Tuesday, August 6, 2013

* I'M DRIVING MYSELF NUTS *

I'm driving myself nuts. And yes, I know it's a short trip... Buh dum, dum.




It happens fairly often, and this particular case of nuttiness has been brought on by.....what else? Writer's block. 




I've been attempting to write a story to submit to Chicken Soup for the Soul, for the upcoming anthology, "Miracles Happen." 



I have a story that is perfect for this book. I'm not trying to make myself write it. I really do want to write it, submit it, and I hope it gets accepted. The deadline is August 15th: that's NINE days from now. 

And the biggest part of the "driving myself nuts" has to do with the magnificent Oscar Wilde quote below. It has taken me DAYS to write the first paragraph - three sentences. Only I wasn't arguing with myself over a comma. I was trying to figure out what the word was that I'd been searching for, and as I scanned through various thesauruses, a word finally stood out. Ahhh, victory! At least for today. I now have 79 words (the first paragraph). 

I'd love to get some suggestions from other writers. What do you do for writer's block that usually works? Or what doesn't. I could use some laughs! 



"This morning I took out a comma and this afternoon I put it back again." -- Oscar Wilde

36 comments:

  1. In this kind of situation where you have the story but can't start, I think you should just start start at the middle or end. Write what you do have in your head, the part you know you want to say. Then the beginning will open up for you I think.

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    1. What a great suggestion!! Why haven't I ever thought of that?? Thank you so much!

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  2. Gak. Writer's block. The only solution I know of is to just write. It may be crazy and disjointed and senseless to anyone but you. But once the words are OUT, they can be revised. Easier said than done. *sigh*

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    1. Hi Lisa! Thanks for the advise, and I totally agree that it's "easier said than done!" :)

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  3. Have some of the faith in yourself that others do - and write. Anything. Lisa is right, revision (mostly) is easier than giving birth in the first place.

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    1. Hey EC! You sure do have a way with words, and I've just realized that YOU should be a writer!!

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  4. Sometimes it's hard to know how to start a story you already know. Write your favorite part first, or the part that made you laugh or cry, or stare in amazement.

    I bet you'll get excited about the story, and ideas about how to re-tell it will come to you!

    And after 20 minutes of writing, take a short break...you earned it.

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    1. Kim.....I love your advice the best so far! :) Thank you!

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  5. If it's any consolation, your writer's block post sure made me chuckle. Not that I'm any sort of expert - I have writer's block 90% of the time. But, sometimes it helps to go out and do somethig totally fun or silly. Forget about writing. it's happened that thoughts arise in those shallow moments, and I can write. But you write a heck of a lot more than i do. So, I'm sure this will be over soon.

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    1. Hi Myrna! I definitely meant it to be humorous, so I'm glad it made you laugh! And thank you for your suggestion, too!

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  6. Take a walk, read a book, sing a song, draw a picture. Lie on the sofa with your eyes closed and listen to your favorite music. Then park your butt in a chair and start writing. Doesn't have to be from the beginning... just start putting the words down. You can do it!

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    1. Thanks, Susan! But what if I've already done those things....and still nothing happened?? You left out one of my favorite things: TAKING NAPS!! :)

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  7. Just write..then edit. You have the story, that is the biggest hurdle. You can do it!

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    1. Hi Brandi! Thanks so much for stopping and commenting! And thank you for having faith in me! :)

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  8. I face this A LOT - even with school papers. Sometimes I just have to clear my head for a bit and get away from the writing for a few hours :)

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    1. Hey there OE! I haven't seen you in a long time! Thanks very much for taking the time to comment! Wow....school papers! Thank goodness I don't have any of those to do! Whew....maybe I should quit whining! :)

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  9. I love that Wilde quote and think about it every time I grapple with a word or comma.

    I think going nuts is a trip we're all on. You're among fellow inmates of the asylum.

    M.L. Swift, Writer

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    1. Hi Mr. Swift! Another new blogger/stopper/commenter!! Thanks much! I love that quote, too. I used to have a few quotes listed on the side of my blog, and change them from time to time. As you probably noticed, I REALLY like quotes! Your second and third sentences are a riot! :)

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  10. Hi Becky. I've been away from blogging all summer and happy to find this great post today. I hope you get your story done. Yikes! The one thing that almost always works to break the block for me is to respond to prompts, or to tell someone else I've committed to something which will make me finish it because I don't want to look bad. :-)

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    1. Oh, Deb! I'm thrilled to see you here! I've thought of you so often! I love your idea about responding to prompts! That's an excellent way to get the juices flowing! Telling someone else in hopes of it helping to make me finish it, would never work. I wouldn't care if I looked bad or not! LOL
      Thanks so much for stopping and commenting!

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  11. sometimes ... i just turn off my mind and just write .... longhand ... any words that come to mind, i dont even care if they make sense ... they just kind of get my mind set to actually write ... but i have yet to pen the great american (okay canadian) novel so i cant say that it works ;)
    I hope you can get passed your block by the deadline.

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    1. Hi Jo! Hey there, you're another sight for sore eyes!! Thanks much for stopping by and leaving a comment. And you said something very important.....someone needs to write the Great Canadian Novel! Maybe it IS you! Thanks for your suggestion, too.

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  12. For me, reading in the genre I'm writing is very helpful. When it comes to essays, it's hard to beat Anne Lamott. I've been reading and re-reading her books lately, looking for inspiration.

    Pat
    Critter Alley

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    1. Oh, I love Anne Lamott! And you're right, Pat, reading memoirs does help me, and also the books on craft by the authors I love. Bird by Bird, Writing Down the Bones, and Naked Drunk & Writing!

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  13. My writing is either a film review for my film blog or an ancestral story for my family narrative. I run into writer's block often, and usually, I just write, then edit.

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    1. Thanks, Patti! It's so nice to have caring friends stop and comment!

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  14. I just make myself write until I blow out the pipes.

    ;)

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    1. Hey Sue! LOL. You have way more discipline than me!

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  15. I don't have any solution but I'm sending you good luck wishes and I hope your block ends soon.

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    1. Hi Julie! Thanks for the wishes! :)

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  16. Self bribery. Or threats. Or set a timer for 5, 10 or 15 minutes and stop writing when it goes off. Have an arsenal of tools. One particular thing will eventually stop working. Good luck!

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    1. Hey Carol! Thanks for stopping by and offering some suggestions. It's always great to see how much writers encourage and support each other!

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  17. p.s. on August 9, Friday. Hi Becky. Writer's block, huh? Well, I usually have to take a little break. Go somewhere. Do something. Then, when I come back to the writing, it flows.

    Don't know if that'd work for you but it's worth a try.

    Thanks for your visit and comment on my blog. Always happy when you stop by. Susan

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    1. Susan, you are very fortunate if your writing flows that easily and often! I'm happy for you! So....when are we going to be able to read some of it?!

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  18. I love that quote! You've did the hardest part - you've picked your topic - now write and then edit like crazy till you get it just right. Be positive - I think you're beat the deadline.

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    1. Hi Janet! Glad you like the quote. As you can see, I'm a quote nut! :)
      Thanks for your encouragement, too!

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July 31, 2017