Tag Archives: writer’s block

Some Wednesday Random

It’s Wednesday, and I can’t think of a thing to blog about – so I’m falling back on the old tried and true. Random!

I’m a Happy Information Junkie This Week.

I finally figured out a way to keep an eye on all the links and fun things I find interesting online, without feeling information overload! And it’s all due to my iPad. Last week I spent a bit of time testing out various apps and I’ve now settled on some essential ones that have made my info-surfing life so much easier.

On the agenda: I’ll be writing up a post about the apps I’m now using. (Always nice to know what I’ll be writing about!).

And I’m Sharing My Finds on Twitter.

Those of you who follow me on Twitter (and … ahem … if you’re not, here’s the link to my Twitter profile) might have noticed I’m doing something a little differently these days. I’ve been tweeting links to all the stuff I find terribly amusing or interesting or just plain mind-boggling.

I can’t help it. Seriously, some of this stuff is just too good not to share!

Sniff … Reamde Has to Go Back to the Library.

So I’ve had that big brick of a book, Reamde, by Neal Stephenson, for almost three weeks now. And I haven’t touched it. It’s just such a BIG book, so every time I look at it, I think to myself, I really need to make sure I have a nice chunk of time to curl up with it.

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And of course, that never happened. And since this is a relatively new book, I can’t renew it, because there are lots of other eager readers just waiting to get their hot little hands on it.

Sigh. I hate when this kind of thing happens. I actually have it in audio, too, but I already know it will take me even longer to listen to it than it would for me to read it so I might as well just add myself back to the “hold” queue at the library.

The Art of Letter Writing

Okay, so no-one’s going to be too surprised that I wasn’t able to stick to writing a letter a day last month. No, not even though it was a short month (although with that leap day, it really wasn’t that much shorter …).

But I had some good excuses. Like the flu going through the family, which just about wiped out two weeks of the month.

Despite not writing a letter a day last month, I’ve been well and truly bitten by the handwritten letter bug. I’ve enjoyed getting letters from people, and I’ve enjoyed writing the letters I did write. So I’ve decided to just keep on doing this indefinitely.

Not, of course, a letter a day. But several a month. It’s going to be fun!

The Everyday Writer

Last bit of random for now. I’ve been having a hard time getting back into a writing routine. And then yesterday, I came across this blog post by Seth Godin.

Writer’s block isn’t hard to cure.

Just write poorly. Continue to write poorly, in public, until you can write better.

(The emphasis is mine.)

I decided to take this advice to heart, and last night, I created The Everyday Writer. And this morning, I wrote my first post. My plan is to choose a different writing prompt generator every day (if you click through, you’ll see I have several of them in the sidebar), and then write a little something. Something short, that’s fictional, but Not of the Utmost Importance (the very opposite of the way I think of my writing-in-progress as Being of the Utmost Importance – which, by the way, is one sure-fire way to drum up a bad case of writer’s block).

And I’m adding this into my Wednesday Random because I’ve got to fulfill the “in public” part of the whole shebang.

So those are my latest bits of random! What random bits and pieces do you have going on these days?

Index Cards (Or Writer’s Block? What Writer’s Block?)

index card

There’s an old saying about when something’s not working, you’re never going to get a different result by doing the same thing. Or something like that (I’m the same way with wise old sayings and proverbs as I am with clichés – I mangle them to bits, unintentionally).

What with planning for our move to the city and all the details that come with it (decluttering, downsizing, selling the house, finding a condo), I’ve been taking a bit of a hiatus from writing. But as we’re getting closer to our move, I’m finding my thoughts drifting to my writing more and more frequently.

I’m really feeling the creative itch.

Anyway, I recently looked back over the volume of work I’ve produced over the past three years. Out of four different WIPs and hundreds of thousands of words written, I’ve only completed the first draft of one of them, my mystery. The rest all are stalled at various stages of completion. One of them even went and morphed itself into a whole different story, one which doesn’t really suit the original characters.

I have always been a “write by the seat of my pants” kind of writer. I love the thrill of not knowing what’s around the next corner. It keeps the excitement alive for me. So I’ve always avoided the idea of outlining.

But it’s really clear to me that I also work best when I have a vague idea where I’m going. I never had any problems with “writer’s block” when I worked on my mystery. I had no clue what would happen between the beginning and the ending of the book, but I did start out knowing A. whodunnit and B. why whodunnit did it in the first place. And that was all I needed to get to the finish line.

So it’s pretty clear to me that I’ve got to shake things up a bit. Do something different with my writing, because what I’ve been doing isn’t working. Take ELEMENTAL. I love the idea behind that WIP. I love the characters. It’s also a very exciting, action-filled story. And yet … I’ve been stuck at a very pivotal point for a very long time.

It’s the same with my other in-progress projects.

Enter my writing buddy Janel Gradowski. Honestly, she’s done more to keep me on the writing track than anything or anyone else. We email each other regularly, and lately she’s really become focused on her writing. And in one of her regular emails, she mentioned how she’d started writing her ideas for one of her longer works onto index cards, and how magically new ideas have been appearing.

This really intrigued me, and I began looking around, checking out how other writers are using index cards.

And one thing really stands out for me. When you use index cards to pre-write/plot your novel, you’re working with a system or method that is, by its very nature, flexible and changeable.

“Outlining” a novel using index cards isn’t anything at all like my idea of an outline as being rigid and death to creativity.

It’s also a chance to brainstorm, which I love doing. And it opens up the door to making some truly magical connections – connections which I’ve always associated only with the act of writing itself.

So I’m going to give the index card way a try. The beauty of it is, index cards are so small and portable, I can dump an idea on one at any time, any place, as long as I have an index card and a pen handy. So I can start now to satisfy that creative itch of mine.

An aside: one of the things that really jumped out at me while I was looking around for index card ideas – people use index cards for all manner of things, from productivity and goal management, to writing, to homeschooling, to time management, to menu planning to shopping to … the list is virtually endless!

Do you use index cards in some way or other in your life? I’d love to hear about the different and creative ways people put index cards to good use!