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When a writer can't write?

Hey everyone,

When one of you is faced with a writer’s block, what do you do? Do you let the block die a natural death or do you take steps to kill it. I was listening to an interview with J.K.Rowling once, and she said that it was all about discipline. I have tried but I really can’t seem to grasp this discipline she was talking about. There’s days when I write 5000 words per day and keep getting more and more ideas, and then weeks would go by and I can’t even bring myself to edit or proofread a chapter I’ve written.

How’s it with you? Share your experience.

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I think that by discipline she means she forces herself to do it even when she doesn’t feel like it.

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I suppose. But wouldn’t that affect the quality of ones piece? :thinking:

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That depends on how full of ideas you are. When Miss Rowling writes it seems to me there is an endless well of things to write about.

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You can edit things you force onto the page. You can’t edit a blank page. In the end, I think it comes down to the same type of discipline that people have to stick with any other occasionally boring job they must do to find their idea of success.

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Speaking only for myself, I can safely say that’s not the case. My head is brimming with ideas, at times, when I hit that writers’ block. It’s the issue of translating those ideas into written words and the lack of motivation to sit down and do it. I think that’s what she referred to when she said ‘discipline’ and I wondered if ‘forced’ writing comes out lacking in quality.

Yeah that makes sense. I write for my own pleasure. So I really don’t have any pressure to meet deadlines and the sorts. I think I slack off too easily and barely get myself to do that forced writing session :sweat_smile:

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I think Miss Rowling deliberately chose a subject that has an endless, bottomless well to draw ideas from.

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What’s your writing process, Jave?

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It depends. I don’t get writers block writing web content. Creative writing is a different story. These days I don’t have any time to write creatively. However, I did used to have some cool ways of overcoming a creative dry spell.

I used to always get stuck writing dialogue. It would sound stale. In this case, I ended up going to cafes and bars with my tablet with the intention of looking like a trendy Starbucks freelancer. What I would really do, though, is listen to people talking around me and type their conversations.

Basically, I was literary voyeur in peoples lives. Naturally, you have to be discrete. However, you can come away with some great conversation templates and ideas which you can use to enrich your writing and make is sound more natural.

Plot problems are a different kettle of fish. My rule these days is to simply murder someone or have a horrible calamity happen. i.e. If i’m stuck not knowing how to proceed when I have two or more characters in an otherwise boring setting, there will suddenly be a gas explosion nearby. Then you can pad out your whole creative world by creating lots of cool little story arcs, etc.

Once when I was stuck, I decided to have the protagonist of my story saw her nemesis’s hand off with a bread knife. She had been a very sweet woman until then and it was completely out of character, but it worked. (Of course, it helps that I write sci-fi/crime/horror.)

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Depends on what I’m writing. If it’s a story (I live in my head a lot, so to get out of it, I write it :grin:) I do a bit of both, so I’m a planster. Chalk out the whole plot, only to keep diverting lol.

If it’s a small piece or an article, I just jot down my thoughts and opinions on the issue.

I don’t do pieces that require a lot of research (content writing and such) so I will occasionally do background reading and targeted research if any of my pieces requires me to get the facts and figures right. Other than that, it’s just me getting in the mood and a keypad :blush:

How do you approach writing?

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Yep, I have the same issue. If it’s the college project, I’ll get it done. Probably because of the deadline sword hanging over my head but I’ve never really had problem of a block there.

I used to always get stuck writing dialogue. It would sound stale. In this case, I ended up going to cafes and bars with my tablet with the intention of looking like a trendy Starbucks freelancer. What I would really do, though, is listen to people talking around me and type their conversations.

That’s a very creative way! :smiley: Interesting what writers get up to to get their work done :sweat_smile: For me, the dialogue flows naturally. It’s usually the narration that gets me stuck. I either overdo the descriptions when I’m setting the scene or introducing a character, or overlook it completely.

Plot problems are a different kettle of fish. My rule these days is to simply murder someone or have a horrible calamity happen. i.e. If i’m stuck not knowing how to proceed when I have two or more characters in an otherwise boring setting, there will suddenly be a gas explosion nearby. Then you can pad out your whole creative world by creating lots of cool little story arcs, etc

So you go GOT on your characters :joy: That would be an interesting read. I’m actually stuck with a plot point. I think I have it figured out (like 90%) but I have to do a little reading to fact-check and then fix that scene. It’s been two weeks. . .

Once when I was stuck, I decided to have the protagonist of my story saw her nemesis’s hand off with a bread knife. She had been a very sweet woman until then and it was completely out of character, but it worked. (Of course, it helps that I write sci-fi/crime/horror.)

A bread knife? :skull: I think I will sleep better not knowing why it had to be done so brutally.

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Hair tweezers just wouldn’t have worked. :wink:

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I am logging out :running_woman:

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Not too dissimilar to you, at least when writing creatively. :slight_smile:

Freewriting helps quite a bit whenever I reach a block. Once I’ve freewritten, I usually find something in that mass of words I can build upon.

A lot of writers seem to be at their best when they have a muse to inspire them. Where’s Hum when you need him?! :sweat_smile:

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Humberto serves as an inspiration? :sweat_smile: Never heard that one before. I’m guessing you return the favor for his graphics :face_with_hand_over_mouth:

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If only I were beautiful enough to inspire a visual artist, Jave. If only! :face_with_hand_over_mouth:

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I’d argue beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Humberto probably disagrees with you :sweat_smile: Not to mention, artists and writers no longer go for Mary Sue and Gary Stews :rofl:

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Reading your reply made me realize you’re right. I’m not really short of ideas. I just lack the will to sit myself down and jot them. I’ll blame it on the humidity :hot_face:

If ideas are not the problem and it’s more about motivation for you, set small goals and reward yourself when you hit those goals.

Thank you. I think this might just help.

Maybe that’s why I’m putting off that ‘writing’ gig :sweat_smile: I had a feeling it’ll get in the way of my current project.

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Hi @ahmwritingco and @jave_base , sorry guys have been very busy. But I’m back now. I had some shootings going, sorry for my delay… :rofl::joy:

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