Sunday, September 26, 2010

In which rambling about lunch foods is actually useful to writing

Apparently not blogging for two months or so puts me out of practice on spewing out random things that are hilarious, interesting, snarky, or all of the above on demand. (That sentence construction was pretty awful :P)
Cause I've sat here staring at the blank spot for content for about 20 minutes now, and nothing particularly brilliant has come out of my strange brain. Or really anything at all, unless you'd like to hear about what I had for lunch (it was good. Mmmm, burritos.)

And I'm starting to get frustrated at that endlessly blinking cursor, like it's somehow to blame. And then I start yelling at the computer and threatening to beat it with a bat, cause it won't make me come up with something particularly awesome.

Then people start to give me weird looks for wanting to strangle my computer, so I decided to come up with  a solution in a calmer way. After reading about half way through my really odd ramble up there I got an excellent idea. I'll talk about the infamous writer's block.

Writer's block: Does it even exist?
A lot (and I mean a lot) of people claim that writer's block doesn't exist in the first place. That it's just a figment of our imaginations. And other people swear that it's their arch nemesis.

So which is true?

I think that somewhere in the middle is right (aren't I awesome at choosing a side? :P)
Some people tend to use writer's block as an excuse for when they feel stuck, like it's an entity that is somehow stopping them.
On the flip side, it is true that we get stuck in our writing from time to time.
So, I think the truth is, is that writer's block is real, but it's something that we can get past if we work at it (so no lazy excuses people! Well, unless you feel like being lazy. But at least admit you just don't feel like writing.)

How to get past it
There are several different methods, but the way that works for me is exactly what happened in this post. I sit down, can't think of anything, and start rambling off about who knows what until I get an idea.

Which is awesome for a blog post that could actually be about what I had for lunch if I really wanted to be. But how do we get specific ideas for our stories?

As a side note
I've decided it's a bad idea for me to write a blog post at the same time as an English paper. I get all serious and start putting things in orderly thought processes and bold the headings. Heck, I make headings.

Back to writer's block (HA! I didn't put it in bold that time!)
I like to write what one of my favorite authors, Gail Carson Levine, refers to as 'notes' or 'junk'.

Notes are when you write stuff about your story. You ramble about what kind of food your character likes, their favorite color, or why they happen to hate that one teacher until you think of something you could write about in your draft.

Junk is what I was doing. You ramble about what you had for lunch, about why clown cookies scare you, why you hate having no ideas, or why gorillas look so funny (ironic, seeing as we bear a strong resemblance. Well, more of a resemblance than lizards or whatever.) Until one weird idea leads to another, and to another, and eventually it leads to something that would actually make a good story idea.

So yeah... that's my piece on writer's block. And yeah I know it sounded a lot like a school paper, but in my defense I haven't written a blog post in a long time, and I have written quite a few papers.

Rock on! Peace out! Don't kill too many stupid people! All that good stuff


  1. I've never tried free writing or junk writing for story inspiration. Usually, when I don't know how to solve my character's problems (like tonight, since I had this quandary an hour ago), I just devote some time to thinking about it until my head explodes (as Daisy says on Bones.)

    On the other hand, sometimes I feel as though my novels free write themselves, at least the first draft, since I usually don't think too far ahead in a scene and just let the words appear on the page.

  2. I use the thinking way too, but I find it easier to stay focused on the novel when I'm on absolutely ridiculously little amounts of sleep (like now) to write notes :P