1. Gloriana
    Offline

    Gloriana New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2010
    Messages:
    8
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    Florida

    Writing during difficult times...

    Discussion in 'The Lounge' started by Gloriana, Oct 29, 2010.

    I've experienced a lot of stressful situations during the past two years, namely a painful divorce, investments tanking (and taking with them the small interest income that was mine), living at home again, and difficulty finding a job (actively looking for two years now).

    Before all this began, I was writing full time (6 hours a day at least, sometimes up to 12 if I was on a roll) and I LOVED it. I was really 'settled' in my imagination and my writing was improving by leaps and bounds. It was a really great time, but now it's been two years and I can't say I've really written much of anything serious.

    I don't know if anyone else has been through divorce, but it honestly is like the stress of it short circuits the brain in so many ways, from memory to creativity. On top of that just the precarious financial situation and distraction with staying on top of ANY job opportunity that might pop up. I'm very distracted with thoughts on how to better my current situation and how to get some money coming in. It's been very hard to 'sink' into anything I write.

    The desire is there and inside my head the stories are still brewing and blooming, it's just like I blank out when I sit down at my word processor. I'd venture to guess you could all relate to the frustration of having all this wonderful stuff burgeoning inside your head but finding yourself unable to express it. It's maddening at times because I really want to bring these ideas to life like I did before, and I miss it terribly.

    Just wondering if any of you have experienced a similar situation and if you had any tips or ideas about how to keep the stories alive even during difficult times?

    Any feedback would be great :D
     
    1 person likes this.
  2. cmcpress
    Offline

    cmcpress Senior Member

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2010
    Messages:
    146
    Likes Received:
    3
    Location:
    London, England
    luckily i've never been through a divorce but have, naturally, had painful experiences of my own from the death of a girlfriend through drugs to financial problems and so on.

    But writing about your experiences often helps to channel some of that frustration and angst. it's a great outlet and sometimes helps you to organise your thoughts and emotions - good therapy!
     
  3. w176
    Offline

    w176 Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2010
    Messages:
    1,067
    Likes Received:
    49
    Location:
    LuleƄ, Sweden
    When I have a bad time, 80% of the time I react by writing endlessly. 20% or the time I end up doing something els endlessly, like painting or crafts.

    But loads of my writing friends react like you do during hard times and don't write. I think it a understandable reaction.

    Perhaps you could tern some other type of writing, if creative writing just wont work at the moment. Get a diary to reflect, rant and just remember the day in. Or a blogg. Or write letters to friends and family, your feature self or children in the future.

    It might be a start and it might even be therapeutic.
     
  4. hiddennovelist
    Offline

    hiddennovelist Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2009
    Messages:
    10,256
    Likes Received:
    161
    Location:
    Fabulous Sin City
    It wasn't a divorce, but I went through a pretty painful relationship/breakup (honestly, the relationship was more difficult than the breakup...), and during that time, I stopped writing. It was really hard to get back into, but it also did end up being very therapeutic once I did.
     
  5. Melzaar the Almighty
    Offline

    Melzaar the Almighty Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2010
    Messages:
    1,792
    Likes Received:
    55
    Location:
    UK
    When I'm stressed I tend to stop using a computer (for anything - I vanish from the internet as well :p), and write by hand, which is just as bad because it's never polished and I won't type it up for weeks if not ever. After a nervous breakdown before Christmas 2 years ago I wrote 2 whole novels longhand over a week... I can't guess how long they were (over 50 pages each in an A4 notebook) but I haven't been able to work with them since. To me writing sitting in a notebook is dead and unusable, if it wallows too long and hits the point where I'd just want to re-write it anyway. The only way I can use it is to type it up hot, because then I'll at least have it on screen for a proper re-write later. If it goes too long I can't read my own handwriting and looking through bores me. :p

    Plus I feel like I'm writing it grudgingly, or for therapy only, and it'll come out in a mess and even if it's meant to be a scene from a novel I've already written a lot of will become just a long emotional rant instead of actual action and plot. I do end up feeling like I drift from my normal productivity, but the only thing that really stops me writing is being ill - this week I dipped right down into downright flu-ridden, and didn't write for 2 days. I'd been through huge stress before that (someone else's falling apart relationship, lol) and managed a couple of pages here and there, but nothing like my usual productive writing. Now I'm un-stressed but I'm crawling oh-so-slowly back to being productive.
     
  6. Axo Non Roadkill
    Offline

    Axo Non Roadkill Member

    Joined:
    May 4, 2010
    Messages:
    62
    Likes Received:
    3
    Location:
    Haifa, Israel
    I've only been through multiple suicide attempts in the past 15 months, one almost successful and ending in coma, misscarriage, loss of my dogs and 3 weeks of humiliation in a nuthouse, with a side dish of losing my 3 closest friends in the ugliest and most hurtful ways, losing one job after the other although one was the oldest proffession in the world and no longer any fun anyways, burying my favorite cat, and being forced to drop out of college and end my beloved film studies. For dessert, I'll have an emergency emmigration to Israel without having a place to stay, but 5 pets to transport, and several supoenas having me shiver in fear of the impounder men coming in any day and taking all my belongings because let's face it, Belgium is too damn expensive. Now I got 2 months time to prepare my and my pets' move to Israel, make up with the aforementioned friends or risk another blow worth dying over, and having 3 expensive surgeries in a row. Oh right, I was just released from Turkish prison and nuthouse for insulting a stewardess who refused to serve me because I looked too infidel.

    In the meantime, I finished 1 novel, published several short works, started 2 blogs, and am busy writing 2 more novels.
    As you can see, I got tons of real-life inspiration. Why not write about it while it's fresh.
     
  7. Gloriana
    Offline

    Gloriana New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2010
    Messages:
    8
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    Florida
    First off, thanks for all the feedback. Mucho appreciated.

    I think you guys have the right idea about using these experiences as material. In truth, when I have sat down to write I've found lots of aspects of these recent experiences working their way in, but then I hesitate in that desire to go to a 'happier place' or something. In the past writing has always served as a catharsis but I haven't taken advantage of that enough this time around. I think I shall think more about that.

    I have to say, I've only been hanging around these forums for a day or so but already I feel a lot more motivated. Really great posts around here, thanks guys!
     
  8. throughthepeephole
    Offline

    throughthepeephole Member

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2010
    Messages:
    34
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    UK
    I know exactly how you feel.
    I've not been through a divorce, but I have had tough times and painful experiences of my own. At the time a little part of my brain thought that perhaps the cocktail of emotions would push something beautiful to the surface, but alas, it did not. The constant stress, the tears, the anger, the wanting to hide away and wake up as someone else...writing and creating things just got pushed aside. Only in the last few months have I got settled into a routine of sorts again, my daughter is a little older now (almost 2) with a regular bed time, I finally feel ready to start concentrating on this big cauldron of STUFF in my mind. At first I thought perhaps it was writers block, but then I thought 'don't you have to write first in order for that to happen?'. Every time I sat down with a pen and paper, or opened up Word, it was like a metaphorical wave washed in and took all traces of an idea or character with it. To compensate, I've recently started writing haiku's. They're small, but the challenge of trying to make a point or convey an emotion in 17 syllables (5 in the first and last line, 7 in the middle) is kind of nice...I feel a small sense of accomplishment when I've finished a few. They're pretty therapeutic as well. Happy writing, I hope you get your mojo back :)
     
  9. Edward G
    Offline

    Edward G Banned

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2010
    Messages:
    248
    Likes Received:
    7
    Location:
    New Orleans area
    Hello Gloriana,

    I certainly understand where you are coming from. In fact, these are extremely hard times. Almost no one alive today remembers times that were worse. It seems like there's no point in doing anything. Why vote? Why marry? Why go to college? Why try to find a job? Why have children? Why get out of bed?

    Everything is in flux, personally and in the world around us. That's why it's so hard to write. Usually we reflect on things when we write, but things are in the process of turning upside down right now. One day we will write about these times, but right now we are living through these times--and trying to survive them. Hell, we're becoming the very characters people will one day write about!

    It's going to get better for you--it will. You'll find some equalibrium, and from that equalibrium you'll start to build up again. Try to spend as much time as you can with people who care about you--family and friends.

    And Gloriana, I wish you the best of luck.

    E.G.
     
  10. Capt Bob
    Offline

    Capt Bob Senior Member

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2010
    Messages:
    111
    Likes Received:
    2
    Location:
    Florids Keys
    Best therapy I ever experienced: Picked up one of those tall narrow boxes with the Roman Numerals on top in a circle, and a gold pendulum behind a glass door, swinging back and forth. It would go "Bong" every half hour and also, however many for the hour of the day or night. After countless "Bong's" things got better!--like I say, the best!!.

    Axo-Kill: I don't know if your putting us on or not. Went through your post twice!. Either way here's an A+ for attention capturing!--good write!. Read that to convey my sympathy if it's for real!. Don't put that in the "Not so happy" thread, It'll blow 'em all out of the water, and the tears will dry up for six mos.

    Yes: I took one of those "Flying Carpets" once. They bumped me to first class cause I complained about the goats-(pets-dinner- or lovers??)-in the main cabin. Drank my Brother-in-Law's gift bottle, cause all I got was dirty looks when I asked for a drink!!.
    Sure you didn't ask them for a ham sandwich?? a class A felony!!

    Hang in there You Guys--Bong--Bong--Bong--like I said tomorrow-(or the day after)--The SUN--WILL, Shine. As long as you have 1 chip on the table, take another roll.
     
  11. Axo Non Roadkill
    Offline

    Axo Non Roadkill Member

    Joined:
    May 4, 2010
    Messages:
    62
    Likes Received:
    3
    Location:
    Haifa, Israel
    All true. I don't enjoy impressing people with made-up stuff. Anyone can do that :D I can back it up, too *dances*
     
  12. mummymunt
    Offline

    mummymunt Member

    Joined:
    Sep 20, 2010
    Messages:
    62
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    Queensland, Australia
    Hey there. I haven't read any of the other replies, and odds are they're probably better than what I have to offer, but I thought I'd add my two cents anyway :)
    First of all, even though the past couple of years have sucked massively for you, at least one positive you can take from it is that you have a lot more experience with a wide range of emotions and situations that you can draw on in your writing, whenever you can get yourself back into the swing of it.
    And second, maybe instead of sitting down and trying to write something big, aim small. Not even short stories. I'm just talking notes. I carry a notebook in my bag with me when I'm out, and my house is overflowing with them, so whenever an idea pops into my head I quickly scribble it down because I WILL forget it :)
    If you can get into the habit of just making little notes, you may find that gradually you'll be able to expand on them as your brain readjusts to the idea of writing. I know that often when I write down an idea, for the next few days more and more related ideas will keep popping into my head. I keep writing them down and writing them down, and eventually there's enough there to give you at least the skeleton of a story.
    That's all I can think of at the moment, so I hope it helps at least a little. And keep your chin up, ok? Life sucks sometimes, but it always gets better ;)
     
  13. DownUnder
    Offline

    DownUnder Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Sep 5, 2008
    Messages:
    273
    Likes Received:
    3
    Sometimes writing can be a distraction from a difficult time, or it can be used as an outlet for feeling and thoughts. I have a diary and sometimes when I'm just emotional, I'll just go and vent what I'm feeling.

    I echo what w176 says: if creative writing is seeming like too much, perhaps a diary or something similar could be considered. I haven't been through anything similar so I can't speak from experience, and ways of dealing with things are different for everyone, but I thought I'd drop it by as a suggestion.

    All the best.
     

Share This Page