Tuesday, January 20, 2015

I Need Your Advice . . .

Lately I have found myself unable to force the words out of my brain and onto the page. I have deadlines to meet, I have first drafts and rewrites mouldering away in limbo. The words are in my head . . .but I can't seem to get them down on the page. The minute I sit down at the computer they flee and hide. I'm looking for advice. Any tricks or tips to channel all those words out of my scattered mind would be greatly appreciated. So, give it your best shot. Any and all suggestions will be gratefully accepted and, at least, attempted!!


  1. Hell, I can sure relate to your quandary!

    If I can force myself to write a short essay or even a rough bit of flash fic, the synapses begin to fire. The metaphors seem to swell like Athena leaping fully armed from the head of Zeus... What a ghastly thought. But really, in spite of this uninspired simile, it does help. ;)

  2. Walk away for a day, from all things writing and internet. I know it seems ineffective, but this always works for me.

  3. Holly Lisle has a book called Mugging The Muse, and it's created for just these types of problems. Or if you wish, purchase her Creating A Plot book, and she has many ideas on what to do when you're stuck and have deadlines to meet, or you simply want to plug on through unencumbered. Some brief ideas are using magazine images to tickle your brain, you may want to just go out and take a walk or drive around the city. Use Tarot cards and their images for inspiration. Look at how a plot can be expanded or what twists would make the book more interesting. If you have any dreams that stick inside your head after you wake up, use those. Pick up some books and just start reading for fun. But honestly, I'd consider getting a couple of Holly's books. They're affordable and well-worth it. You can check out her website: www.howtothinksideways.com or she may sell some of these on Amazon or Nook.

  4. The best cure for not writing I know is to write. Whether I feel like it or not, whether I want to or not. Whether I'm inspired or not. Sometimes all I can write is, "I don't know what to write. I don't know what to write. I don't..." Eventually it leads to something else. "Why don't I know what to write? Who invented writing anyway? What's so great about this damned compulsion." And that leads somewhere else. "Well, I could be trapped in an office and I probably wouldn't hear X and Y arguing in my head about that thing they've been stuck in the middle of doing for weeks and OK, shut up, X, I hear you!" And I write the thing I couldn't write before.

  5. set yourself of writing something completely removed from your normal work. No longer than a flash or a short story. Even if it's a banal tale, there's nothing riding on it, no stakes to play for. Just complete that exercise and prove to yourself that you can still take a germ of an idea and execute every stage of it until you have completed the process of writing that story. The perhaps review that process and see which parts of it you can apply to your proper work and see if it can ease you back into the swing of it?


    Take a snippet of your work from your notes and create it in a non-writing form, such as make a video of it, even if it's just all visuals rather than any words. Play around with your material like its playdough or fun putty or whatever it's called. When it's smeared all over your hands like that, it has no power to continue to hold you to ransom.