Monday, March 18, 2013

Getting Unstuck

Hey folks,

Today’s post is a short one. I’m feeling pressed for time. Between school and keeping up with my various writing groups, it’s as if the ceiling’s caving in and the walls are shrinking. In reality, this is not the case—or else I’d be writing my life as a novel…or trapped in a novel someone else wrote—but man does it feel that way.

One of the reasons I’m living in an increasingly dwindling space has to do with that thesis I’m writing. While I’ve gotten past my intense dislike/hatred of the project, I’m stuck on one of those points where I’m not sure what’s happening next. I need to fill out story before my final battle, but I’m not sure what to fill it with. I had a small breakthrough yesterday, but that was, as I said, small. I need better than small.

You know those moments. Even if you’re not a writer, you know that feeling of being “stuck.”

For the writers, here’s how I get unstuck. If your usual methods for unsticking fail you at some point. Here are two more to try.

-Talk to readers

While talking to writers is invaluable, sometimes I need the other perspective. So I hunt down people who like to read and yammer at them about my thesis. They tell me what would interest them. I take that and pull something out of it. That’s my audience. I want to satisfy them. Please note that I know these readers. I don’t corner helpless people on the street and demand inspiration.

-Wander around and talk to yourself

I’m not crazy. All writers talk to themselves. Some do it quietly. Me, I prefer to wander around my room/condo—depending on the status of others being home—and talk to myself. I did this yesterday and got 1200 words out of it. Must be working.

So the next time you're stuck, find some readers who are people you know (or people you don’t know—your choice) or walk in circles and talk to yourself. One method is bound to work.

Thanks for reading, and now I’m back to the writing board.

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