1. NerdyGothChick
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    NerdyGothChick New Member

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    Trouble Writing

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by NerdyGothChick, Nov 2, 2009.

    I can't seem to write anymore. Everything I try to write just comes out crappy. I don't like it or I find it too cliche or I just can't finish it. I have been through writer's block before. But not like this. This is a writer's depression and it has been going on for months. It keeps getting worse. Every now and then I'll write something I like, but even then I'll look back at it and find all kinds of flaws.

    When I sit down to write I end up deleting and restarting, and finally just giving up. Writing used to be my stress relief and now it's turning into a stressor. Am I being too harsh on myself? Am I trying too hard? Any suggestions on how to locate my lost muse?

    Thanks,
    Tori
     
  2. HondaWriter
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    HondaWriter Member

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    Just try not to think too much about your writing. I sorta went through this a few years ago. When I first began writing, I had a ton of ideas and then quickly ran dry. I felt as though I've written everything I could think of and didnt think I'd ever have anything new to write. I actually took some time from writing until writing became fun again.

    This is a really discombobulated thought. But yeah...write for fun. Write for yourself. Dont force yourself, it's suppose to be for enjoyment unless it's your job.
     
  3. NerdyGothChick
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    NerdyGothChick New Member

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    Thank you, I'll keep that in mind. :)

    I have taken to keeping a small notebook in which I scribble whatever I have on my mind. I make it a point not to stay in the lines and to fully let go of all restraint. I express raw emotion there. Even when it doesn't make sense. That is the one place I am able to write without problem. If I could learn to let go like that with everything else I write, then I'd be fine.
     
  4. n.alum
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    n.alum New Member

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    I was the same way at first and was for long time. I had cool ideas and I was too hard on myself and didn't think it conformed. However I had a breakthrough while watching the movie The Sixth Sense. It was a scene where Bruce Willis' (Malcolm) character was talking to Cole (the young boy) about free association writing. And the message was that in order to truly dig down in your psyche or your mind, is to at first not think about what you are writing but just keep writing (or typing). The words will start to flow and you will develop something. You can go back and edit later. Never think your work isn't good enough..and that is pretty much based on the fact that no matter what you'll do..some will like it..some will hate it; you will always appeal to some sort of audience.
     
  5. Robert Lipscombe
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    Robert Lipscombe Member

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    it sounds as though your mind has woken up to the possibility that you might actually be ready to look into the depths of self and start really exploring your preoccupations, fears, hopes... and of course this makes the mind freeze; so you are frozen for the moment.. in which case, like many writers, you should take long hot baths, and make sure you can note things down while you're having your bath - ideally have a dictophone running somewhere which you can talk aloud to..you will find, I am certain, you will find what it is you really want to write about as the body relaxes and gives up the information it is holding and can't yet let go of.
    good luck
    rl
    ps the fact you find what you write 'crappy' is a very good sign - not just of developing skill but of greater personal courage and readiness as a writer, the readiness to do something worthwhile.
     
  6. Sillraaia
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    Sillraaia Senior Member

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    Don't delete.
    Brainstorm an idea. Take the Short Story Contest Theme idea - any of them, pick one - and make it work. Don't second guess yourself, don't quit. I wrote a story recently that I really wasn't feeling. It felt empty to me, and it showed in how I was writing. My writing was crap - it felt dead. What did I do? I forged on anyway. I thought more, I thought deeper about the characters and their motivations. I thought about the feeling behind their motives, and through the editing process I was able to push more feeling into the work, and in so doing, better developed the plot to the story I was creating. In essence, I breathed life into what was previously a dead manuscript. It was dead for me, anyway.
    You can make it fun again. Just think a little deeper about how things might go, get more involved in the story, immerse yourself, and don't give yourself the option to quit. Quitting is not an option.
    Even if you have a dead manuscript once you are done, it will at least be a finished one, and you will be more immersed into the story than you were previously. You can still add twists after the fact - like, it would be better if he did it this way, or said this instead, or whatever - but it will be finished, and that is something to be proud of.
    Personally, I think you can breathe life into your own work and make it interesting for you, you just need to stop holding back. If even some little part of your subconscious mind has doubts, it will show in your work.

    Immerse yourself. Don't quit.
     
  7. Irish87
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    Irish87 Contributing Member

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    It's odd, I go through the same thing. Not sure if you have this problem either, but if I don't write I feel like a massive weight is weighing me down. My entire attitude in life changes negatively and suddenly I'm exceedingly apathetic. Then, after a week or two of this, I realize that it is self induced.

    No, I'm not trying to say you have a masochistic mind. I know for myself, however, I had to deal with low self esteem in my teen years and only just got over it about two years ago. I always second guessed myself, it was a way of survival. Even now I find myself second guessing little things which would otherwise be meaningless. It seems, every now and again, I go through a weird phase where I lose all my personal faith and suddenly I believe I am unable to write.

    I'm sure you probably don't have all of that lol, but I do think you might want to look inwards to figure out your issue.
     
  8. jwatson
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    jwatson Active Member

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    I can recommend two things

    First- It sounds like you are writing without planning ANYTHING. It sounds like you have been doing so for a while with no results, so maybe you are one who needs to know where he/she is going before setting down to write. Try a rough plan out and try again.

    Second- Nobody's first draft is amazing, so relax. Most people know their first draft sucks, but they don't care because they are still so far from finishing. My advice to you is to write without turning back, because that is how you start. Eventually, you will like what you have written, and when you are done, no matter how bad or short or whatever it is, you can go back and start another draft, and this time you will know what you are writing about and you have a nice outline to go with it.
     
  9. NerdyGothChick
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    NerdyGothChick New Member

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    You'd think as a psychology major, it would be easier for me to open up and let go. lol This is great advice, guys, thank you so much. I will definitely take some time to take all this into account.
     
  10. ManhattanMss
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    ManhattanMss Contributing Member

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    Try writing a story about searching out and finding your muse. Give us an idea what she (or he) looks like, how she behaves (does she have an "attitude"?), and where you find her hiding. Play with words instead of trying to accomplish something with them, and see where it takes you. Sounds like you're "trying" too hard to me.
     
  11. Grissom Barnes
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    Grissom Barnes Member

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    Alright, I've been through what you mean. Back when I first started writing the one novel I was working on, for the longest time I could never come up with a believable plot. I could always see the characters, but never the climax or any real scene to it. My best advice is to simply take what you have (NEVER DELETE) and save it for a while. Look back on it sometimes and see what you like(d) about the idea and what you didn't/don't. Also, a good warm up is to just take a random object in the room and give it a story. Put it into a scene. Build a plot around the scene. Or just think of something that would be a good scene to you and build it around that. Other than that, there's not much I can say. I'm not sure if you tried this, but music always help me start thinking about ideas. I hope this helped.
     
  12. bluebell80
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    bluebell80 Contributing Member

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    NerdyGothChick,

    You're a psych major! You have a plethora of character building information at your disposal...use it. Craft an interesting character/s and then work them into interesting situations in whatever genre you want to write in.

    The characters are generally the meat and potatoes of the story. The characters have to be interesting and have one or two relate-able traits for the readers to identify with. After that it's all icing on the cake. The situations you throw these interesting characters into will take on a life of it's own. Their strange little habits or issues bring more life to the situations that they are put into and bring the story to a new level of entertainment.

    If you're blocked, you're thinking too hard. Let go of the thinking aspect of writing a story and use the creative feeling side of your brain. To me the only place thinking should be in writing is non-fiction. Fiction should flow from the creative side, not the logical side. Granted editing a first draft becomes a logical brain activity, but the first draft isn't going to ever be perfect.

    I know how you feel when you say what you are writing is crap. You're on the cusp of getting to a point where you read back over what you wrote and say "Wow, did I really write that?! It's freaking awesome!" You just have to let go of trying to be perfect, then perfection comes. I know I spent most of 2008 writing crap. lol This year, I've written some stuff that amazed me. It's just part of the learning process. Don't let it get you stressed out.

    If you find you're getting frustrated, buy a new fiction book in the genre you are aiming for and read. Then try your hand at writing something, but don't write while you read the book. Just read it. then write something.

    Try critiquing some short stories on here too. Learning how to spot things wrong helps you write better. Then post a short story on here and see how others react. Take their critiques and learn from them and try again. If you let it, this site will help you improve and move past feeling stressed and blocked. Try the short story contests too, they also help with coming up with random creativity.
     

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