1. waitingforzion

    waitingforzion Senior Member

    Dec 13, 2009
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    My brain is either blocked, empty, or damaged.

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by waitingforzion, Mar 9, 2016.

    Most of the time I don't even try to write fiction because I feel like I haven't mastered lesser forms of writing. I try to write a blog post or a letter, and absolutely nothing comes to my mind. I have to struggle just to think of a single topic. Imagine trying to write a letter to someone, having nothing to say. At least I should be able to make something up or speak of anything going on, but I can't even do that. It seems like the only time I have something to say is when something suddenly bothers me or when I am responding to something that someone else said.

    Some of the classmates I went to grammar school with are excelling in their lives right now, and I am just sitting around in my room at my mother's house doing nothing whatsoever. I used to have a job as a computer programmer, but can you imagine not even excelling at that? My IQ, which we were all tested for in grammar school, is 120, but I feel so dumb. I have accomplished nothing in my life that I wanted to the degree that I wanted to. I couldn't finish college, I couldn't get a decent job as a programmer, I couldn't get married. I failed. And there are people who have done better than me, who were my friends in grammar school, who don't even talk to me now, and it's because I cannot freaking write, and because I am so rude and immature.

    If I can't write fiction then what am I supposed to do with my life? Someone please help me. I cannot even find some good fantasy short stories to read as a model of what my writing should be like. I have no money to purchase any books, I stay away from the library because I am not comfortable there for some strange reason, and I am not even sure if I have the ability to discern how should interact in a story. Am I even good at logic? What kind of programmer can't do simple logic?

    I wish I could just go back to grammar school and start all over again.
    cydney likes this.
  2. ddavidv

    ddavidv Senior Member

    Sep 2, 2013
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    Pennsylvania, USA
    Your problem isn't writing, it's life. You don't really have anything to say (writing) because you (feel) you haven't accomplished anything.

    I'm a very introspective person. I've learned a lot about myself and people in general over the years. You sound lost. It also sounds to me like you are focused on goals but they may be the wrong kind. Marriage shouldn't be a goal, it should be the end result of something.

    Your problems may be bigger than what strangers on an internet forum can solve for you. I will recommend a book that may help= The Mindful Attraction Plan by Athol Kay.
    I don't know the author, I have only bought some of his books. I like this book because it is a simple process anyone can utilize to help them get themselves pointed in the right direction. I'm not into self-help books and this is no new-age nonsense; this is an actual guide to setting the right goals and removing the detriments from your life. I've used Mr. Kay's plans to a degree of success myself (my 3 books are a result of using his MAP plan).

    I remember being disappointed in myself at a similar age. I'm still disappointed in myself at times 25 years later! I didn't find my true writing voice until I was in my forties. Now I can't shut it up. :)
  3. PeterBr

    PeterBr New Member

    Aug 19, 2015
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    I recently listened to a podcast on the topic of creativity and the brain, and it turns out, "they" say that the brain operates in one of several modes at any time: an executive mode (decision maker) and bunch of other non-executive modes (creativity, innovation, etc). The thing is, that when your brain is in the executive mode, the non-executive modes are turned off. In other words, when you're using your willpower to make decisions, no matter how small, you're sapping yourself of creativity. And if that wasn't bad enough, we apparently only have a limited amount of will power, or decision making juice (if you will), in any given day, and there's some connection between creativity being reduced the more you tax your decision maker. Ahhhh it's simple really, I'm just unnecessarily complicating it... basically, do your creative work first thing in the day, and then do tasks that require strong decision making effort. Don't leave them last. Or just listen to what "they" say. I have zero affiliation with the people at the link posted... I just thought it might help you. Cheers.
  4. BayView

    BayView Contributor Contributor

    Sep 6, 2014
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    I don't think people have stopped being friends with you because you can't write. I think it's entirely possible they've stopped being friends with you because you're rude and immature. (Not based on any personal knowledge of you, just... writing isn't important to the vast majority of friendships. But being polite and mature? Those are pretty important to just about every adult relationship.)

    I second @ddavidv's analysis that you need to look at something larger than your writing issues. I'm not sure if a book will help, but it certainly might. I'd also recommend trying to find someone to talk to, a counsellor of some sort who can help you work through some issues. And I'd recommend you change your self-talk a little - was the problem that you "couldn't" finish college, or that you "didn't"? If you really couldn't, then stop beating yourself up about it - it was out of your control. But if you just didn't? Then stop trying to blame the problem on anything but your own willpower or ambition.

    You may want to talk to your mom at some point - she's probably not thrilled about having a grown child in the house, and maybe she can give you enough responsibilities (rent, in the form of chores if not cash; a contribution to meals, in the form of cooking and cleaning up if not grocery money, etc.) to help give you a sense of purpose and accomplishment.

    Nothing is over. You're still a work in progress. But you seem to have gotten pretty far off track, and you'll need to put in some serious work to get back where you want to be.
    jannert likes this.
  5. LostThePlot

    LostThePlot Contributor Contributor

    Dec 31, 2015
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    First; an immediate salve.

    You don't need to master any form of writing, you don't have to somehow work your way up, you just have to write. The only qualification you need is to write a story worth reading. So just write. And beyond that, you are under no obligation to be world changingly creative from your first attempts. It takes practice to come up with ideas and it takes an implicit confidence in yourself to believe that they are good enough to spend a lot of time on; both of which it sounds like you need to work on a little. And you can only work on them by writing. Just by forcing yourself to put pen to paper is where it starts. Consider doing things like writing your spin on classic stories or short novelization of a bad movie; just any story that you said to yourself 'It would have been way more interesting if...'. This is how you learn to have faith in your writing ability. Don't worry about how original any of this is, just get yourself writing something in a way that you enjoy, proving to yourself that your words and sentence and paragraphs (and eventually many many pages) are worth reading. Pour yourself into something.

    Secondly; the long term solution.

    You are not alone in how you feel. I too was a grammar school boy that somewhere down the line went awry. Along the path I got an MA but after four years of job hunting I still work a day and a half a week for minimum wage. I don't say this because it's a competition or anything; simply to say that there are people who understand, more than you might imagine. The world is very much not as it was advertised to me and I too would very much like to go back and choose differently. So don't judge yourself too harshly. Don't worry about what other people think or how they are doing; all of this can change in a heartbeat. Just focus on you and what you are doing. Focus on doing something that means something to you.

    In my keen amateurs opinion (as a crazy guy who's known lots of crazy people) you sound like you are depressed. That's natural during periods of upheaval in your life, especially when you haven't managed to settle into the life you always thought you'd have. There is no easy answer to it but the best thing you can do is talk. About anything, to anyone. Human contact. It reminds you that you're funny and clever and interesting and just a human that can do these things and make someone else smile. It'll give you perspective; help to see your problems as something that can be overcome instead of something unmovingly huge that surround you.

    That doesn't mean it's easy. I learned this by not doing it and have the scars to remind me. But it's doable. And you can still excel in your own terms.

    You need to give yourself a chance both as a writer and as a person. You need to re-build your confidence. Once you've got that, once you feel you can trust your intuition and your narrative voice, you'll find ideas are easy to come by. And once you can write and feel good about it you can channel all that darkness into it and turn it into something beautiful. That's what I did.

    Feel free to PM me man, just if you need some moral support.
    Komposten, Lifeline and jannert like this.
  6. Catrin Lewis

    Catrin Lewis Contributor Contributor Community Volunteer

    Jan 28, 2014
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    @waitingforzion, guess what? You may not have hit on what you want to write about, but you can write. You put together four coherent, pretty much error-free paragraphs up there. There are a heck of a lot of people who can't even do that. And a lot of them are self-published on Amazon. So you're ahead already.

    I know what it's like to write that kind of soul-dump when I'm feeling useless and depressed. But don't stop there. If you really want to write, if you really feel it's something you can and should do, go on and make it into a story. Just for the exercise, you know, to get the kinks out. Then go on and write a little something more.

    And in the meantime, yes, find a counsellor you can talk with (maybe Mom can help?). And if you don't click with the first one, say thank you and goodbye and try again.
    jannert likes this.
  7. Tesoro

    Tesoro Contributor Contributor

    Jan 3, 2011
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    A place with no future
    Just one question: why do you want to write, if you have nothing to say, nothing you want to explore? There's a saying:
    "Either write something worth reading or do something worth writing."
    You could always write about someone sitting around pitying himself because he can't find a purpose in life except for the one thing his mind is fixed on. ;) And so failing to see all the possibilities that life offers.
    A lake. likes this.
  8. Tea@3

    Tea@3 Senior Member

    Dec 18, 2015
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    I'm not sure the OP isn't pulling our leg here. ...(?)
  9. Rickey D. Clay Jr.

    Rickey D. Clay Jr. New Member

    Feb 14, 2016
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    It's quite possible. Hmmm...
  10. Greyditch

    Greyditch New Member

    Feb 27, 2016
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    I'm not at expert on these sorts of matters, by any means, but are you sure you are not depressed at all? you don't sound very positive at the moment..
  11. Rob40

    Rob40 Active Member

    Jan 23, 2016
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    Im suggesting positive mood. I know, you put yourself out there and painted a picture the opposite, but wait.

    At a recent conference, a seminar presented 'the imposter syndrome' and showed how, amazingly, all of us talk about ourselves or present ourselves at some point in negative and unexciting light. "Im just a nurse" or "i try to write" are examples. They didn't say the opposite is the only way but in how you present yourself makes a juge difference in how you are received.

    And. How you receive yourself, the most important.

    Its where to start. You might not want to project yourself full on agressive, "I'm a writer dammit!" But its a good thing to tell yourself to get going and then adjust presenting yourself.

    It might feel like a huge ordeal to force yourself into a positive position, but you might be surprised at the effort it takes to keep yourself down. So, where would you like to spend the energy?

    More motivation: I might have a good day job but it offers nothing to the creative side and i remain seriously disappointed in my writing ability. So a successful somethingorothernotauthor could be farther away than yourself in achieving desired goals. Youre at least on the path, stay positive so you can navigate it.

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