So, yeah... I'm having a case of writer's block and it is pissing me off. Any suggestions?!?
Drink, and drunk dial or text an ex.
I don't believe in writer's block.
Listen to some good music.
Are you working on something specific or trying to get started? If you are in the middle of something I usually just ask myself "then what happened" and start making stuff up. It might be dull, it might not advance the plot, but it usually gets me on track and I can weed out anything I don't need later.
Bang your head against the wall. Drink heavily. Grope someone.
What Avery said.
Or this: If you're stuck in the middle of a story and you can't quite get it to move forward, there should still be at least one snapshot image of the immediate future of your story in your head. Write that snapshot. Don't worry about segues, you can come back and create that later. Just, when you get done writing the snapshot, don't stop writing. Keep going and let each sentence inform the next sentence.
Another thing you can do is create a Mind Map of your story.
And if you just have nothing you can think to start writing, I'd recommend the snapshot idea there, too. You've probably got one lurking in your head you can build on. If not, go with what Avery said. Listen to some music. A good song is bound to give you a visual. Write it as soon as you see it.
I like the music idea. But then I overanalyze what music to listen to. Same with movies, so I didn't suggest them. Exes always bring up something I thought I buried good and deep.
Different strokes for different folks.
I heard an author on the radio once say that writer's block doesn't exist. It's just the fear an author has of writing something bad down on the page, and I agree with that. Just write something Josef. It doesn't need to be good but it will get the ball rolling again.
I'm working on a second draft right now, and everytime I start to write a sentence it's pure shit, so I stop. I'm think I'm just going to put down my computer, go outside, and just wait a while to come back. I think music definitely does help a lot. I guess I just wanted to say I was frustrated and needed to vent. Good ideas - except for the exes lol, that would probably end my marriage, but a glass of whiskey to loosen me up, I think will be the cure!!
LOL. Yeah. Its not recommended for marriages. Keep writing, fix the shit sentence later.
Character journal. You've probably got a character in mind that you want to write about. Just write about anything. Even if it's just a paragraph, write what you can, and when you idea ends, write about something else. Listen to music and go for a walk. Do some laundry and clean up your living room. Just what what you can, get into the head of somebody else. You might not end up using it all, but a couple of those "journal entries" might be useful.
At least that's what worked for me before the Psychosis anthology project sparked me up again. I did end up using a couple of the things I'd sketched earlier.
@Bruno - I completely agree with that. Once you get past the idea that every single thing you write has to be perfect, you'll be amazed what you can come away with.
Describe the specifics of the story up until the point of blockage and I will provide you with direction free-of-charge.
Take a good long walk.
I'm not in any position to give advice, but it sure helps me out.
Well your story is about sexual repression and a young girl breaking out of her shell. You have a chance to make a very erotic and sexual story, in fact, it could turn into a story about sex addiction which is considered an illness when you have sex just for the thrill and with no awareness of consequences. Make her have random encounters and then feel digusted afterwards. So this may sound odd but watch some really disgusting bizarre pornography, masturbate a lot and then write the story. I'm not joking. This is your homework.
Obtain a bunch of nutmeg (fresh is ideal, but ground is probably better for this method, since you will have to grind up fresh nutmeg) and put it in a simmering, but not boiling mixture of water and vinegar.
Now, as it creeps up (slowly! you want a very specific temperature of light steaming, right on the verge of boiling, I'm sorry, the temperature is in a notebook somewhere but I'm too lazy, you are going to have to eye it anyways) towards boiling as you fiddle with it, you might find the fumes unpleasant. I used to get blotter paper and rub it with lemon juice and try to catch the active chemicals as they floated away from the nutmeg chaff.
But it's possible that the fumes were a better ride than the blotters ever were. Anyway, no matter what anybody says, there is no need to go through the "eating nutmeg" experience.
Anyway, then get some Adderall (erowid says it's a mistake, but those kids are pansies, it's a great combination) and ask yourself, what does your schedule look like for the next 18 hours.
You will probably require a lot of editing afterwards.
I was serious about the masturbation. Pornography always inspires me to write. Think about it, after you have an orgasm, don't you feel inspired to create? And I don't mean babies.
And now i suddenly find myself very disturbed by all of aliens stories.
It wasn't until now?
Yeah, I was pretty well good until now. Stories don't bother me much, inspiration is chilling.
Well, not all my stories are orgasm-inspired, sometimes I just cut myself. Kidding!
Take a shower (or go for a walk). Don't think about your writing. If you do this, you are very likely to come up with ideas to continue from where you were stuck. Also, if you write an outline before you start, you will never get writer's block while writing.
and Hemingway stopped writing when he knew what came next - made it easier to get started next time he sat down.
Please, take my advice, I'm not using it. =)
Amphetamines usually help. They also help with writing multiple and very lengthy workshop reviews. Also coffee and Mozart is a nice creative motivator too.
I'm all aboard the masturbation train. It works, but only sometimes. Sometimes I just get really lazy afterward and I play Skyrim or something. Today my Magic Wand practically exploded when I plugged it in, though. So I just got to writing and it went well.
So, if any of you are ever at Beka's house and she says, hey, let's play xbox...select your controller very carefully.
It's just the new Wii controller...
I agree about the masturbation, too. Sometimes it's best to just get it out of the way first thing so you can write without your mind wandering. If your mind does wander, just do it again. I've done 2.5K today and only streamed five minutes of filth.
The missus will be home in thirty minutes.
@jacks, amphetamines help to a point. But eventually, like anything else, they will stop. I can't even touch coffee anymore as a result of my inspiration. Gives me anxiety and a twitch. My advice: stick to booze.
@seeker Your right. I think even booze can have a negative effect of writing though sometimes. Because booze, like all drugs can make you think what your writing is better than it actually is. Though I'm never opposed to a vodka on the rocks when I'm editing.
My personal [s]trategy to dealing with writer's block is to have another tab open to work on small size screen plays. It is a completely different medium so it clears my head with prose.
I really don't think any of these 'pre-writing' rituals are going to help half as much as just writing a fucking sentence. No matter how bad, nonsensical it is. How cringe-worthy. Then put another one down. Put down one shitty line after another and focus only on what the NEXT shitty line is going to be. Bulldoze through that ish. It won't be pretty, but it'll pave the way for something new and beautiful to spring up in its place.
I used to claim 'writer's block', but since I learned to just throw down a sentence no matter how bad it was or how irrelevant to where I wanted it to go, it's occurred to me there's really no such thing as a block. There's just times when you can't seem to write as 'prettily' as you want to.
You can go back and fix stuff later, tidy up the place. No one is going to see the bad stuff. Just focus on getting yourself away from that part of the story. Learning this skill is like getting a writer's block immunization shot.
I like the idea of an immunization against writer's block! None of the rituals seem to work for me either. I usually just churn out something hideous, just to start somewhere. Whether it's a snapshot that's been lurking around in my head or just some venting ranting nonsense about how I can never think of something to write. Something on paper or on the screen, it can always be discarded later if it's truly horrible. At least it gets you started, and the only way to get anywhere is to get moving!... although masturbation may help sometimes, it is not always the answer.
Solution for writer's block:
Tell yourself you are not allowed to write for a week. Then go do something else.
Holy shit lol. I stay away for a night and the advice I'm given its to take aderal, jerk off, get shitty drunk, listen to classical music all the while trying to write some thing. I went out and finally got a kindle touch last night so with some fresh air and a sweet new toy I'm feeling the creative juices. I think just getting some fresh air does wonders. Side note I have no desire to do anything but sleep after a good meat beating. A little break and I feel good about getting back to work on my second draft. Thanks for all the suggestions!