Friday, June 15, 2012

Book in a Month Pt 16: Breaking Through Writer's Block



For the last 3 days I haven't written. But that is about to change.

I'm calling this block, The Great Wall. Not the one in China, the one in my brain. This tends to happen when things pile up and I feel overwhelmed. All of the little writing blocks build up in my mind and create a giant flaming wall of doom.

Building Bricks of The Great Wall:
  • I'm too tired.
  • I've gotten pretty far already, I can take a break.
  • I'm not sure about some major aspects of my story.
  • I'm not sure if I even like my story, do I?
  • My story has changed a lot from the plot line, I don't know what to do.
  • Finishing a book in a month is crazy.
  • My writing is really awful, I should stop.
So, here is the thing. I've got to find a way to climb over this wall and make it to the finish line. The only sure way to get over a writing block is to bust through it by writing (even if you don't feel like it). Here is what I am going to do:

Write. Now.

I'm not going to go back and look at anything, I am going to look forward and keep writing. I am going to write today and tomorrow Laura from Stranger than Writing is going to do word wars with me.

Have Fun with Word Wars
When 2 or more people write at the same time for a certain amount of time (like 20 minutes) and at the end they see who has written the most. I will be doing this tomorrow, yeah!



Hold Myself Accountable
I started Book in a Month on this blog to compel myself to finish my rough draft. If I don't finish, that would be kind of embarrassing.

I also want to see for myself if I can really do it, and it will help me to hone my writing practice.

Remember Why 
The thing is, I really DO want to finish this rough draft. I would like to say to myself that a book really can be written in a month, and to help others who want to accomplish this same goal. Keeping this in mind will help me soldier on. 

I CAN DO IT!!!! (and so, can you!!)

Results: 1409 words

Wishing on Daisies Progress: 11 days left
Current Progress: 11790 words
Chapter 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6- Complete. 
Chapter 7- Still in Progress

So, how do you break through those Writing Blocks?

Lastly, please check out this awesome blog, To Teach and Learn by Nobu, he is a teacher in Bhutan who wants to be a writer and possibly teach creative writing.  How cool is that?

41 comments:

  1. OMG have you read my blog post today!! I have been dealing with all of these things for the last couple of days. I've hit some major snagging point with my plot, so I've kind of froze.
    I'm looking forward to word wars tomorrow :)

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    1. Thanks Laura!! I just read your post and it looks like we are in the same boat, I think we can do it!

      Tomorrow there will be much progress :)

      Andrea

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  2. I hope you can both tear the wall down tomorrow!

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    1. Thanks so much Heather, I think the walls have already started crumbling down. :)

      Andrea

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  3. You can totally do it! The great wall never reliably kept out invading characters and plot ideas. Hehehe! You're halfway done the month. Write on! *cheers*

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    1. Thanks Christine!! You are so right.. sometimes those plot ideas and characters aren't even the ones you planned on, hehehe.

      I'm gonna do it!

      Andrea

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  4. Woohoo! *shakes pom-poms* You CAN do it! :)

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    1. Thanks so much for the encouragement :)

      Go team go!

      Andrea

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  5. You have a solid plan of attack. You will definitely bust this wall down. Your enthusiasm is also contagious.

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    1. Thanks James!

      Honestly, if I wasn't doing this through the blog I probably would have given up, but having encouragement really helps, (so does the accountability). I hope it will help other people trying to do the same thing.

      Andrea

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  6. Best of luck with breaking through your road block...I find once you start writing, it flows, it's the getting started part that always trips me up.

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  7. #1 - I totally resemble those Building Bricks. Totally.
    #2 - Atta girl, Andrea - keep fighting that good fight!!!
    Some Dark Romantic

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    1. Thanks Mina! You are a wealth of encouragement and awesomeness.

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  8. You can do it! I love your first rule: write. now. "Don't look back, just go forward" is a motto I need tattooed on the back of my hand or something!

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    1. Thanks Daisy I appreciate the encouragement!! It's all about making progress :)

      Andrea

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  9. i haven't read any of the other comments, so i may be repeating someone else's advice, but here are a couple of things that help me. if the scene really won't come together, i usually find out it's either from the wrong point of view, or it's not a necessary scene. the other thing that helps is to write like a first grader.

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    1. Thanks for the advice. I really appreciate the tips!

      When you say "write like a first grader" what do you mean exactly? :)

      Andrea

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  10. The accountability factor is a powerful motivator, but all experiences--even a shortfall--is a learning experience. It is the effort that's important. Growth comes as a result of the struggle more than as a result of meeting the goal. (Or so I think.) In any event, hats off to your success thus far and best wishes to you for the remainder of your challenge.

    Oh, btw, I've seen all of those bricks you mentioned lying around my desk, with the exception of liking my story. In its place was "Can I do this story justice?"

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    1. Thank you for the feedback, Jeff. I really appreciate it. I totally agree with you as well. It is amazing how much sweat and tears goes into a story, we pour our hearts out and bang our fists against the walls. I find that I go through as much of a struggle as my characters do, sometimes! But, it is a beautiful thing.

      I know what you mean about "can I do this story justice?" I feel the same way.

      Andrea

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  11. Good luck with your word wars! Hope you get some good stuff done. When I feel stuck, I just think that even if it's really bad I can revise or change it later. You can't do very much with nothing.

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    1. That is a really good way to think about it Nick. I totally agree! Even if you end up having to throw out or rewrite a lot of it, it is still progress :)

      Andrea

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  12. I feel your pain! I haven't written my CampNaNo novel for three days either. I hope you can climb over that mountain - enjoy word wars today! (P.S If there is a way I can join in with you sometime, let me know, I could use some motivation!) :D

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    1. We can do it, Kyra!!!

      Email me at theenchantedwriter@gmail.com and we can set up a time to do word wars, if you want :)

      Andrea

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  13. Just come from Laura's blog sounds like you two have hit a similar wall! Word wars sounds fun, I'll have to give that a go myself sometime. As I just posted to Laura, sending you positive thoughts.

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    1. Hehehe, yeah I think we do! Nano can be so difficult, but totally worth trying sometime.

      Andrea

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  14. Something is going on with blogger. I don't get it. I left a comment saying I'd love to do word wars with you sometime and now it's gone. This has been happening to me with leaving comments and then them being disappearing. :(

    This could all be avoided I suppose if I would email hug?! Lol. Okay, I'm going to email you right now.

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    Replies
    1. LOL ... my cell corrected the word "huh" for me and put "hug" in its place.

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    2. ROFL... that is funny. I actually got your first comment in my email, but didn't see it on here. I all like.. maybe she deleted it? :)

      I emailed ya back!

      Andrea

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  15. Just...keep...writing. No matter what. If your story isn't working, write something else. Just write.

    Thanks for following me!

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    1. Thanks Lauren! I appreciate the encouragement and advice. I admire all that you have accomplished so far with your writing.

      Andrea

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  16. I'm at a brick wall right now, too, but it's only because I don't feel like writing. My story is swimming around in my head, but I won't discipline myself to get started on it. I think it's the heat. Btw, I lived in KC for 10 years, and my kids are always asking to go back. Thanks for stopping by my blog. :)

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    1. Hi Linda,

      I didn't use to live in KC, but I now consider it home :)
      There has been a few times this month when I haven't felt like writing either, all I can say is that if you can get yourself to write for just 15 minutes you will be amazed at how much it helps.

      Good luck with everything!

      Andrea

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  17. Oh, this all sounds TOO familiar. Okay, I'm going to write right now. Yes! We CAN do it!

    Word Wars sounds Fun! I might give it a try.

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  18. When I'm writing a first draft, I never look back at what I've already written. I just push ahead, and don't worry if it sucks, and get those words down! I'm writing a first draft now for a middle grade fantasy. So, I'm right there with ya!

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    1. Oooh a middle grade fantasy sounds awesome. Good luck with the project! I signed up for your newsletter. Thanks!

      Andrea

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  19. I have some awards for you on my blog. Feel free to stop by to pick them up.

    http://lgkeltner.blogspot.com

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  20. Great advice! I actually have taken a writing break, it's not exactly writers block....Actually, that'd be a lie, but anyway, I should probably start picking up where I left off. WIP #2 is kind of at a stand still at the moment as I try to figure out where I want to take it, and a lot of revisions need to be done to WIP #1...So, I should probably get cracking on that.
    Sorry I haven't commented in a while! I haven't forgotten you, I promise! :)

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    1. Awww, thanks Millie!! best of luck with Wip2. I know you can do it! Let me know if you need any help :)

      Andrea

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  21. Thanks for the post! I am always looking for good ways to help with writers block. Loved the word wars idea.

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