Writing Ruts

No matter what kind of writing project you attempt, you are going to run into roadblocks, or writer’s block, or mental blocks. All kinds of blocks are bad.

I recently won NaNoWriMo 2016 with a whopping 100K. It was such a huge accomplishment considering the past few years I have always struggled to write every day. This year, I did. I kept the momentum going and before I knew it I was hitting 50K and then 75K and then finally 100K.

You may be wondering: Why is she telling me a success story? 

Why am I telling you?

Because it was a success, I hit the word count goal, but the story wasn’t done. I still had five sections to finish. And once I felt like I had won, writing felt like pulling teeth.

My inner editor came back with a vengeance.

The writers block that I had been pushing away, through day after day of writing, finally rolled back down crushing me.

The beautiful characters and story that I had been weaving became stale.

The words had escaped like tortured prisoners.

And I couldn’t write like I was.

Weeks went by without the word counts in the thousands, and I felt like it all just sucked.

So what should you do when you reach that point?

There are a few options.

Change Your View

If you’re writing on a screen, it can become monotonous. The same background (usually white) and the same font and black letters, it gets boring. The paragraphs all look the same, and the words blend and even read monotonous.

So change your view. Make the font the farthest thing from the original font that you can still read, change the background color to neon pink, intent and unindent until it’s barely recognizable.

Even more simple? Write on a different screen. Switch from the laptop to the phone, or vice versa.

Work on Something Else

If you are anything like me, you have a lot of projects that are either half done, or written in notebooks and not typed, or any combination of those two. I started writing the old fashioned way, in notebooks, so I have a lot of drafts that I have yet to type up. When I get stuck on a current project, I turn to those.

I turn to those, to crank out a chapter or two, for several reasons.

  1. They are several years old and it allows me to surprise myself
  2. They are several years old and so bad that the grammar and spelling and everything makes me cringe. Most of the time it gets rid of any doubts that I have about my current work.

Another thing I turn to is fanfiction. Not to read it, but to write it, to try something I might be scared or anxious to try in something original.

Sometimes it helps to just have characters that are a little more developed tackle the problems first and then make it more original.


Go on Social Media

Yes! Scroll through facebook, or twitter, or tumblr or any other social media.

But here’s the trick. Pick a common word (I like “The” or “and”) and every time you see that word in a post, write a sentence in your work.

You might be surprised what comes out.

Those are usually how I get writing.

What are your tips for getting out of a writing rut?

Advertisements

2017 Goals

Hello everyone!

I know I have been absent for longer than I should have been, especially since I was trying to do a prompt daily, but here I am!

I know around this time of year a lot of people do their New Years Resolutions and Goals for change.

Yes, this is one of those posts. And I will do my best to not make it cliche or boring, but it’s bound to happen.

Without Further Ado: My goals for 2017

Write (Well Duh, Writer!)

  1. Write more original works: My goal this year is to play catch up with my current series. At this moment the series is bits and pieces and a ton of ideas. The only completed book or at least written book is the first one. The others are a few scenes or a section here and there, and by the end of this calendar year I would like the books I have stared to be more complete. 5 days a week will be original works.
  2. Write Fanfiction: Yes, Fanfiction. The type of writing that gets the writing snobs all up in a tizzy. “Those aren’t your characters, you can’t do that!” Or any of the other excuses aside, I did a lot of fanfiction writing in 2016 and I feel that it helped me expand on my original works. In an already established universe, I could test an idea and see how I wanted to try and write it.  Not only that, but I have somehow accrued a dedicated following on a few of the fanfictions that I have published. The weekends are for fanfiction.
  3. Blog: The writing schedule for this blog has been completely atrocious, and I do apologize for that. My goal for this year is to find a schedule that works and try to stick to it. Stay tuned for more details on that and the content to come.

Learn

  1. Bachelor’s Program: I will have had my RN license for 2 years in July and I’ve been working at my job for over a year now. It’s time to get in to a Bachelor’s program and continue my education.
  2. Languages and Skills: During the end of 2015 and throughout 2016 I tried to learn several languages. I ended up getting bored and forgetting about them for a while. I intend to at least learn somewhat fluently a language (Probably Spanish due to my profession and where I live) by the end of 2017

Health (Here are the cliches!)

  1. Strength: For years I have been a weakling, and I have tried in the past to gain arm strength, but push ups suck. I recently joined a gym and I intend to use it to full capacity to gain some muscle and strength. Strength would definitely help me at my job in an office and eventually when I move to a hospital job. The 600 pound patients won’t know what hit them!
  2. Body Confidence: Struggling with weight is a relatively new phenomenon for me. I’m guessing it’s because of all the sitting I do at my job and all of the delicious take out and Starbucks that I drink. I didn’t realize how bad it was until I had looked at old pictures and noticed how slim my face looked. When a patient asked me if I was pregnant I figured it was time to make some better choices and appreciate my body since it is the only one I have.

Those are my goals for 2017 and who knows what will happen in the next 12 months. Stick around and find out!

What are your goals for the new year?

 

When the Sun Sets 

You are my sunshine, 

My only Sunshine.

When we met you were the only bright spot in my life. Everything else was shit and that night that you introduced yourself was the night that I felt like I could breathe again, like the storms in my life had finally ceased. 

You make me happy,

When skies are grey.

Your smile, even though my jokes were corny and badly timed, made everything all worth it. That time that we were trapped for two hoursin the snow storm with the flat tire while AAA took their sweet time was the best, even though I complained. 

You’ll never know, dear,

How much I love you.

Even though I was never able to say those three words out loud, I would like to think that you knew. It was in the way I met your parents, even though they scared the shit out of me, and how I braved Walmart on Black Friday to get you tampons and chocolate even though you didn’t ask for the chocolate. The way I would bring you tea and snacks to remind you to eat. 

Please don’t take my sunshine away. 

I’m sorry… for everything. 

Return the Favor

She folds her hands so you don’t see the bruises.

The hides her gaze so you don’t see her bloodshot eyes. 

She tries not to wince when you take hold of her and show her something you’re proud of. 

She covers up so you don’t see the scars and burns. 

Your muse has been fighting for you.

Isn’t it time you return the favor? 

Fight for your art! 

From the Outside

Sometimes the most frightening thing is facing ourselves. 

We look into the mirror and think of all the bad things, all of the worse things that we’ve done, or will do. We criticize ourselves the worst. 

My eyes are too droopy.

My nose is too big for my face.

I have too many wrinkles when I smile.

Maybe we should take a second look at ourselves, as strangers see us. 

Her eyes lit up when we talked about her hometown. 

The way his nose crinkles when he laughs is the cutest  thing about him. 

Your dimples make me smile too. 

Maybe there is more than one way to see things. 

Never Let Go

There are moments when you want to give up, when nothing is going your way and everything is crumbling around you. 

Those are the moments when you find out what you are made of. 

Your decision at that moment determines if you quit and quietly fall into nothingness or if you rise and overcome and become what you were born to be. 

If you’re looking for a sign, rise up! 

Be who you were meant to be and Never let go of your dreams. 

A Better Hope

The rhythm is monotonous and comfortable sometimes, and yet you no find comfort in that.  You think that living after tonight will be a nightmare, but you’re wrong. 

The nightmare is not waking up tomorrow and seeing the sunrise, the smiles on small children as they pass, the beautiful chaos that is human interaction. 

The nightmare is giving up before you find your place. 

The nightmare is all of the words unsaid, the feelings unfelt, the world unexperienced. 

Go forward and breathe new life into everything you touch.