As writers and artists I am amazed at how quickly we can go from words or images flowing onto the page one moment, and the next moment we are All Hung Up on our words. We call it artist block or writers block and currently I have found myself stuck on a certain chapter of my current book. The funny thing is that I know what I am stuck on! Four measly names, which have me hung up and seemingly dried out! At first when I got to this chapter I just glazed over it and went on to another chapter vowing to return and find the four names that I need for the book. The funny thing is before I even started I did a bunch of research and created a list of possible names for both the light and the dark side of my fantasy, but none of those names seem to fit these four men. The funny thing is the story line is flowing forward beyond this chapter, but without those four men’s names I am at a dead stop and cannot go any further?
So what is the answer to my being All Hung Up? Discipline! You see the book could be three or four chapter or even done by now had I been practicing my own best advice to writers and artists. So what is my own best advice to avoid the All Hung Up Syndrome?
- For writers you must write everyday regardless if you have anything to write about or not. I call this free writing, and I don’t care if it is a crap dumping session or a pity party or cheering on session of oneself you must write each day. I like to suggest at least 20 minutes every day. This is a powerful practice for anyone seeking creativity, problems solving solutions, or to use as a meditative practice.
- For Artist you must practice your art every day also. You need to draw, paint, take pictures, sketch down ideas, or collect images that will spur your creativity into a notebook. I have found on my computer in Office 2010 a nice little program called one note, and it is a virtual notebook that you can store all your notes for different projects under different notebook tabs and insert pictures and whatever else you need to. I recommend this program for everyone. What a great place to put a list of characters with names and meanings to keep for reference while writing that novel.
- Keep a notepad next to your bed, as sleeping is the best time for your subconscious/creative self to speak to you.
- Set aside a certain time of day for practice of your art/writing. If you do not do this you simply will not write or paint or take pictures. Remember to write whether you have something to say or not. Find a time, if you have to get up earlier in the morning then get up earlier by setting the alarm and getting up with it (no snooze alarm).
- Ask yourself if what you are doing right now is getting you closer to your goals of being a published writer? If not then maybe what you are doing can wait. I find that many people will sit and complain that they have no time to write or paint, but they spend hours watching TV that they really don’t enjoy. My question is: Is TV getting you where you want to go? Yes we all need to relax, but as a writer I find the most relaxing thing I can do is write at least my free writing. I also find that my 20 minutes of free writing often turns into 30 minutes, 40 minutes, an hour and so and so forth. I also find that my ranting’s often turn into awesome ideas of things to write about. Next thing I know I am deep within the plot of a fictional book. All sorts of fantasy type creatures are flowing through my brain, and characters and even names come forth. So is what you are doing right now getting you closer to your goals? Well since you’re reading a blog on what steps to take towards achieving your goals the answer may be yes, but if you are just reading blogs online to avoid having to write your own blog or to procrastinate contacting that person who has all the right connections? Then the answer is NO.
Right now is the perfect time to leave a comment to me as whether is helpful, and maybe your answer to the question, or tell me off for the audacity to actually suggest turning off the TV for a while and discipline yourself in your craft. By the way, I castrated my TV years ago, so I really don’t sit and watch it, and I don’t miss it! (If you’re wondering about castrating a TV, I live on a ranch and we have tools for that. Haha)
Peace be with you,
Go write or paint or create!
Oh and don’t forget to check out our Murder Mystery Writing Contest for Charity (it is free to you) If you don’t think you know what to write about this will give you some guidelines and direction, and get you started. It is for Amateur to Advanced Novelist. Check us out at http://www.the777man.com