Tags: creativity, inspiration, writer's block, writing novels
I am stuck with my creative writing. How can I get my mojo back?
What’s happened to my stories; where did they go?
The tales I‘m well into have just lost their flow.
What should I do to regain inspiration,
When rust is corroding my imagination?
My stories began with energy and verve,
And it seemed I had hit on my creative nerve.
But now that my characters have lives of their own,
They won’t tell me the next bit – it’s like talking to stone!
I’ve set them in time, and in distinctive places;
You wouldn’t expect they’d keep hiding their faces.
Yet that’s what they’re doing; they don’t seem to want me
To finish their stories; to let them be free.
Perhaps they don’t like what they’re expected to do;
They’re sulking, annoyed at a detail or two.
But I can’t change the fact that they put themselves there;
I just want to help them – don’t they know that I care?
Where are you Carla? What on earth are you doing?
Ben, surely you want to solve the mystery that’s stewing?
Then talk to me. Tell me, what’s happening next?
‘Cause I’m puzzled and lost – and very much vexed!
If you won’t let me come back and live in your tales,
I’ll cry, get depressed and believe that I’ve failed.
But if you take me back into these stories I’ve penned,
I can make it all right when we get to the end.
Inspiration! Come back!
(c) Linda Visman
Tags: e-book, fear, procrastination, publishing, writer's block, writing
I first enquired about the process of getting Ben’s Challenge converted to an e-book at the beginning of September; it is now almost the end of October. Why have I left it so long to do something? Why have I been procrastinating?
Well, it is probably for the same reasons that I procrastinate with my writing: there are too many other things to do; I am too easily distracted; I don’t have the self-discipline to focus on this one thing and get it underway. And why is all that so, I wonder.
Well, I sat in my car by the lake this morning and thought about it. I came up with the answer – an answer I have known about for a long time, but have failed to address. The answer is Fear.
That’s right, fear. I am afraid of starting the process of making my novel into an e-book. I am afraid of getting into my writing, particularly into the follow-up to Ben’s Challenge. So, what is it I am afraid of? And why is that fear paralysing me?
I have the answer to those questions too, and the answer is the same for both. I am afraid of not doing something perfectly. I am afraid of starting something because I may make a mistake. So, I keep putting it off; after all, if I don’t do it, then I can’t make a mistake, can I?
Oh, yes sister, I sure can! And it is a much bigger mistake than doing something imperfectly; much bigger than doing something wrong in a process that is probably foolproof anyway.
The mistake? Not doing something that I need to do, want to do; something that will be fulfilling and will, hopefully, also give pleasure to others.
After all, at the end of life, it is not the things we did that we will regret the most, but those things we did not do.
So, today – in fact, just half an hour before writing this, I began the process with CreateSpace of converting Ben’s Challenge to an e-book that can be read on Kindle.
And it feels good.
© Linda Visman
Tags: blogging, focus in writing, journal, writer's block
I think that keeping a journal or blog is a very useful, indeed a valuable practice
A writer will have times when their work is not going well. The short story
doesn’t pull together; the novel has lost its focus; the poem ends up as a
mushy, trite recitation of platitudes; everyday life with its pressures takes
precedence over writing; the writer loses focus; frustration over characters or
a story’s direction bogs down the work in progress.
It is at those times that writing about writing, or about one’s feelings about
their writing can be a very valuable exercise.
A writing journal or a blog, which can be the same thing, can help a writer to
regain focus. Going round in circles does not help, but putting one’s thoughts
on paper, or through the keyboard, can bring problems into focus, identify
roadblocks, and even provide an alternate route to take.
I must admit, that I do not do this as much as I should. Instead, I avoid writing
and, in so doing, I create even bigger blocks to my creativity. I think it is
because I fear writing sometimes. It is too personal. It forces me to look at
realities instead of wishes and hopes; at avenues for action instead of the
inaction of lassitude. It makes me face my fears, instead of running away from
them, and that is a fearful thing in itself.
But, if I want to write, especially if I want to write something of value, I must
face those fears. I must continue with the work I have set myself, bring it to
fruition and then, show it to the world.
I have done it once; I need to do it again.
Linda Visman (L.M. Visman) is the author of Ben’s Challenge, a Middle grade / YA novel, available from createspace or amazon.
Tags: depression, inspiration, laziness, wasting time, writer's block
I saw a writing prompt the other day: “What is the most wasteful thing you do each day?” My answer, without any hesitation or doubt was, “I waste time”.
There is one thing that is certain in life– our days are limited. The time we have available to do the things we need to do, or want to do, is finite. And yet, we waste so much of it.
Procrastination is so easy. There’s something you should do, but you find lots of other things you ‘need’ to do that are easier, or more pleasant, or show results more quickly. So, the thing you should do, need to do, doesn’t get done. The funny (as in strange) thing is, what you need to do is often something you really want to do; it is important to you. Then why is it so hard to get started? Perhaps the question should be, just how important is it, really
Our tax papers should have been in three months ago. That’s important because we could be in trouble for not filing on time. They are still waiting as I write this entry in my blog – I am procrastinating by writing about procrastinating.
Calling the kids and my dad is important because they all live far away. I love them and want to keep in contact with them. Then why don’t I do it more regularly, instead of engaging in activities that take up time but are not really necessary?
Getting my completed novel published is important; so is writing the sequel, which is stuck in chapter four. I believe, as do many others, that it is a better work than many children’s novels out there. I would like to see children reading something other than fantasy or vampire stories. I do know that my brain is going through a fuzzy stage that makes it difficult to concentrate, but that is an excuse, not a real reason. We are always told to “write through” the blockage, the fear and the lack of inspiration. We are told that you’ll never get published if you don’t submit. I haven’t even borrowed The Writers’ Marketplace from the local library.
I have a friend who has written and self-published three books in the last year. She has also brought a compilation of short stories, by herself and others (including me), to the printing stage. It has taken her only three months. She has energy and commitment I can only dream of; she puts me to shame.
When I do get motivated, I can accomplish a lot and gain a great deal of satisfaction; I know the rewards of getting things done. It happened a lot of the time when I was younger, but now it happens only occasionally. Health problems, both for myself and my husband, seem to have drained the energy from me. I have become a master (mistress?) of procrastination.
I wish I could give myself an effective kick up the backside and just get on with it.
© Linda Visman