Writers’ Camp: Days 12 & 13

Conquering Writers Block!!! Okay, writers block is the worst obstacle a writer can face besides Plot Hole. This day will cover the different ways you can conquer or outsmart writers block, and how to keep yourself writing when you’d rather nap and give up on the whole thing.

Well, sometimes a nap or just a break is a good way to solve writers’ block.  🙂  But when I’m stuck, I try to identify the problem.  Why am I blocked?  Is it lack of information?  Tiredness?  Fear of not doing my ideas justice?  Frustration at my slow pace?

The nature of the problem often determines the solution—if I’m tired, I might take a break.  Or not, depending on what my day looks like, e.g. if I have several hours of free time, there is no way I’m letting that time slip away.  Often, though, the solution is just to blaze past the block and write, write anything, even if it’s stinky.  I often pound out a list of notes or ideas, a stream-of-consciousness, and look over it later.

I also write to fast-paced music.  Something about it just gets my fingers and mind moving.  Two of my favorite songs are “Shatter Me” by Lindsey Stirling and “This is the Moment” from Jekyll & Hyde—apparently that song is a cliché anthem for sports events, but it works just as well, if not better, for a writer’s vocation.

And I always pray that God would get me unstuck, if it’s His will.

Be inspired! Share things that help/inspire you with writing. Put out some ideas on what you think might help other writers get on with their work.

Honestly, the biggest inspiration to keep going comes from my characters—I want to tell their stories!—and reminding myself that the finished product will be good when it’s done.  I write the sort of things I want to read, and I look forward to the day I can read my stuff without constantly editing.  🙂

In the meantime, I get inspired by:

  • Various genres of music: Celtic, trailer music, soundtracks, musical theatre, orchestra; and from musicals like The Phantom of the Opera, Jekyll & Hyde, The Secret Garden, and Les Miserables.
  • Films like The Alamo, The Phantom of the Opera, and Inception.  Actually, Christopher Nolan films are good inspiration, period.  They make me think and always make me wonder “what if?”
  • Pictures on Pinterest—I’m attracted to pictures that hint at an intriguing conflict or situation, that make me wonder what’s going on and what’s going to happen next.
  • From others’ characters or portrayals—Hadley Fraser’s performance as Raoul inspired a character of my own creation, as did Patrick Wilson’s portrayal of Raoul. The Bishop from Les Miserables also inspired a character, as did Dr. Jekyll from the 1994 concept album of Jekyll & Hyde.
  • Historical details. Sometimes just a line or two will set me thinking, such as this line from English Landed Society in the Nineteenth Century:

“In the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries it seems that a girl who was marrying somewhat above her station, a daughter of a banker or new landed family marrying into the old nobility, or a daughter of the lower aristocracy marrying into the ducal class, would be provided with a marriage portion of the order of 50,000 or 60,000 pounds [stupid American keyboard can’t make the pound symbol].  In an ambitious family resources would be mobilized behind the daughters, the instruments of family advance, while younger sons might be less generously portioned and left to make their own way in the world.” (pg. 100)

  • And from my own ideas and interests, such singing, politics, art, my own notions of duty and honor, and the conclusion that art and science are not necessarily opposite ends of the spectrum.

Well, that’s the end of the Writers’ Camp!  I had fun with this; such a great idea from Bella!

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