The Wryters' Block

Shaping, Designing, Sculpting Words

Dreaded Writer’s Block

 

overcoming writer's block - crumpled paper on ...

 

Writer’s Block – what do you do when it strikes?
For weeks now, I’ve been plagued by writer’s block. You know, when thoughts won’t come; when fingers stall at the keyboard; when minds draw a blank; when scenes for your book escape you; when you pull out your hair because you don’t know what to write… What does one do when writer’s block strikes?
In an interview, Nora Roberts said she found the idea of writer’s block baffling. She has more ideas for writing than she could ever possibly write.
Halfway through The Rescue, Nicholas Sparks suffered writer’s block. The Rescue was his first novel to debut at #1 on the New York Times best-seller List.
Toni Morrison, author of Beloved, says in an interview that she disavowed that term. Even though it took years to write Beloved and there were years when she didn’t get a single word down, she was still at work.
5 ways to overcome:
1. Pack your bags. Go on vacation. There’s nothing that a good rest won’t cure.
2. Watch a good movie. See how writing comes alive on the big screen.
3. Take a walk. The fresh air will work wonders.
4. Throw a cook-out. Invite all your friends over. Good laughter will free the mind.
5. Listen to the radio. Music can inspire the soul.
If you’ve tried all of the above, I’d say you really have a bad case of dreaded writer’s block. Rest for a few days and pray that you will overcome the dilemma!

 

 

September 26, 2012 Posted by | Writing | , , , , , | Leave a comment

10 Writer Essentials

English: penulis = writer

These 10 important essentials serve as a base/starting point for any writer. Not a definitive list, please feel free to add an important item.
1. Thick Skin
Sometimes along with approvals and acceptance, a writer must accept criticism, disapproval, and rejection.
2. Support
A writer needs someone who supports and encourages. Without support, a writer may feel discouraged.
3. Drive and Determination
It takes stamina and hard work to complete a book-length work. If it were an easy task, every person would be an author.
4. Appealing Voice
A writer needs an interesting, engaging voice to connect with readers. In due season, a writer will find an audience.
5. Strong Work Ethics
A writer should strive to write nearly every day. (In a recent interview best-selling author Nora Roberts revealed that she writes 6 – 8 hours a day.) Make writing a priority by scheduling times to write. Be prepared to edit work, as the more a writer reconstructs and practices, the better writer one can become.
6. Confidence
A writer should have confidence. If you believe you can achieve your writing goals, you’re on the road to success.
7. Network of Writers
A writer needs to network with other writers. As a group/team, writers can share ideas and tips, offer suggestions, serve as a sounding-board. No one knows what being a writer entails than another fellow writer.
8. Boldness
A writer needs to possess a certain boldness, to not be afraid to voice thoughts or opinions. Remember, no one will agree with you always 100%.
9. Dictionary and Thesaurus
Just as in any other profession, a writer needs tools – literary tools. Two of the most important are a dictionary and thesaurus to discover word meanings, use words correctly, and make writing improvements.
10. Creative Mind
It takes a creative mind in action to create dramas, comics, mysteries, characters, scenes, plots… A writer possesses a “special eye” to envision the imaginary.
Can you think of another essential item every writer needs?

September 24, 2012 Posted by | Writing | , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Under the Microscope

“I, to commit murder?”

So began the first line of a short story I wrote as a teenager in high school.

With confidence, I let one of my friends read the story.

He gasped, “That’s what you want to happen!”

“No,” I tried to explain to him. “That’s not what I want to happen. It’s just writing. I’m using my imagination.”

Are you like him in thinking that a writer’s life is buried between the pages?

My sisters and I debate the issue all the time. One of them assures me that everything written says something about the author.

Stephen King, American author best known for h...

So are you really trying to tell me that Stephen King desires to be trapped in one of his gruesome horrors? Continue reading

September 22, 2012 Posted by | Writing | , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Three Rainy-Day Poems

Write rainy-day poems!

Rainy days – I love them! I curl up on the couch and peer outside, watch the rain pour, listen to its drumbeat on the roof, hear “ping” on a tin can, see drops slip-slide down wet, slippery window panes. Rainy days – days when I’m so relaxed and calm that words, phrases, thoughts, pictures, and emotions run rampant. So let the rain fall, glide, slide, hop, skip, drop, slither, ka-plop, pour! Bring it on!

Poems, whether created on a rainy day or not, appear somewhere in each of my books. It’s how my writing began – with a  poem, then on to short stories and then to novels.     

1. What Greater Love

What love is greater than a mother’s,

For a mother’s love is faithful and true?

It shelters, protects, influences, guides.

It is far-reaching, knows no boundaries. Continue reading

September 19, 2012 Posted by | Writing | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

Cookies, Anyone?

When writers write, pieces of truth or tidbits of facts from their lives spill onto the canvas, the written page.

English: a Oreo cookie broken in half with a s...

When my oldest son, the perfect baby, was nine months old, he learned to drink milk from a cup. But every night along with his cup filled with milk, he expected a cookie. Any kind of cookie would do – Vanilla wafer, Oreo, Sugar cookie, Coconut Macaroon…From those facts, I penned a scene (published in Perfect Love, my first novel) in which one of the main characters, Will, tells his daughter Breanna a bedtime story.
Once upon a time,” Will began, “there lived the most beautiful girl in the whole wide world. She had the most beautiful mom of all the other moms. Her dad wasn’t really that handsome, but he had this great, great love for his daughter. Every night before his daughter crept into bed, she had to have cookies and milk to help her fall asleep. It didn’t matter if it was a Oreo, Vanilla wafers, or any other kind, as long as it was a cookie.”
He continued, “On one particular night at her bedtime, her poor old father didn’t have a single cookie in the cupboard to give to his darling daughter. In fact, there was not a single cookie or cookie crumb anywhere in their entire house.The beautiful girl cried and cried and could not be comforted. Continue reading

September 17, 2012 Posted by | Writing | , , , , , | Leave a comment

A Writer’s Life

A Writer’s Life Lonely?
I Beg to Differ.

Isolated, shut away in a study with fingers that fly across the keyboard, many say that a writer’s life is very lonely. True, writing is a solitary activity, and sometimes it takes hours upon hours of writing days upon days, months upon months, even years, to complete “a masterpiece.”

Cover of "Twilight (Two-Disc Special Edit...

Cover of Twilight (Two-Disc Special Edition)

It took Robert James Waller about two weeks to complete Bridges of Madison County. Stephanie Myers wrote Twilight in three months. (And oh, how happy my heart is that she did! Like so many others, I enjoyed the read, wished I were a vampire, and fell in love with Edward.) Over a period of six months, Nicholas Sparks wrote The Notebook.
No matter the length of the undertaking, it’s been said that a writer’s life is lonely. I disagree.
1. A writer’s life is full of joy.
Writing is a pleasure. Every writer must love the written word. To put those words together in such a way that they evoke some type of response in readers brings astounding joy. I remember I looked up from my computer the other day and cheered, “I love to write!” And I felt so exhilarated. Everyone may not get as verbal as me, but writing creates an indescribable, delicious feeling inside. It brings about joy.
2. A writer’s room is teeming with people.
Inside that study, a writer is never alone. There he meets up with his characters, and they act out their lives right there on an imaginary stage for the writer to see. Scenes, pictures, conversations all play out in the writer’s head. So a writer’s life is never boring, never lonely; creativity keeps it entertaining.
Though I confess that I can do my best thinking when all is quiet and silent, I get inspired by songs and music. I have no study, no place of confinement, where I seek solace in which to write, and I am very conscious of spending time with family. While I pour out words to write while sitting at the dining room table amidst the bustling of everyday life, I feel I have the best of worlds – enjoying writing, hearing the sounds of television, listening to smooth grooves someone has opted to play, holding conversations…Being a mom certainly prepared me for this – for multitasking. This writing life rocks!.
What do you think, is a writer’s life lonely?

September 16, 2012 Posted by | Writing | , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

The Final Frontier

Starship Enterprise

Starship Enterprise (Photo credit: TooFarNorth)

“Space – the final frontier. These are the voyages of the starship Enterprise. Its five-year mission: to explore strange new worlds, to seek out new life and new civilizations, to boldly go where no man has gone before.” With those words, I recall the Star Trek introduction narrated by William Shatner.
No, I am not ready for outer space, suited up in helmet, gloves, spacesuit. I do not want to see strange, green aliens with antennae that stick out across their heads. I do not want to leave planet Earth.
Instead I am home. All is quiet. I hear nothing but the whirr of the AC. Maybe a car door slams in the distance. Perhaps a vehicle inches by on the highway.
This is peace – the final frontier. With my sons all adults who think they know it all, (you remember that stage in life, right?) I can just relax. I take deep breaths of victory. I am surrounded by my writer tools – the trusty laptop, paper, pens, pencils, tablets, books… I have finally reached Utopia!!
With a smile on my face, I reach for a pen; the need to write, strong. As a writer, I begin to think that the brain never ceases to think. Even in bed at night, words and phrases assemble in my head. I wonder if I should rise and get them all down, for by morning, they disappear and run away. Or else those magical words I strive desperately to recall just turn to vapor, become a distant memory.
I raise my pen, ready to write the first phrase. But lo, a knock sounds on the door! It’s my youngest, the eighteen-year-old. He has returned!
I smile. Kids – you gotta love them!
For me, Utopia has become one word – peace. For me, peace is the final frontier. It is ME time when I can focus on the things that I love. What is your utopia?

September 1, 2012 Posted by | Life, Writing | , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

   

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