You’ve been far too creative for your own good.
Ten days ago, you started Novel3_Draft_Notes.docx in preparation for NaNoWriMo, and BAM! you accidentally morphed into Stephen King and you’re ready to hit the publish button on Amazon Self-Publishing. You’ve written fifty-four blog posts in the last week and now you don’t need to think of another idea ever again.
Your brain is in creative overdrive, you dream only about your keyboard while pretending your pillow is your laptop, and the ideas are exploding everywhere, including that presentation you’re showing for work. Now your workmates are questioning why the latest Gone Girl-esque thriller is apparently the best way to improve your company’s budget.
You need a quick solution. You need writer’s block and you need it fast before your overwhelming creativity ruins your life. Every Google search is about How to Stop Writer’s Block in its Tracks, and you really don’t need anymore of that all-controlling block written away. You need to be less creative.
It’s amazing how many free stock images exist on the internet. Here’s one of someone writing a blog post.
Last month I set myself up for the impossible task of blogging every day. Guess what? Forty days later, and I’m still going strong. You know, I don’t think it’s something everyone should do. Thinking of a different idea every single day can be exhausting, time-consuming, but it’s also great to keep your creative brain alive especially when you feel like you’ve lost your zest for writing.
I’ve had a major case of writer’s block for the last couple of months. I’m not talking about the sort of writer’s block that can be fixed by staring at your laptop screen for an hour with Resident Evil save room music playing in the background, but the sort where you can’t pump out even a paragraph. I have no problem with ideas; that’s the easiest part, but putting them down into words is much harder. Earlier this year, I started my second serious novel (as mentioned before, I’ve previously written another two absolutely awful pieces of crap back in 2009 and 2010), and found myself just over 7,000 words in before I became stuck. Since I couldn’t continue with that story, I decided to turn my hand to blogging. Blogging means you can get your words out to people, and can interact with others on the world wide web. I decide to write about politics, because it’s difficult to escape from the world of politics, but you can write about just about anything. Because of that, I decided to separate my writing and other related posts to this blog, and talk about politics on my new site, The Fifty Percent Review.
Since I’ve seen a lot of people talk about the slog of blogging, and how so many give up after a few short months, I thought I should offer a few tips on how you can blog regularly. Keep in mind this is coming from someone who struggled one blog every couple of months when I first started in 2012. In 2013, I did one post in February, and then took a huuge break until June, and then only did two more posts between September and December. Lucky for me, I’ve managed to find a good cycle for posting on Gut Instinct (one post per month) that’s realistic to maintain. But you want to know how to write regularly, don’t you? Well, let’s get crack-a-lacking:
Above: Writing. Below: Your word processor right now.
Sometimes, writing sucks. No, I don’t mean the end result, because that’s glorious—O so glorious blah blah—and it feels like you’re on top of a mountain. I don’t mean the act of writing itself when you’re in the zone, letting out your inner Stephen King, pounding text to the pavement a million miles a second like a jumbled cliche. I don’t mean the hustle and bustle of creativity that runs through your mind, plotting characters, creating universes, sending said characters out on dire missions and destroying their carefully-crafted lives. Those are all awesome.
I mean writing slumps. Not to be confused with writer’s block, which is just a brief old moment of exhaustion and a lack of putting words to the page for only a few hours, or a few days. A writing slump is different. It’s more like a writing dead end. A no-go zone. Where, sure, you can put pen to the paper, or text to the .docx, but the enjoyment, the love that got you into this thing…well, it’s gone. I mean, sometimes it makes brief appearances, spurts of excitement that make you realise why you do this, and then…poof!
So, how do you get this, for lack of a better word, mojo back? How do you find your passion again? Do you just uninstall all your word-processing documents—Word and Scrivener and the Apple equivalents? Deleting word-processing programs is an incredibly stupid idea—no, don’t delete them. If you own Writing the Next Bestseller Abuse Erotica/16 Year Old Teen Girl Dystopian/Vampire Teen Romance/Suspicious [Ex] Partner Crime Novel a la ‘Gone Girl’ or ‘Girl on the Train’ or ‘The Widow’ or ‘The Missing Wife’ or Whatever, just throw that bullcrap away anyway. It’s not doing you any good. You can’t just “learn” to write. You can improve a little, like what Stephen King says in On Writing, but those books aren’t doing you any good, other than wasting space for better books in your bookshelf/bookshelves. So, what do you do? Well, like me, you Google your problem and see what other people have to say to help solve your crippling writer’s blank.
The internet is full of inspirational quotes designed to get people to whip into action and become the best person they can ever be. By internet, I refer to the Motivational Quotes pages on Facebook, every single creative mind and “guru” on Twitter, and whatever people post to break up the monotony of what they consider sad news.
Pursue your dream! they squeal. Be yourself; only by being yourself can you truly differentiate yourself. Misappropriated Marilyn Monroe and Dr. Seuss quotes. Don’t be a sheeple! they shout, as they act exactly the same as everyone else. Don’t forget that saying about being in a fishbowl, snowflake.
There’s a reason inspiration is so abundant on the internet. I quote famous people because I believe other people will be inspired by these quotes. Most people quote them to get more retweets and favorites and credibility.