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  1. OurJud

    OurJud Contributor Contributor

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    Frame of mind?

    Discussion in 'The Lounge' started by OurJud, Oct 4, 2017.

    How do each of us achieve the right frame of mind?

    Right now I should be writing, but at this precise moment in time I'm feeling no connection with either my characters or my story, and even feel that writing at such a time could be detrimental to my work. This happens from time to time and I don't let it bother me, but I do wonder why it happens.

    The obvious reason is that we all have other life commitments to take care of, but I'm more concerned about how people overcome this feeling of distance from their story and characters - not in as much as balancing their writing with life, but finding that 'frame of mind' when they find themselves with no other commitments, yet can't settle into a writing session.

    I guess the old adage of 'just write' is sound advice; write and the frame of mind will take care of itself, but I'd still be interested to hear other's views.
     
  2. Laurus

    Laurus Disappointed Idealist Contributor

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    I suppose this comes down to personal philosophy. Some folks think you should write every day no matter what. Others think you should write just when you're feelin it. If I'm ever struggling to get into the writing frame of mind, I first reflect on whether I even feel like writing. Sometimes I feel like writing but can't get into that head space. In those cases, I'll free write. Sometimes it's something that turns into a story. Other times it goes into the recycling bin. But it's practice nonetheless. If I don't feel like writing, I'm probably not in the right frame of mind anyway, so I probably won't. I'll try to get myself psyched up, though. That said, writing takes discipline, and that's especially true if you want to be a selling writer. Consistency is important even just for managing a blog. Try having deadlines and paychecks on the line! Not that I do, but I understand not wanting to do the thing that feeds you. It's kinda shit, but you do it anyway. Whatever you write can be edited into greatness later.

    I'm not sure if that answers much. I pretty much just brain barfed. There's just no single or simple answer to my mind.
     
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  3. izzybot

    izzybot (unspecified) Contributor

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    When I'm feeling distant from or uninterested in my work, sometimes it's an indication that I'm doing something wrong and need to switch things up to get interested. On the other hand, it might just be a bad day where I'd rather play video games and tomorrow I'll be way into it again. You never know. Even when I was writing every day working on my novel, I gave myself a day off here and there - sticking to a schedule is definitely the way that works best for me, I found, but you still have to schedule in those rest days. I think 'just write' isn't infallible. Sometimes it's 'just watch a movie'. And sometimes it's 'take a good hard look at this story and make sure you're not subconsciously picking up on some shit that's not working / that you don't actually like and that's why you're not into continuing on this same path' but that's not as catchy.
     
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  4. big soft moose

    big soft moose An Admoostrator Admin Staff Supporter Contributor Community Volunteer

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    One powerful thing I read about writers block (which applies here) is that you don't get truckers saying "Oh I've got truckers block, can't drive today" or Lawyers saying "oh I'm not in the right frame of mind to practice law today"

    Writers write, whether they feel like it or not. If I waited til i felt like it to work in my day job I'd do jack shit and the same applies to writing

    I'm trying to engage with the Stephen King thing of writing 2k words a day, every day.... I'm up to about 1k, and I'm creating the habit of writing at the same time every day (9pm onwards), I have a routine of doing a bit of forum, listen to a writing pod cast or two after dinner then come 9pm its time to start writing. I read through what I wrote before, do a bit of light editing and tightening up, then I write.
     
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  5. OurJud

    OurJud Contributor Contributor

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    @big soft moose - well I just tried this and managed about 120 words - all crap.

    It just ain't happening today. Writer's block, lack of commitment, quitter attitude, no dedication... call it what you will, it all amounts to the same thing.

    Unlike others, I really do not see the point in forcing myself to crap out 1,000 words of utter arse juice, when all I'm going to do is delete it during my edits.
     
  6. big soft moose

    big soft moose An Admoostrator Admin Staff Supporter Contributor Community Volunteer

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    I tried driving the truck today but I really wasn't feeling it so I didnt bother....

    Athletes is another comparable ... does Usain Bolt only train when he feels like it ? or does he get his arse out bed and train no matter what because that's what and athlete does
     
  7. OurJud

    OurJud Contributor Contributor

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    I guess he gets his arse out of bed and trains, but I'm not Usain Bolt.

    And would Usain Bolt train if he'd broken an ankle?

    Maybe more people should simply not do things when they don't feel like it, then we wouldn't have so many stress-related illnesses.
     
  8. big soft moose

    big soft moose An Admoostrator Admin Staff Supporter Contributor Community Volunteer

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    Probably not - but you havent broken a wrist, you just don't feel like it

    The irony being that in the time you've spent telling us how you don't feel like it you could have written 500 words easy ....
     
  9. OurJud

    OurJud Contributor Contributor

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    Of crap, that would end up in the bin anyway.

    Sorry, you've caught me on a bad day.
     
  10. G. Anderson

    G. Anderson Active Member

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    I either just write and rewrite later or I go for a walk somewhere where there's nature. Sometimes I also just lie for 5 minutes on the bed/couch and think where I'd like the story to lead or how my characters are feeling
     
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  11. ChickenFreak

    ChickenFreak Contributor Contributor

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    I handle this with the highly flavored novel by writing whatever I darn well please, but within the context of the novel. I conjure up a moment, any moment, that might interest me a little.

    I like to watch the two lead characters interact with food, so I may drop them at a table, and the conversation starts out about food, but then it may drift to something that I find useful--either the scene itself becomes useful, or it's added facts to use later.

    I enjoy the moment of two people meeting each other in an unusual context, so I'll drop them somewhere where they might both have business. An existing scene mentioned the fact that Female Protagonist needs her boots repaired. Now she has sufficient wages to make that happen; who might she run into?

    I've never written a scene from the POV of Early Antagonist, or Meek Cook or Male Protagonist's Lieutenant. It's wildly unlikely that they will ever join the list of characters who get a POV scene in the final work, but, hey, it could be interesting to do.

    And so on.
     
  12. ChickenFreak

    ChickenFreak Contributor Contributor

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    I think it's worth doing some thinking about why writing bad writing is a bad thing. I consider writing to be a good thing, and if it's writing that's worth keeping, that's a better thing. But for me, it's absolutely not a requirement.

    Your process may not work that way, but I'm just thinking that it may be worth figuring out the reason. If you avoid writing bad stuff because it makes you uncomfortable to know that you sometimes write bad stuff, then I think that discomfort is probably something to hack away, because it may be very much in the way of you writing good stuff. It's hard to create without creative risks, and taking creative risks means that you will, often, probably more often than not, produce something not-good.
     
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  13. OurJud

    OurJud Contributor Contributor

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    But sometimes, like today, that writing is so bad it's like I've forgotten how to do it. And when I say 'it' I'm talking about forming the simplest and most basic of sentences without it sounding like it was written by a dyslexic nine-year old.

    That, to me, is a sign from my brain to leave things alone for the time being.
     
  14. ChickenFreak

    ChickenFreak Contributor Contributor

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    A thought: since your post here is fine, what about writing journal format? I'm suggesting that primarily in the context of forming a writing habit, so that your brain is used to writing and might, in time, be more willing to do it. Like having a caffeine craving when you approach the Starbuck's, just based on context.

    On the other hand, that didn't work for me until I started the Highly Flavored thing and that allowed me to actually enjoy a fair percentage of my writing time, so that I associated it with enjoyment and not duty.
     
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  15. pyroglyphian

    pyroglyphian Word Painter

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    I've pictures and songs which help me access the mood of a particular WIP. If they fail then I attempt something new.

    Echoing ChickenFreak, a journal is a great way to develop the habit. I combine my own with flights of fancy so it doubles as writing practise and idea generation.
     
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  16. OurJud

    OurJud Contributor Contributor

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    I've tried journaling, but it's so different from my creative writing that it fails to spark the inspiration required.

    Anyway, as I said, this is only something that happens from time to time, so no biggie.
     

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