Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Last Writing Challenge Update--and Writer's block, how to deal with it.

It is getting close to the end of the writing challenge; this is when I find things occur which attempt to trip me up and all of it is important. Here is where I have to discover and create new ways of finding time to write, exercise, work...and make sure everyone is fed (other than sandwiches and pizza).

It's usually right about now -- when things are flying through the air (figuratively and literally) I hit a writers block--now how does one get through it? I'm not sure. Sure, I have ideas--but this is where I turn to those who work in the creative field.  Today I'm turning to my fellow writers in this challenge and asking them:

 Everyone hits a block in writing or creating; how do you get through or solve it?  

Lets see how my fellow writers are doing with this challenge---and how they answer the questions above!

Callie James:
Callie James
How are you doing with the challenge?
CJ:This ended up being a bad month of typing for me. I released the latest book mid-month and then several life emergencies happened. I typed  2,500 words in the new book yesterday. Will likely erase all. Getting off to a slow start. .  But at least it’s a start

MVF: That is still epic, I know when you start writing, the words will fly.
Everyone hits a block in writing or creating; how do you get through or solve it?  
CJ: Whenever I can’t find my way to the next scene, I ask myself what could be the worst thing I could do to this character to keep him/her from achieving their goal. Then I write it. This usually adds more layers to the story than I originally envisioned. And it works every time!

MVF: This is something I need to think about doing--- very good idea! Because I like causing mayhem to my characters.

Katherine Bone:
Katherine Bone
How are you doing with the challenge?
KB:  I cleaved and hacked at 600 words then added 1400 with a hearty challenging "ARRR!". Chapter 5 be now functional. Chapter 6 be done! (this cost me plenty of angst!) Eyes blurry. Rum needed.
MVF: I know you were struggling with chapter five--this is fabulous!
Everyone hits a block in writing or creating; how do you get through or solve it? 
KB:  One thing I've learned is if you're having a block or the writing isn't flowing (and I just dealt with this recently) the book is off track or you're not listening to your gut. In my case, I wasn't listening to my gut. When I allow what I deem as "that won't fly" syndrome to take over my psyche, my writing stalls. But if I allow my muse to lead the way and follow my gut, the writing usually flows. Of course, it also helps that I have said brainstorming partner to keep me on track. (Pirates always have a backup plan.)
MVF:*Nods* I totally believe in the "gut" instinct of a writer--and always a good brainstorming friend! *grin*

Ingrid Seymour:
How are you doing with the challenge?
IS:  This week I'm up to 14k out of 25k in my challenge. I'm giving it my best, but revisions are
Ingrid Seymour
stealing lots of words from my WIP O.o

MVF: I think 14k is pretty bloody awesome! Wow!  (Revisions are sneaky like that, about stealing words)
Everyone hits a block in writing or creating; how do you get through or solve it? 
IS:  I’ve hit obstacles in every book I’ve written. No exception. The first time it happened, I thought: “Oh, no, it’s must be the evil writer’s block!” Everyone has heard about that infamous block-headed, square-looking dude, and the stories many writers tell about him are downright scary. I was worried for a bit, then I decided not to let that bully intimidate me. I’m stubborn and competitive, and my reaction soon after was “I’m not letting some naysayer get in the way of what I want to do.”

So I just plowed through. For better or worse, I kept writing. No matter what came out, crap or not, I wrote and wrote. But, most importantly, I did something else . . . I paid attention. I was attentive as to why I was getting stumped. And slowly, I learned that, for me, writer’s block is nothing more than dissatisfaction caused by elements in my story. Elements that aren’t quite jiving with the rest. Things like: plot points that defy the story’s general logic, characters who need more fleshing out, missing or under-developed themes, etc.

I now understands that these obstacles are due to my subconscious trying to tell me something is wrong. The obstacles are in fact opportunities. So instead of dreading them, I welcomed them, because those blocks are there to tell me that I need to dig deeper and need to pay better attention. Only that way I can make my story the best that it can be.

MVF: I really like attitude and I agree with you--when one is stuck there is something you've missed and your subconscious gives you a good swift kick...

D.B. Sieders:
How are you doing with the challenge?
D.B. Sieders
DBS:  I cranked out 2K for a total of 7K, but I think those words are actually quality (not always the case), so I'm pleased. I just dropped hubby off for 6-8 weeks of training in Dallas, so I'm sure I'll be using some of my time in the evenings to catch up on word counts. Hopefully my characters will keep me company until he gets back home :(
MVF:  First--yay! on the word count! Exceptional job!  And I feel for you on missing your hubby! --May the words pour out of you!
Everyone hits a block in writing or creating; how do you get through or solve it? 
DBS:  I have at least two projects going at any given time, so when I'm stuck on one, I pick up the other. Sometimes stepping away for a few days or a week helps, too. If I've been spending too much time behind the computer (writing or the dayjob), I try to spend a bit of time on something physical, like exercise, yard work, or running around with my kiddos. A break from the mental can definitely help!
MVF: I agree with you about getting physical to relax the subconscious and get your mind working again... of course I bring up kettle bells... *innocent look*

D.T. Krippene:
D.T. Krippene
How are you doing with the challenge?
DTK:  OK, here’s where I’m at.  I planted about 8K this week (Sunday), bringing the total to 11K for the month.  Not as robust as I’d like it to be (arrival of new grandson has taken a number on my productivity), but I have 4 more days to plant 4K to make my goal.  Think I’m going to make it this time.
MVF: Congratulations on the word count AND the baby grandson! Let the celebrations begin! Wonderful news!
Everyone hits a block in writing or creating; how do you get through or solve it? 
DTK: My brain is wired to function creatively in the morning.  If I don’t get there, it’s usually a lost cause. If the ideas aren’t flowing, I will switch to prepping a new blog article, sift through mountains of social media messages, or just do something physical (like cut the lawn).  Exercise is a big help.  I’ll get on the elliptical, hit a few songs I “internalize” for the story I’m writing, blood flows, ideas come. 
MVF: Very practical--and the best thing--you know what time works for you. This is essential! Next time I'm going to ask you about your play list... :)

Tanisha Jones:
How are you doing with the challenge?
Tanisha Jones
TJ:  I have been immersed in a YA world of silver haired teen aged  warrior wolves on far off planets and have completed 7638 words this week, with only 6917 remaining towards my month end goal. I've hit my stride as my little warrior has taken it upon her self to move the story in a direction that suits her .  As my little Lycia often tells me "Let's get on with it then, I'm itching for a war."
 I also have a very adult god and goddess poking at the back of my head whenever I close my eyes telling me that they can only be patient for So long .... only 1500 into that action.  Ahhh, I will never be lonely with these voices in my head.
MVF: I love how your mind just creates these wonderful stories---keep at it!! :)
Everyone hits a block in writing or creating; how do you get through or solve it? 
TJ:  Blocks happen often for me so I either  work on something else or give myself a break. Most of my creative blocks happen when I am stressed out or exhausted.  Taking time away will usually recharge the batteries.  When I don't think about it or dwell on it, that's when inspiration appears.  If that makes sense.
MVF:  It makes perfect sense! Stress does hinder big time--and I like how you know what causes it and deal with it.

Moriah Densley

Moriah Densley:

MVF: She is knee deep in a college course-so I'm giving her a *wave* and cheering her on and letting her skip the updates. (I sound all bad a** and stuff, not really--I just really understand her pain.) She can't escape me anyway.....I may resort to a phone call....

M.V. Freeman:
How am I doing with challenge?
M.V. Freeman
Seriously--behind the times. Added 4k with edits on first book. I am going to add 2k this week, and will make my goal (that's the plan--barring a tsunami)
Everyone hits a block in writing or creating; how do you get through or solve it?
This is the hardest thing ever-- I usually watch a movie, read, brainstorm, workout.  But the number one thing I really try and do is sleep-- it's funny what dreams will do for you. It may not give me the answer but it will inspire it. Finally--I try to relax, make some tea or coffee.  There is nothing fool proof--the trick is not be hamstrung for more than a day--if it turns into weeks or longer, this is a danger.

This has been fabulous! everyone is doing very well! Stop back on August 2nd--we'll share out accomplishments (and I'm going to try to talk them into pictures...) and the Giveaway begins!

Til then, KEEP WRITING and Reading! :)

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