing something new. There is nothing wrong with taking a break and putting things on hold to deal with something else (I have done it before), but it shouldn't take this long. I'm bad for giving advice and not listening to myself on it - if you force yourself to write when something is holding you back, you won't be happy with what comes out and it will feel too FORCED. That is how I feel. You just won't be happy with what came out and will most likely change it when you're back on that writing train later on. 

Boy, I want to be back on that train. Anyone have a spare ticket? I've been doing a bit better lately, but it feels like I'm sitting on that train while it's not moving. I want to go for a ride.

A few of the suggestions involved reading. I admit, I usually go into 2 phases - a writing frenzy phase, and a reading phase. I'll write like made for a couple months, then the train stops for some sightseeing - this is when I enter the reading phase. Which, I guess is still productive because a writer NEEDS to read. It's in reading where we gather more knowledge that makes us better writers. A couple weeks ago, I got REALLY into a new series and read 4 books in 4 days (series is Rachel Vincent 'Shift' series in case you are wondering) and read countless writing blogs/posts/tips. If that isn't a reading frenzy I don't know what is. But that is what I generally do, I spit out multiple pages in writing, stop or slow down, and then read an insane amount. I call it entering my reading mode. 

So how long is TOO long to not be spitting out writing pages like mad? I got laid off 2 months ago (I can't believe it's been that long...) and one of my thoughts when I got laid off was "YAY. I can have so much time to WRITE." And yet I've hardly done any. Why?! Sometimes (and this is probably just for me) I have to sit myself down (like a bad child going to 'time out') and FORCE myself to write. "Alright Ash, you are going to SIT here until SOMETHING shows up on that page."

Last night it worked (kind of). I managed to write (even though it was only half a page *cough cough*), but overcoming that small   large hump of writer's... whatever you want to call it... felt GOOD. I don't care that it was only half a page - it was the first part written for chapter 1 of my new WiP (had previously written a prologue, then stopped), so in my mind it is a HUGE obstacle overcome. I feel like now that I have that initial "start", now I can just continue. If that makes sense. 

Anyways, this ramble has gone on long enough. I'm curious - what are YOUR solutions to being STUCK with your writing?


Thursday, May 20, 2010

For your writing inspirational needs!

Ok, I've been a baaaaad girl and haven't updated my bloddigy boo in some time. But! I will make it up to you all, I promise!

Firstly, I'm VERY excited to say that I have been dabbling and progressing with my new WiP that I have dubbed The Violet Hour. Yes, I'm weird and for some reason I always come up with the perfect title while plotting a new WiP, without having any words down! *brushes imaginary dust off of shoulder* And with the fantastical boost of AWESOME from my Critter (@CourtneyReese86), I have giddily dived (dove?) back into it. *confetti everywhere!*

And with this renewed vigor for my new WiP, I have gathered some great new inspiring writing songs, and I will share a handful with you. Enjoy!

God's Gonna Cut You Down - Johnny Cash
Unstoppable - E.S. Posthumus (for those intense scenes)
You Got Me All Wrong - Dios Malos
Eden - Hooverphonic (always one of my favorites for writing)
Requiem For a Tower - Clint Mansell (always fantastic for INTENSENESS!!!)
The Handshake - MGMT
Panic Prone - Chevelle
This is Your Life - Low vs Diamond
Lucky You - Deftones (another all time fav.)
(while I'm at it..) Minerva - Deftones (another great one)
Death of a Party - Blur
Chemtrails - Beck
#1 Crush - Garbage
Bulletproof - Kerli (MUCH thanks to @CourtneyReese86 for introducing me to Kerli. This song has totally inspired an incredible scene in my head for later on in TVH :) <3)
Glory Box - Portishead (Couldn't do a writing playlist w/o some Portishead - one of my fav bands for writing. This one is a good slow, perhaps sexy scene song)
Krwlng - Linkin Park (one of my fav LP remixes of one of their best songs 'Crawling'. Both versions are scenes in my WiP.. or will be...)
Bad Romance (cover) - 30 Seconds to Mars (rawr! Much love to @kristenyard for introducing me to THIS one today. Absolutely love the version by these guys. Possible WiP scenes swirling while listening to it)
The Infinite - Dargaard (a dark kinda song)
Into Dust - Mazzy Star (another long time fav)