Author Topic: Poll: What gets you past writer's block without fail?  (Read 1407 times)  

Offline sugarhit

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Poll: What gets you past writer's block without fail?
« on: October 11, 2017, 09:55:06 AM »
And if you think writer's block doesn't exist, this isn't the thread for you. Keep it movin'

Online C. Gold

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Re: Poll: What gets you past writer's block without fail?
« Reply #1 on: October 11, 2017, 10:01:23 AM »
Does writer's pause count? I sometimes come to a stop on a scene because there's something about it I'm not happy with, but I can't pinpoint it. Then I do something else and out of the blue the solution pops in my head. This usually takes place in the shower or other area where I'm not conveniently near the computer to write it down.

Offline ImaWriter

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Re: Poll: What gets you past writer's block without fail?
« Reply #2 on: October 11, 2017, 10:11:09 AM »
The shower for me as well! Talking through an idea out loud, while in a hot shower, works wonders for me.

Brilliance is conceived in my shower.  :D   At one point I thought of installing a voice recorder in the bathroom so I could remember stuff.

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Re: Poll: What gets you past writer's block without fail?
« Reply #3 on: October 11, 2017, 10:15:48 AM »
The shower for me as well! Talking through an idea out loud, while in a hot shower, works wonders for me.

Brilliance is conceived in my shower.  :D   At one point I thought of installing a voice recorder in the bathroom so I could remember stuff.
HAHA I know right? It's the relaxation coupled with, I swear, the lack of ability to write it down that does it. I guess maybe a recorder would be a bad idea for me - don't want to jinx the process!

Offline RRodriguez

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Re: Poll: What gets you past writer's block without fail?
« Reply #4 on: October 11, 2017, 10:16:11 AM »
I jump to another, more fleshed out scene or I switch novels altogether. I find that giving myself a break always helps and when I come back to the sticky scene things are usually much clearer and easier to figure out since the rest of the novel is now more whole.
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Online David R. Larson

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Re: Poll: What gets you past writer's block without fail?
« Reply #5 on: October 11, 2017, 10:30:13 AM »
I think about it as I'm falling asleep and let my subconscious take a crack at it.

The shower is good too, but I more often get ideas for entirely different stories in there. Have thought about finding some sort of waterproof pad / grease pencil combo for just such occasions.

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Offline KateDanley

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Re: Poll: What gets you past writer's block without fail?
« Reply #6 on: October 11, 2017, 10:51:16 AM »
I'm realizing that some of my writer's block was coming from getting too enmeshed in world events and social media.  My brain was so wrapped up in what was going on, I wasn't able to focus on my story.  I recently installed StayFocused.  I set it to turn off my internet at 9AM every morning for a couple hours and to only allow me an hour on all of my favorite time suck websites (Facebook, Twitter, NY Times).  It's been working wonders.

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Offline C. Gockel

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Re: Poll: What gets you past writer's block without fail?
« Reply #7 on: October 11, 2017, 11:04:35 AM »
Usually just writing the wrong words makes the right words pop up eventually. I've stripped 50,000 words of useless drek from novels before, but writing the useless stuff helped me find what was essential.

I don't usually write more than 45 minutes at a time, and take lots of walks/pace around the kitchen. I've also been doing high intensity interval training, HIIT. The day after I tend to write more.  Also dark chocolate and plenty of white tea help, too.  ;)

I never write a novel until I know the end. That is a biggie. If you know how it will end, it's just a matter of getting there. Not knowing where you are going is a killer.
« Last Edit: October 11, 2017, 11:06:11 AM by C. Gockel »


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Offline Allyson J.

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Re: Poll: What gets you past writer's block without fail?
« Reply #8 on: October 11, 2017, 11:21:00 AM »
StayFocused or BrainFM and forcing myself to put words on the page. I've cured plot problems in the shower, too.

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Offline C. Rysalis

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Re: Poll: What gets you past writer's block without fail?
« Reply #9 on: October 11, 2017, 11:26:10 AM »
Zoning out to music.

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Re: Poll: What gets you past writer's block without fail?
« Reply #10 on: October 11, 2017, 11:31:02 AM »
I keep on moving until I get past it. I have to say, I had a mild panic in writing my latest WIP. It's due October 20 (it's in preorder status right now), and, up until recently, I had no clue where I wanted it to go. I briefly thought that I was going to have to cancel the preorder and go into hiding. But then I got a tiny kernel of an idea, and that broke open the dam. Now, I have a map in my head, and I'm excited again. Phew.


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Offline JoyMosby

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Re: Poll: What gets you past writer's block without fail?
« Reply #11 on: October 11, 2017, 12:05:14 PM »
I jump to another, more fleshed out scene or I switch novels altogether. I find that giving myself a break always helps and when I come back to the sticky scene things are usually much clearer and easier to figure out since the rest of the novel is now more whole.
I do this as well 8)

The other thing that works for me is journaling. I make a list what could happen next, and usually by the third or forth idea I come up with one that will get me where I want the story to go.


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Offline Catherine Lea

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Re: Poll: What gets you past writer's block without fail?
« Reply #12 on: October 11, 2017, 12:26:58 PM »
I keep on moving until I get past it. I have to say, I had a mild panic in writing my latest WIP. It's due October 20 (it's in preorder status right now), and, up until recently, I had no clue where I wanted it to go. I briefly thought that I was going to have to cancel the preorder and go into hiding. But then I got a tiny kernel of an idea, and that broke open the dam. Now, I have a map in my head, and I'm excited again. Phew.


This is exactly what happens to me. I get to a block at around 30K words. It's because I'm a pantser at this stage and it's usually because I haven't figured out the theme or I don't have a cohesive central storyline. I'm still groping around in the dark, searching for it. I consider myself experienced enough to know when a story isn't ringing true, or characters are behaving out of...well, character. Repeated experience of WB tells me time and time again that I should start EVERY story with a tagline. It's thinking up the tagline that's the hard part. Hence the block.

The best thing for me is to step back for a few days, figure out where I want it to go  and force myself onward. Reporting word counts in my critique group helps. Learning how to stop micro self-editing would be helpful as well.


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Re: Poll: What gets you past writer's block without fail?
« Reply #13 on: October 11, 2017, 12:29:07 PM »
Does writer's pause count? I sometimes come to a stop on a scene because there's something about it I'm not happy with, but I can't pinpoint it. Then I do something else and out of the blue the solution pops in my head.

This!~  :D  I usually just start with a sentence, hmm whats the very next step then move to the next and then it kicks in and I am ready to roll.. but when I am blocked I have to roll it around in my head and find the right way to take it before I can do anything else.
« Last Edit: October 11, 2017, 12:34:34 PM by Pandorra »
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Offline Lorri Moulton

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Re: Poll: What gets you past writer's block without fail?
« Reply #14 on: October 11, 2017, 12:34:02 PM »
Give myself more time.  I only seem to get writer's block, when I impose a deadline.  Or write myself into a corner, but that's more writer's pause...as C. Gold said. :)

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Offline Laran Mithras

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Re: Poll: What gets you past writer's block without fail?
« Reply #15 on: October 11, 2017, 12:54:15 PM »
Before I cured my writer's block, music was the thing that worked.
 

Offline Benjamin Douglas

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Re: Poll: What gets you past writer's block without fail?
« Reply #16 on: October 11, 2017, 01:04:08 PM »
So far the only thing that MAKES me write if I don't wanna is a looming deadline (hello, KDP preorder).

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Re: Poll: What gets you past writer's block without fail?
« Reply #17 on: October 11, 2017, 01:13:42 PM »
So far the only thing that MAKES me write if I don't wanna is a looming deadline (hello, KDP preorder).


 :o I couldn't... I would spend all my time freaking out if I was close to the deadline or not!
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Re: Poll: What gets you past writer's block without fail?
« Reply #18 on: October 11, 2017, 01:35:55 PM »
So far the only thing that MAKES me write if I don't wanna is a looming deadline (hello, KDP preorder).

Me too. Editorial deadlines are the only thing that work for me. If I don't have one then I faff about for weeks doing a tiny bit here and a tiny bit there.
With a deadline it is all about word count. I know my word count goal for every book before I start and then I get in a flap near the deadline of "Oh hell, I only have ten days left and I'm still 20k short of my word count." If I don't know what to write then I write something, anything, total drivel, to get me to the goal. I can polish it later, but I know I must finish that first draft by the deadline no matter what.

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Re: Poll: What gets you past writer's block without fail?
« Reply #19 on: October 11, 2017, 01:47:08 PM »
Echoing what others have said, thinking showers are v helpful. Also, getting some exercise, going for a walk, bike ride, or to the gym. Personally, I love to talk it out with a writer friend. They always ask me a series of questions and forcing me to answer them usually shakes something loose. I know that approach isn't for everyone.

I also like the Pixar suggestion of making a list of things that wouldn't happen next. You'd be surprised how often those answers can get you unstuck.

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Offline David Chill

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Re: Poll: What gets you past writer's block without fail?
« Reply #20 on: October 11, 2017, 02:14:31 PM »
Long walks do it for me. Whatever knotty problem I had in the beginning usually works itself out by the time I get back home.

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Offline Pacman

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Re: Poll: What gets you past writer's block without fail?
« Reply #21 on: October 11, 2017, 02:40:17 PM »
This is exactly what happens to me. I get to a block at around 30K words. It's because I'm a pantser at this stage and it's usually because I haven't figured out the theme or I don't have a cohesive central storyline. I'm still groping around in the dark, searching for it. I consider myself experienced enough to know when a story isn't ringing true, or characters are behaving out of...well, character. Repeated experience of WB tells me time and time again that I should start EVERY story with a tagline. It's thinking up the tagline that's the hard part. Hence the block.

The best thing for me is to step back for a few days, figure out where I want it to go  and force myself onward. Reporting word counts in my critique group helps. Learning how to stop micro self-editing would be helpful as well.

Same, I also go back to the previous chapter and begin to edit, that draws me back into the story and away I go.

If I get stuck half way through a scene, I'll lie back in my chair and go into the zone and process it. I take the scene into my special space. It looks a bit like a train with carriages, or like a sentence, and there I'll work on it. I'll often fall asleep, come back to it, often I'll find that it's fleshed out after a few of these in-and-out passes.

I keep going in and out of this space until I'm ready to sit back at the laptop and work. It usually only takes 5 or 10 minutes using this process.


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Offline Word Fan

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Re: Poll: What gets you past writer's block without fail?
« Reply #22 on: October 11, 2017, 04:52:50 PM »
Doing dishes.

Nothing makes the ideas flow better for me than hand scrubbing a sinkful of dishes. I invariably have to stop partway through and jot down a bunch of notes.

Works every time.

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Re: Poll: What gets you past writer's block without fail?
« Reply #23 on: October 11, 2017, 05:29:39 PM »
Caffeine. Lots of it.

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Re: Poll: What gets you past writer's block without fail?
« Reply #24 on: October 11, 2017, 06:29:07 PM »
Doing dishes.

Nothing makes the ideas flow better for me than hand scrubbing a sinkful of dishes. I invariably have to stop partway through and jot down a bunch of notes.

Works every time.

Ditto! Washing the dishes, sweeping the floor, feeding the cat, checking the mail, pretty much anything household related gives my brain a chance to breathe and wander off somewhere non-story related (and yet, it always comes back with ideas)
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Offline dgrant

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Re: Poll: What gets you past writer's block without fail?
« Reply #25 on: October 12, 2017, 06:37:10 PM »
Road trips. My husband loads me in the car, and then he gets to spend hours with no internet access, no distractions, nothing but the other sparse traffic and the plot wheels grinding in his head.

And then he has to put up with me dragging him around the zoo and trying to get him to eat cotton candy, or around the faire and trying to get him to eat an elephant ear or Something On A Stick. When he gets home, he'll disappear into the office (or for a longer trip, I'll rack out on the hotel bed and wake up to the sound of typing, pull his pillow over my head and go back to sleep.)

I'm okay with this, because zoo! Faire! Museums! (They don't have food, but there's always a caf nearby.)


Offline sela

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Re: Poll: What gets you past writer's block without fail?
« Reply #26 on: October 12, 2017, 06:39:25 PM »
Deadlines.

Editor deadlines.

Preorder deadlines.

I find that deadlines get my butt into chair to finish the dad blamed thing.

Without deadlines, I can dilly-dally away weeks. A little more research, a little more self-editing... Maybe a new character? A plot twist?

Nope. A deadline kills my writer's block like nothing else.

Offline KateDanley

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Re: Poll: What gets you past writer's block without fail?
« Reply #27 on: October 14, 2017, 11:51:12 AM »
So, a buddy and I met up at a coffee shop to get some work done (amazing how much a person can do when the distractions of laundry and dishes are not calling from the other room.)  We were discussing focus and she recommended binaural beats.  I was like, "What the heck is that??"  So, listen, I don't know if it is a bunch of hooey or placebo effect or what, but it is TOTALLY working for me.



I stream it through my Echo as I'm writing and suddenly, words are flowing.  It's like getting all the ideas you usually only get in your car when you're away from your computer, except you're at your computer and you can capture them all.  In the past seven days, I've mowed through two full-length novels with story plots that had me baffled for, literally, months.  It's pretty crazy awesome.

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Offline Anarchist

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Re: Poll: What gets you past writer's block without fail?
« Reply #28 on: October 14, 2017, 11:54:08 AM »
Deadlines.

Editor deadlines.

Preorder deadlines.

I find that deadlines get my butt into chair to finish the dad blamed thing.

Without deadlines, I can dilly-dally away weeks. A little more research, a little more self-editing... Maybe a new character? A plot twist?

Nope. A deadline kills my writer's block like nothing else.

This. Hard deadlines. And consequences for missing them.

Works (for me) every time.

Which implies that writer's block isn't a lack of ability. It's a lack of discipline.


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Offline DonovanJeremiah

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Re: Poll: What gets you past writer's block without fail?
« Reply #29 on: October 14, 2017, 01:30:13 PM »
I'm another "do the dishes" person.

Also, I use a technique I learned from somewhere I can't remember now. If I find that I'm stuck, can't get around where I'm spinning my wheels, I type "the mountain collapses and everyone dies", save and close it. Then go do the dishes.

My mind rebels at leaving it there and does its machinations to get me out of the tight spot.

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Offline brkingsolver

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Re: Poll: What gets you past writer's block without fail?
« Reply #30 on: October 14, 2017, 01:48:41 PM »
Usually just writing the wrong words makes the right words pop up eventually. I've stripped 50,000 words of useless drek from novels before, but writing the useless stuff helped me find what was essential.

I never write a novel until I know the end. That is a biggie. If you know how it will end, it's just a matter of getting there. Not knowing where you are going is a killer.

This.

Just write. I've left so many scenes, chapters, whole plot lines, on the cutting-room floor. The problem is not-writing. Torture your characters. Turn your sweetest character into the biggest *itch and have her torture small children. Have the love interest do terrible things. Make your villain wear pink.

What doesn't fit gets cut. But knowing what doesn't fit, what doesn't work, helps to figure out what needs to fill that space. Started this morning with a scene I wrote yesterday that not only didn't go anywhere, it was boring to boot. Cut three-fourths of it out and then wrote a chapter that moved the story.

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Offline CarolynVMurray

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Re: Poll: What gets you past writer's block without fail?
« Reply #31 on: October 14, 2017, 01:54:42 PM »
I'm realizing that some of my writer's block was coming from getting too enmeshed in world events and social media.  My brain was so wrapped up in what was going on, I wasn't able to focus on my story.  I recently installed StayFocused.  I set it to turn off my internet at 9AM every morning for a couple hours and to only allow me an hour on all of my favorite time suck websites (Facebook, Twitter, NY Times).  It's been working wonders.
Kate - you took the words out of my mouth. World events are ... mesmerizing!  :o  Social media is frighteningly addictive. Throw in youtube and pinterest travel fantasies, and there's precious little time left for writing. I'll have to take a look at StayFocused.

Oh,  I just saw your post on binaural beats. I'm really looking forward to giving it a try.
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Offline Brevoort

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Re: Poll: What gets you past writer's block without fail?
« Reply #32 on: October 14, 2017, 02:27:20 PM »



A long time ago I was chatting with Lawrence Block (if you don't know him, he is a writer's writer) and he highly recommended Jerry Mundis' "Beat Writer's Block Now"

At the time, early 90's, I was doing script doctor work for a Saturday morning type kid's animation show that had a pretty fair stable of writers. In asking around I discovered that they almost all had used the book, in some cases to overcome very severe Writer's Block attacks.

It is a remarkably clear and effective book. I just checked and it is available as an ebook.

Of course, the very best way of avoiding the problem in the first place is to hire out as a journalist in a serious goat-feeding newsroom staffed by specially bred fire breathing editors
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Offline Bellamy Black

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Re: Poll: What gets you past writer's block without fail?
« Reply #33 on: October 14, 2017, 02:29:48 PM »
I step away from the computer and grab a notebook and pen. Then I jot down a couple of questions regarding the scene, kind of talking to myself on the page. "Why would Character X go here? Why now? Why hasn't she asked Character Y for help?" Things of that nature. Writing this stuff out longhand forces me to slow down and really process my answers, discarding ones that don't fit and finally landing on the stuff that excites me.

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Re: Poll: What gets you past writer's block without fail?
« Reply #34 on: October 14, 2017, 02:32:15 PM »
Shower, then go to the library, hook up to brain.fm. Almost always works...even in the craziest times. The only problem I've had was last year due to depression from my mom dying, it was hard to motivate enough to do those three steps.

Luckily, although there's no way to write anything down that I come up with in the shower, that's (so far) been fine. My brain continues to chew on the ideas while I get the rest of my situation prepped.

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Offline Dpock

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Re: Poll: What gets you past writer's block without fail?
« Reply #35 on: October 14, 2017, 02:38:15 PM »
A bender followed by a good cry usually works.


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Re: Poll: What gets you past writer's block without fail?
« Reply #36 on: October 14, 2017, 02:39:06 PM »
I have to add music here, I have been procrastinating all day and finally turned on some mood music and now feel a million times better about getting back to work.
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Re: Poll: What gets you past writer's block without fail?
« Reply #37 on: October 14, 2017, 02:59:29 PM »
For me it's doing something other than writing. Usually reading something outside my genre. If that fails, I drag out my old WIPs and try a bit of free writing in one of those for a while.

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Re: Poll: What gets you past writer's block without fail?
« Reply #38 on: October 14, 2017, 03:08:43 PM »
For me it's doing something other than writing. Usually reading something outside my genre. If that fails, I drag out my old WIPs and try a bit of free writing in one of those for a while.
All of this for me but especially the part in bold. The idea is to just keep writing--something, anything. If I'm really really stuck, then it just means I may not have let that particular idea marinate long enough to be cooked (written) fully.

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Offline Going Incognito

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Re: Poll: What gets you past writer's block without fail?
« Reply #39 on: October 14, 2017, 04:49:00 PM »


A long time ago I was chatting with Lawrence Block (if you don't know him, he is a writer's writer) and he highly recommended Jerry Mundis' "Beat Writer's Block Now"

At the time, early 90's, I was doing script doctor work for a Saturday morning type kid's animation show that had a pretty fair stable of writers. In asking around I discovered that they almost all had used the book, in some cases to overcome very severe Writer's Block attacks.

It is a remarkably clear and effective book. I just checked and it is available as an ebook.

Of course, the very best way of avoiding the problem in the first place is to hire out as a journalist in a serious goat-feeding newsroom staffed by specially bred fire breathing editors


From the book's look inside:
"Pick a room in which to read this book that is psychologically pleasing to you, in which you feel comfortable and able to relax. If you live in a small studio apartment or a dormitory room, then pick the chair or area that most lends itself to these feelings. If possible, make it a space you also associate with potency or effectiveness in yourself."

I can't decide. Should I stay in the bathroom avoiding everyone until they realize mom escaped for a few minutes of peace? Or crawl out the window and lock myself in the car with the darkest windows?

Offline Going Incognito

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Re: Poll: What gets you past writer's block without fail?
« Reply #40 on: October 14, 2017, 04:50:52 PM »

From the book's look inside:
"Pick a room in which to read this book that is psychologically pleasing to you, in which you feel comfortable and able to relax. If you live in a small studio apartment or a dormitory room, then pick the chair or area that most lends itself to these feelings. If possible, make it a space you also associate with potency or effectiveness in yourself."

I can't decide. Should I stay in the bathroom avoiding everyone until they realize mom escaped for a few minutes of peace? Or crawl out the window and lock myself in the car with the darkest windows?

Sigh, never mind. I've been found.

Offline Laran Mithras

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Re: Poll: What gets you past writer's block without fail?
« Reply #41 on: October 14, 2017, 04:52:49 PM »
snort

Move your coffee cup to the other side where you normally place it. You'll magically write twice as many words.  ::)
 

Offline aejotz

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Re: Poll: What gets you past writer's block without fail?
« Reply #42 on: October 14, 2017, 06:30:03 PM »
I take a break and try to implement the secret to a good golf swing: stop caring if the next attempt is "good."
Nothing blocks me like trying to write as well as I can instead of just writing.

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Re: Poll: What gets you past writer's block without fail?
« Reply #43 on: October 14, 2017, 06:54:29 PM »

From the book's look inside:
"Pick a room in which to read this book that is psychologically pleasing to you, in which you feel comfortable and able to relax. If you live in a small studio apartment or a dormitory room, then pick the chair or area that most lends itself to these feelings. If possible, make it a space you also associate with potency or effectiveness in yourself."

I can't decide. Should I stay in the bathroom avoiding everyone until they realize mom escaped for a few minutes of peace? Or crawl out the window and lock myself in the car with the darkest windows?
What's weird is that I've discovered sitting in the walk-in closet surrounded by walls of junk and shut out from the rest of the world has helped my word counts tremendously. Who knew?

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Offline KateDanley

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Re: Poll: What gets you past writer's block without fail?
« Reply #44 on: October 14, 2017, 07:26:37 PM »
What's weird is that I've discovered sitting in the walk-in closet surrounded by walls of junk and shut out from the rest of the world has helped my word counts tremendously. Who knew?

Annie Dillard actually talks about this phenomenon!  Well done stumbling onto it on your own!


(Annie Dillard won the Pulitzer for her book Pilgrim at Tinker Creek)

So, her proposition was that as writers, we should be writing in cinder block rooms with no windows.  She said that if the space around us is boring and bleak, we will naturally find ourselves turning inward to create a colorful world of imagination.  The Writing Life is quite a book if anyone needs some inspiration.  Mine is covered in highlighter marks and I wish I could tattoo the whole thing into my brain.

Kate - you took the words out of my mouth. World events are ... mesmerizing!  :o  Social media is frighteningly addictive. Throw in youtube and pinterest travel fantasies, and there's precious little time left for writing. I'll have to take a look at StayFocused.

Oh,  I just saw your post on binaural beats. I'm really looking forward to giving it a try.

RIGHT???  It's like... every day there is some crazy, bonkers, life altering something that has exploded in the news and until I did this hard reboot on my life with the SiteBlocker, I was scared to look away.  I was starting my day with a simple "Well, I'll just check the NY Times while I finish my coffee" and eight hours later...  The SiteBlocker and the zen of the binaural beats have changed everything.

ALSO!  I stopped watching home decorating shows!  I know... this will sound bizarre...  but we have these things called mirror neurons in our brains that cause us to experience something we're watching as if it is happening to us (it's why people get so wrapped up in sports and why horror movies are scary.)  So, all of my creativity was getting used up in these home dec shows.  I'd feel like I had just designed a house and then I'd sit down to write, and suddenly find myself tapped out.  So... yeah.  There's another tip!

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Offline Going Incognito

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Re: Poll: What gets you past writer's block without fail?
« Reply #45 on: October 14, 2017, 08:00:57 PM »


A long time ago I was chatting with Lawrence Block (if you don't know him, he is a writer's writer) and he highly recommended Jerry Mundis' "Beat Writer's Block Now"

At the time, early 90's, I was doing script doctor work for a Saturday morning type kid's animation show that had a pretty fair stable of writers. In asking around I discovered that they almost all had used the book, in some cases to overcome very severe Writer's Block attacks.

It is a remarkably clear and effective book. I just checked and it is available as an ebook.

Of course, the very best way of avoiding the problem in the first place is to hire out as a journalist in a serious goat-feeding newsroom staffed by specially bred fire breathing editors


Ok, I'm coming back here to say thank you. Thank you for this book recommendation. I learned something big about myself working it and at first I was sad. But now I feel kind of... freed.

What's weird is that I've discovered sitting in the walk-in closet surrounded by walls of junk and shut out from the rest of the world has helped my word counts tremendously. Who knew?

I can see that, actually. Enclosed. Undistracted. Like she says below.


Annie Dillard actually talks about this phenomenon!  Well done stumbling onto it on your own!


(Annie Dillard won the Pulitzer for her book Pilgrim at Tinker Creek)

So, her proposition was that as writers, we should be writing in cinder block rooms with no windows.  She said that if the space around us is boring and bleak, we will naturally find ourselves turning inward to create a colorful world of imagination.  The Writing Life is quite a book if anyone needs some inspiration.  Mine is covered in highlighter marks and I wish I could tattoo the whole thing into my brain.

RIGHT???  It's like... every day there is some crazy, bonkers, life altering something that has exploded in the news and until I did this hard reboot on my life with the SiteBlocker, I was scared to look away.  I was starting my day with a simple "Well, I'll just check the NY Times while I finish my coffee" and eight hours later...  The SiteBlocker and the zen of the binaural beats have changed everything.

ALSO!  I stopped watching home decorating shows!  I know... this will sound bizarre...  but we have these things called mirror neurons in our brains that cause us to experience something we're watching as if it is happening to us (it's why people get so wrapped up in sports and why horror movies are scary.)  So, all of my creativity was getting used up in these home dec shows.  I'd feel like I had just designed a house and then I'd sit down to write, and suddenly find myself tapped out.  So... yeah.  There's another tip!


I may be thanking you soon for that book, too.


And yeah, life is stranger than fiction right now. It is fascinating. Hence the need to write in the closet. Your NYT is my forums. It's all so important, dontcha know? And relevant! What's going on minute to minute at Amazon effects my livelihood, after all.

Hard reboot, huh? No forums til after words? No 'just for a minute,' cause yeah. It's never just for a minute is it? Then it occupies space in your brain.


Thank you all for this thread.
« Last Edit: October 14, 2017, 08:03:05 PM by Going Incognito »

Online Herefortheride

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Re: Poll: What gets you past writer's block without fail?
« Reply #46 on: October 14, 2017, 08:07:29 PM »
Never had writer's block. I'm more curious how one gets it.
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Online Pandorra

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Re: Poll: What gets you past writer's block without fail?
« Reply #47 on: October 14, 2017, 08:42:05 PM »
Ironic, my house used to be my escape and I have always been strict about who I invite into my private space, but since my brother moved in, I have found I need a new escape more than ever.. I HATE having my world invaded like that, so I just duck my head and stay in my writing, finding its the only the way to get away from everything else I don't want to deal with.

I don't have to hide in a dark room to get away from visual distractions though...*laughing*

As for keeping the writing going, I started a second book I can play with that is so far outside of my original genre there is no way not to want one or the other .. lol
I have been switching between them so I don't get burned out on the series and always have something I can work on. I suppose if I need more motivation I will just split again and try for three!! (I am surprisingly enough keeping an even pace with the word count for both AND getting more words in a day (2-5k on each) which can only be great practice for if/when I go back to one right?)
« Last Edit: October 14, 2017, 08:50:10 PM by Pandorra »
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Online Gentleman Zombie

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Re: Poll: What gets you past writer's block without fail?
« Reply #48 on: October 14, 2017, 09:31:06 PM »
Doing dishes.

Nothing makes the ideas flow better for me than hand scrubbing a sinkful of dishes. I invariably have to stop partway through and jot down a bunch of notes.

Works every time.


I do this too! Sometimes breaking for household chores really helps.

Offline EC Sheedy

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Re: Poll: What gets you past writer's block without fail?
« Reply #49 on: October 14, 2017, 10:21:37 PM »
Never had writer's block. I'm more curious how one gets it.

Oh, oh . . . careful! You're tempting fate.

I never had it until recently, and it's been driving me nuts--or rather it's like me driving down a fog-bound dark road with no GPS. Hate it! I'm blaming a recently acquired addiction to the news cycle, too. Weaning myself off now, and managed a thousand words today. I thought for sure there would be fireworks in Madagascar!

Yes, to BrainFM and any other trick you can pull out of a hat. Mostly, turn off the effing news and retreat to your own headspace.  8)
 

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Thou shalt not is soon forgotten, but Once upon a time lasts forever."   ― Philip Pullman

Offline Going Incognito

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Re: Poll: What gets you past writer's block without fail?
« Reply #50 on: October 15, 2017, 12:32:43 AM »
I think I'm technically less writer's blocked and more... writer's cock-blocked. Others are between me and my flow right now. I used to have an empty house from 8a to 3p most days. Now, if- and that's a hugely big if- if I get an odd hour of empty house, before I can even breathe it in, it's over.
My flow state is hiding under the bed like a shy kitten. It knows the minute it dares to appear, many feet and much noise will too, so it just stays under the bed, eyes shining at me from the dark, just out of reach and untempted by anything from food to catnip.

Offline sugarhit

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Re: Poll: What gets you past writer's block without fail?
« Reply #51 on: October 16, 2017, 07:38:22 AM »
I love coming back to a thread a few days later and just reading and taking notes. Lots of great feedback here, y'all.

Thanks

Offline Ahmad_Ardalan

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Re: Poll: What gets you past writer's block without fail?
« Reply #52 on: October 16, 2017, 09:42:53 AM »
Traveling to a new place.

Offline SA_Soule

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Re: Poll: What gets you past writer's block without fail?
« Reply #53 on: October 16, 2017, 10:24:04 AM »
I just wrote a blog post on this subject with a few inspirational tips that should help.  ;)

9 Easy and Fast Tips to Cure Writer's Block: http://fictionwritingtools.blogspot.com/2017/06/the-cure-for-writers-block.html

Offline SA_Soule

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Re: Poll: What gets you past writer's block without fail?
« Reply #54 on: October 16, 2017, 10:25:39 AM »
So, a buddy and I met up at a coffee shop to get some work done (amazing how much a person can do when the distractions of laundry and dishes are not calling from the other room.)  We were discussing focus and she recommended binaural beats.  I was like, "What the heck is that??"  So, listen, I don't know if it is a bunch of hooey or placebo effect or what, but it is TOTALLY working for me.



I stream it through my Echo as I'm writing and suddenly, words are flowing.  It's like getting all the ideas you usually only get in your car when you're away from your computer, except you're at your computer and you can capture them all.  In the past seven days, I've mowed through two full-length novels with story plots that had me baffled for, literally, months.  It's pretty crazy awesome.

I have done this too! It does work!