1. Garball
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    Garball Sometimes nothing can be a real cool hand. Supporter Contributor

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    All my words are gone

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by Garball, Jul 26, 2013.

    I never realized how important it was to have a writing schedule and/or routine. It has been three weeks since I have moved out of my soon to be ex's city and have been kind of bouncing around looking for my own place to live and interviewing for jobs. Twice I have found the time to go to a quiet coffee shop that doesn't burn their beans and I believe I hit command/z as much as I typed. When I had a routine, 2000 words a day was nothing; now, 2 is difficult. Not looking for sympathy, but seeing all of the other posts concerning when and where to write, I have realized how important that routine is. Be sure when you budget your writing schedule, it is something you can commit to and form a habit of doing. Hopefully I will be back to normal in a couple of weeks. It's like having the spoon without a lighter.
     
  2. Macaberz
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    Macaberz Pay it forward Contributor

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    Hmm, why dont you try and write about what you see happening directly around you? Don't even make it a story, just report, then the words will flow back automatically. Gopd luck!
     
  3. jannert
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    jannert Contributing Member Supporter Contributor

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    I imagine if you were writing, say, a factual article about a subject you know well, you'd probably be able to write no bother. I think it's creativity that needs schedule and peace of mind before it can flow.

    I'm sure it will all come back to you, once you're settled into your new life—and good luck with that, by the way. Just try really hard not to get hung up on the omigod-I-can't-write-any-more hook. Take a break from it, and who knows? You might even have some new ideas to write about, once you get back to it.
     
  4. Makeshift
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    Makeshift Active Member

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    I have one tactic that I use when I'm struggling for inspiration: you have to force yourself to write something by choosing some random word(s) and using it as the title. A good method is one where you hit shuffle on Winamp and then use the next song title as the title of your story. You can use any other method, just make sure that the title is not up to you. If the title is something that doesn't immediately inspire you, make a mind map about it: just list words and things that the title brings to your mind and after that, organize them in groups, then think about what your story will be like and start writing. I was surprised how well it works. Some of my best writing has been started this way.
     
  5. Mckk
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    Mckk Moderator Staff Supporter Contributor

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    Or look at pictures that inspire you. Nothing brings me more story ideas than looking at various fantasy pictures :)
     
  6. thewordsmith
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    thewordsmith Contributing Member Contributor

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    This is actually excellent advice. Hard to improve upon. Let your manuscript settle in some comfortable corner of your brain. Agonizing over it can only fortify the block. DON'T GO THERE! Just sit in your coffee shop or anywhere else you are comfortable, and write. Not a story, just write. Write about the baristas, the customers, the pedestrians outside the window. Write about the stupid light over your table that keeps flickering because the ballast is going bad. Write about anything you see around you. As Macaberz suggested, don't write, just report.

    Your brain is still trying to find a way to conform to a norm outside your former comfort zone. Not to mention all of the other turmoil going on in your life demanding your former normer... er, normal. So, at this point, the most important thing is to just get into the habit of simply putting words down on a regular basis. Soon enough, you will find yourself thinking about embellishments to your manuscript. Don't force it but, keep your flashdrive handy with your ms on it so you can play with it now and again. You may find most, if not all of what you write at this point is pure crap. Don't worry. That's what that delete button is all about. If you go back and read/proof and find there is nothing worth keeping. Get rid of it. But you may find that all of that garbage lends itself to a germ of a better idea. Take it from there. Soon enough, you will find yourself thinking about your ms. all of the time. It will, once again, be screaming for your attention. That's when you are ready to ignore the pedestrians and get back to writing.

    Oh! One other thing. Don't get caught up in a web of using the forums as a cushion. It's too easy to get lost in that as opposed to real writing. In fact, I would suggest, if you are having trouble with your muse, avoid the internet at much as possible.

    Good Luck!

    And, oh, btw, your words aren't gone, they're just hiding!
     
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  7. Orihalcon
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    Orihalcon Active Member

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    This makes me think of only a few months ago when I attempted to get back into writing by writing a short story. I knew from the get go that it was going to be shit, and when I finished it, I let it rest for a week, returned to it, and read it again. It was still shit, so I deleted it. Then I went back and just sat and went to places that tickled my zen. And blwaaaahh. Painted with words. Wrote a few haikus, a couple of other poems, and wrote up the first chapter of a story. All this happened within a week.

    This here especially makes me think of "painting with words". I feel there's something beautifully magical about a well-written protrayal of the most mundane things in life. Because they don't mean anything, they're just sitting there, words on a paper, and you give them meaning; your mind gives them life. Writing about the daily things in our lives is underrated, anyway.

    Cut away distractions, and leave your thoughts and ego outside. Just write. Whatever is in front of you, write about it, and then write about how you feel about that, write about how you feel about writing about it and about how you feel about it. As many has said here before, it's all about less thinky and more writey. ;)
     
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  8. Southpaw2380
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    Southpaw2380 Member

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    A lot of times when I feel a lack of words, I'll go through and read old pieces or rummage through old notebooks. When I do this, most of the time I feel inspired to edit, which at least gets my keyboard making noises (backspace buttons still make a noise!). If that doesn't help, I'll find a collection of short stories that are within the same genre as what I'm writing. I find that short stories help because you're not too tied down to any single one, and they also give you a good mix of ideas and situations that you may find helpful.

    I guess what it comes down to, in fewer words, is that when I cannot write, I read. The inverse is also true.

    ~~SP
     
  9. thewordsmith
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    thewordsmith Contributing Member Contributor

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    And this falls into the category of "research". You never know when, somewhere down the road, that image or life-clip is going to be just the info you need for this or that story you are working on.

    Such idiosyncratically perfect phrasing.
     
  10. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    i hope the allusion to shooting up is only metaphorical and not from personal experience! :cool:
     
  11. Garball
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    Garball Sometimes nothing can be a real cool hand. Supporter Contributor

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    Nah, no shooting up. I just smoke that shit :rolleyes:
     
  12. GoldenGhost
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    GoldenGhost Contributing Member

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    Yoo be playin' wit' fire, mon.
     
  13. criticalsexualmass
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    criticalsexualmass Active Member

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    I put in a massive day today and got the kind of word count that many writers would jizz about. I had been stuck in my car yesterday and a portion of today, and i just pretended that i had that voice-recognition software. I pretended i was writing my story by talking to myself in the car. I used the same language, tried to get everything exactly the same as I would like to see it on the page. When I was finally able to get myself in front of a keyboard, the words shot out of me like a sneeze and splattered all over the computer. Obviously i had some clean up to do afterward, but my point is that i had never tried this before and holy heck did it work. We can compose in many ways; if one avenue closes for you (like typing) maybe saying it out loud will get the ol' juices flowing.
     
  14. Nightstar99
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    Nightstar99 Contributing Member

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    I can only ever write fiction on my own, with no distractions. I dont think I'd get much done in a coffee shop tbh. Especially after a recent personal upheaval.
     
  15. Xatron
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    Xatron Contributing Member

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    Your ex is buying a city??? SO COOL!!!!!


    Anyway, I too have fallen victim to the perils of breaking your routine once or twice and can understand how it can adversely affect your progress in your projects. Only thing you can do is create a new routine and start again.
     
  16. KaTrian
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    KaTrian A foolish little beast. Staff Supporter Contributor

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    What about the writing prompts on this site? Or the short story contests? You could just force yourself to participate, write a short story about the journey of a coffee bean from Guatemala to your favorite café and of all the other beans it meets on the way until it's horribly ground to powder alongside its newly-found coffee bean lover. Or something. It can be shit, but at least you'd get your routine going.
     

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