Monday, August 15, 2011

Writing Tantrums

Ever had one of these suckers? You're plodding along, things are going pretty smooth, the prose is working, your plot is actually coming together, and then-boom! You have no idea where to go next, and you're yelling at yourself for not knowing better, you're writing like crazy, but quite frankly, everything you write sounds like a bunch of regurgitated junk. Your entire manuscript now seems uneven and sounds false, and all you want to do is lay down on the ground, kick your feet and fists, and cry screaming words of frustration. Yeah, I think all writers have been there. And I myself, with three kids on hand, have had to deal with actual tantrums in the middle of the store which are not nearly as frustrating as the one I have in my head from writer's block.

It's to be expected, but how do we get over the hump? Here are a few little things that have helped me in the past.

1. Start on another project- sometimes the only way to have a breakthrough on a current work is to take your mind away to another place.

2. Step back- take some time off from the writing thing. Your mind might just be on the edge of a break down. Go for a walk, play with your kids, just clear your head

3. Read- other author's works can inspire you in ways you didn't think possible. Maybe you read something really crappy and you realize it is your calling in life to create something less crappy for readers. Maybe you read something fantastic and your competitive side is stirred and you want to write something as good if not better.

4. Eat lots of junk- it can be sweet or salty, as long as it gets those endorphins going.

5. Watch t.v. or a movie- Or maybe a made for t.v. movie, it'll get you thinking, how did this piece of sh** ever get to the point where people thought ' huh, this ain't half bad.' Seriously, have you ever seen a Lifetime Movie Channel movie, like ever? Storylines from movies and t.v. can also help you to see a plot twist that perhaps wasn't working before or seems cheesy. All the different twists that come along may help you to realize that you don't have nearly as much in your own work, or may have you laughing so hard at the ridiculousness that you pee in your pants (not that that's ever happened to me).

6. Sleep- your brain can't function if it isn't fully rested, just like the rest of you. Just get some rest. This is by far my favorite because sleeping is my favorite activity of all time. For some reason the greatest ideas come to me right before I'm about to slumber off into my heavenly state of rest. Tip: Keep a paper and pen on hand just in case.

7. Listen to some music- How many writers do you know that don't listen to something while they're working at some point or another? Music can soothe your soul and create visions of scenes that you didn't even think imaginable. I love getting lost in a good song almost as much as I love getting lost in a good book.

Okay, that's it for now. I hope this is helpful to some of you. This list is actually longer than I ever intended it to be, so if you stop halfway through I'll understand. Just keep on writing your little hearts out and don't give up and before you know it you'll get there.

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