Monday, January 25, 2016

Struggling to Write?

If you’re feeling like none of the words you write seem quite right, the meeting-your-daily-word-count roll from NaNoWriMo disappeared along with the Christmas tree, and your motivation just took a vacation (probably to somewhere warm), I’d like to welcome you to the club. Ever since I’ve gotten back from the winter holidays, I’ve been feeling completely unenthusiastic about the “writing” part of writing. Which, for me, is really quite scary.

It’s been a struggle to keep the pen moving across the page, and I wanted to share a few exercises that I’ve been doing to keep myself from shoving my black notebook in a corner and leaving it there until springtime or inspiration hits, whichever comes first.

I’ve come up with a few tactics that keep me from going insane while also making sure I’m still writing and creating.

(By the way, I apologize in advance for the tacky section headers, but I’m feeling a tad sentimental about them.)

Step Away From the Novel

After fighting tooth and nail to try and make headway in my current project, I decided to take a break. I’m going back to it; I believe too much in the story to leave it in a drawer and never see it again. But I need a break from that world and those characters, and rather than try to ignore that, I’m accepting it and taking the break I desperately need.

I Won’t Need An Envelope

I’ve been writing letters. Letters to friends and to acquaintances; letters to my favorite authors (they usually end up as how-could-you rants) and to my least favorite characters (usually end with me saying that they should have ended up dead). Really, I’m writing letters to anyone and everyone.

I’m not planning on sending these letters. They’re exercises for me. I find that it’s easy to talk to people through letters that I know they are never going to read. I tell the “recipients” stories about what happened while I was going for a walk or searching for that new release at Barnes and Noble. I make up scenarios where I’m being attacked my zombies or accidentally ran into Hermione Granger at Starbucks.

The letters don’t take long to write and they’re loads of fun.

Who Turned Off the Lights?

I’ve been playing around with blackout poetry. Doesn’t sound familiar? Blackout poetry is really quite simple. You take a page out of a book or a newspaper article and cross off all the words except the ones that make up your poem (personally, I love to pretend I’m artistic and draw over the words I’m not using rather than cross them off).

Working within the words on the page can seem somewhat restrictive, but I find that it makes me stretch my imagination.

Hopefully you picked up an idea or two to try. Happy writing!

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