Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Help! My ROW80 check-in (On Writing)

Hello ROW80ers and others who happen upon this blog,
I'm stuck.  Some people call it writer's block.  I hate that term, it make it sound like all your creativity is being held back by a brick wall or something.
I feel like it everything else in life that hurting my creativity and writing. I sit there thinking about something else other then the story.
I need to create a 2nd draft somehow pull what I've written for the 2nd draft with what I like about the 1st or rough draft.
Anyone have a writing exerciseI can do to get my story moving again?  Anything? Please help.


  1. It depends on the deadline. If there's no deadline and you can afford a few months, I'd recommend:

    1) Setting the 1st draft completely aside for a month.
    2)Decide whether you could use a Beta reader or critique partner at this stage, or whether you personally would rather wait and give the Beta reader the 2nd draft.
    3)Write something else for a while, even if it's frivolous or crappy (or both lol!) Do some writing prompts. Get the original draft out of your brain.
    3)When you're ready to go back to the first draft, read through it and make NOTES about what needs to be fixed... don't fix it yet. Also note the favorite parts that you absolutely want to keep.
    4)After making notes, wrap your brain around the big picture. Then go back to the beginning and revise it.

    I hope this helps! Everyone has a different approach to the revision process, and it's up to each writer to find what works best for them. This is one of my favorite methods.

    Good Luck!

  2. oops... apparently I can't number correctly lol!

  3. I'd second what Amy said - it depends on whether you've got a deadline or not. My first thought was to set it aside to brew for a while also.

    I've just got through the first revision pass on my own novel, so know a little of what you're talking about. And for years I struggled with taking that step into revision in the first place. A couple of things / tools / habits that helped me into revision that might also help you -

    1. Daily journaling (as much as I hate journaling) - spit all your worries out onto a page / 3 pages. (Aka the morning pages, or use something like
    2. Time your morning (or dump pages) and after the alarm is up, get on with writing / revision. Set quotas - I will do 2 scenes.
    3. Multiple projects - something sexy to move onto or work with, as a reward or incentive to spend time (an hour, two hours) on revision.
    4. Creativity inducers - do something with your hands, craft something, make something - you can be thinking at the same time. (Artist Dates also - take yourself somewhere inspiring, or walk in nature).
    5. Don't revise - go in there to re-engineer an outline, scene cards, whatever...while you're in there, you'll start noticing things and making notes. Maybe even some rewrites.
    6. Browse (quickly) through a crafting book on revision (I like Cathy Yardley's approach, or James Scott Bell). There's bound to be an exercise or task in one which you think - oh, yeah, that applies to my story as I remember it.

    Like you, I don't like the term writer's block - for a long time I actually didn't believe it existed. And in some ways I was right - artists, architects, fashion designers, and other creative types don't have "artist block", "architect block", or "fashion design" block, so why do we allow ourselves to?

    So saying that, it happens - sometimes we don't understand why it's going on, what the actual block is trying to tell us, or we can't face the truth. Yep, been there, done that many times.

    I hope at least something here helps. Good luck with bulldozing down that wall.