Hello everyone. How are you all doing this fine day?
I hope you are doing well.
In the past few days I haven’t really been up to writing anything. I tried reviewing the outline and draft that I am crafting for my new novel, but I could not seem to get any ideas flowing. It’s one thing when you are stuck with writing your first draft, but it is another thing when you can’t even get a decent outline out.
Outline. Yes, you read that right. I am actually working on an outline for my novel.
Sure, I generally tried to “pants” it. Two NANOWRIMOs with mostly pantsing and no novel completed. So I thought to myself, “perhaps I should try something different this year.” You know what they say about the guy who keeps doing the same thing over and over, expecting different results, right?
Well, since I can’t seem to get any ideas to write, I placed writing in the back seat for a while, and focused on other things. For one, I placed for focus on our business. We need to try something new to increase customers and sales. Listening to a lot of Gary Vaynerchuk podcasts has been inspiring. Hey, if you want to be successful, you got to learn from successful people. Their circumstances may be different, but you might pick up a thing or two that applies to you, right? Well, my plan so far is to turn our brick and mortar, tiny store and take it to the 21st century – or something like that. Like I said, got to try something different if you want different results. If it fails, I got no one to blame but myself.
Another thing that has been consuming my time is that I am working as a video producer for my wife’s vlogs. I could plug it here and get her some new watchers, but it is Filipino, and I haven’t gotten to finishing the transcripts for the subtitles. Well, since here target audience are Filipinos, producing the subtitle is not really in my priority list, hahahaha… Well, her subscriber count is slowly rising (though it is still quite low), the quality of the content is improving, and most important of all, she is getting comfortable speaking to the camera.
This is something that I talked about before in a previous blog – Start Now, Sort it Out Later. When you want to be something, start working on it. You want to be a vlogger, pick up your camera and start talking. Not sure what to talk about, ramble on like you’re talking to one of your best friends you haven’t seen in years. If the quality sucks, keep it, delete it, whatever. The important thing is that you are getting some practice in building a skill. You want to be a writer, type up some words, craft a story. Did your story suck? Fine. Keep it, trash it, whatever. You don’t have to share it. Chalk it down to practice. It will get better as you keep working on it.
My work as a video producer has made me improve my camera skills, too. Editing videos can sometimes be soul-draining work. I am not speaking about simply cutting up footage and stitching them together, I am talking about editing the work, watching and re-watching it for any flaws, errors, and even cutting out the annoying “ums…”, “uh…” and other dead space while the speaker thinks and processes on the spot…
However, I do like it when I can manage to sneak in a few creative shots as well. I have recently been implementing some “Edgar Wright Fast Cuts” into her vlog to serve as transition. It’s fun to make, and breaks the monotony of what could be a boring shot of an ordinary activity. Brewing coffee? Swoosh- swish- click-clank! Boom! Coffee done.
In any case, what does a writer do when they can’t seem to get any writing done? What can a writer do to break free of a writer’s block? Here are some of my tips:
- Do something else.
It would not do you any good staring at a blank screen, a pile of notes and whatever story bits and pieces you have, straining and stressing over your inability to produce anything.Do something else for a while, get the blood rolling, make your brain focus on another creative endeavor. Perhaps the surge of dopamine might trigger an idea or two that could get you back on your writing track.
- Drink Coffee or Tea
Whenever I am in a writing slump, I grab my cup and drink. It can be coffee, it can be tea. Whatever floats your boat. I would step away from my work, sit by a window and enjoy the warm drink.
- Talk to Friends
Sure, we writers are a bunch of reclusive folks. We’d rather be holed in up a room typing away in front of a screen. That’s fine when you can actually be doing any writing… But when you are stuck and can’t seem to move forward, get out of that writing cave and talk to people – your friends, your family… your dog? That potted plant? Sure, I guess.
- Write a blog
“Are you kidding me, Jomz?” I can hear you say.
Not really. Sure, you may be stuck in writing your story, but that does not mean you cannot write anything else. This has been my general go-to whenever I am blocked in writing my story. I get on the computer and type something else. Either it be something about my life, something about how I can’t seem to write, or perhaps an helpful tip to get writers, like myself, back into writing again.
Like this one, right here.
Well, that’s it, I think. It’s not much, but I hope that if you are in a writer’s block. I’m not really doing this for you, I’m doing this for myself. Pretty selfish of me, sure, but if I can help others along the way, then that’s all good, too.
If you are here because you are experiencing writer’s block, I hope you overcome it with less stress. Hit me up in the comments. I guarantee that it will lift that block and get you back into writing again. ^_~ Hahaha…
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Have a nice day!