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23 May 2005 @ 04:31 pm
This is a total emergency.  
I have broken my ability to write. I don't know how. I don't know when. All I know is that you say to me, "Nifra, write me something!"

And I'll write: "It was dark." and then spend hours staring at that sentence and trying very hard not to follow it with "And stormy. A dark night filled with stormy darkness. And people. There were people in the stormy darkness."

Then I'll get filled with a very intense hatred for the written word, and pout, and go read things I love, and become despondent.

I am one with the despond. I have hatred and despond. I am swimming through a lake of hatred and despond. This lake is called my writing and I have no floaties to help me swim through it.

Total. Emergency.

It seems like all I want to do lately is write autobiographical essays about the insane things that happen in my life, but that's not what I really *want* want, it's just all I can do.

What do you do when in such a quandry, gentle readers? And why do I feel the need to use the phrase 'gentle reader' incessantly these days? Riddle me that, gentle readers, riddle. me. that.
Current Mood: moodymoody
Current Music: harry and the potters - the foil (malfoy)
anti: dictionary/thesaurus OTP4eva!theantimodel on May 24th, 2005 05:47 am (UTC)
junojuno on May 24th, 2005 05:52 am (UTC)
I read good stuff. All kinds of stuff written by writers that don't fuck it up. If I'm feeling wound about not being able to write as well as X who writes fiction, then I'll read non fiction of some kind. Then I forget all about what I have read and sit down to write.

With that said, we both know that sometimes nothing helps.
teaphile on May 24th, 2005 05:58 am (UTC)
"And stormy. A dark night filled with stormy darkness. And people. There were people in the stormy darkness."

See, you're looking at it the wrong way. Just because that paragraph sucks, doesn't mean the next one will. Or the one after that. Suddenly you're writing good stuff, at which point you go back and cut the sucky stuff.

Or, that's the way it works for me.
mlyn on May 24th, 2005 06:00 am (UTC)
Good point.

Nifra, I say you keep writing no matter what. Write your freaking grocery list in the middle of a fic if you have to...just keep the tool working. Sooner or later it'll get back into the groove.

There are multitudes of writing exercises, too, but I don't know what they are off the top of my head and my writing book is at a different home.
Qqe2 on May 25th, 2005 03:55 pm (UTC)
Thirding this. If autobio's what your brain is fixated on, write it - even if the conscious part of your brain is not fucking in the mood to do so.

Or write randomly. Write directions to somewhere you've never been. Write fic in a universe where the canon is completely unknown - and uninteresting - to you, but where the characters have cool names and extra limbs. Write letters to someone who's pissing someone you know off.

Above all: unless you're the sort of person who responds well to intense and painful internal pressure, lay off yourself already. Obvious obvious obvious but worth repeating anyway: if you wouldn't treat someone else you love like shit when they're stuck, don't do it to yourself.

*hugs you*
Adoable Frunk: good of the podlyra_sena on May 24th, 2005 05:58 am (UTC)
I am swimming through a lake of hatred and despond. This lake is called my writing and I have no floaties to help me swim through it.

Would this lake happen to reside in The Deep with the giganto citrus and firecracker spitting fish? Cause if so, I wanna go there. Just without all the hatred and despond. I'm allergic to despond.

And so, my dear podlet, really, you must find some swimmies and tug them on your arm, paddle back to shore, and fret not. *snugs*
the opposite of batmanpearl_o on May 24th, 2005 06:24 am (UTC)
I love the phrase gentle reader. Also pretty much any time you address the reader. My original idea for the alien story involved a really chatty omniscient narrator talking directly to the reader and saying Jane-Eyre style "Reader, I married him" type things. Only about Ray and Fraser and the gay sex.
celli on May 24th, 2005 06:39 am (UTC)
I wish I could have been more help. *hugs*

You could take the insane things that happen to you and make them happen to a character, instead. I get a lot of fic out of that.
sageness on May 24th, 2005 07:16 am (UTC)
I seduce my muses. Ray likes coffee and music. Fraser likes looking at pictures of Ray, and Canada, but mostly Ray. (And due south is ALL YOUR FAULT! *snugs*) Lex likes fruit. Clark likes fresh air and holding heavy, solid objects in his hands. Lana likes to dress up in funny outfits. Tim likes to watch. Bruce likes to watch things he believes he can't have. Dick likes to fly, even though he can't. And so on. My muses don't respond to attempts to beat them into submission. I can either listen to what they're trying to tell me, or I can throw fits and get nothing done. But they're good to me when I listen. It's all they really want at the end of the day. Just to be heard and transcribed.

*pets muses*

*hugs you close*

Other tricks from the writing program:

~write an intentionally bad poem -- as dreadful as you can possibly make it. It's like pushing the sludge all out of the system at once.

~write a poem on a single subject. For instance, write a poem on summer. Then another on autumn, then winter, then spring. It helps focus your attention on one thing, rather than allowing frustration to scatter your energy.

~write something in a completely alien genre from your usual work. This could mean writing a play when you normally write fiction; or it could mean writing sci-fi when you normally write gothic romance.

Best of luck, lovely. *hugs more*
Sabbysamcoffeeaddict on May 24th, 2005 08:58 am (UTC)
It sounds like you had an overdose of either Buffy Season 7 or have somehow channeled Andrew. As long as you don't start smoking pipe and rambling about vampyres you should be okay.

The dark and stormy night with the people could become a problem, but doesn't have to. You can use it to your advantage. Maybe, you just have to get the crap that seems to be stuck in your system right now, out of it. So go with the dark and stormy night and the people. Throw every crap line in your head out there until suddenly your sentences start to make sense again.

If that doesn't work, try to take it with humor. Call it a parody and all of a sudden your crappy writing won't seem all too crappy anymore.

Oh and use your life. You say that at the moment all you wanna write is "autobiographical essays about the insane things that happen" in your life. Well, why not transfer the insanity? Not saying Lex would necessarily steal a package from the post office, or that Angel all of a sudden decides to sulk and play 15 (though yeah, he's done that before) but, you get the picture right? Find the character that the insanity would fit to, and then go for it!

*nods* that's about it. And I really hope you get out of this block soon. Staring at sentences for hours without anything good coming out of it sucks!
Sweet Melissavorsythia on May 24th, 2005 10:10 am (UTC)
Humbert Humbert occasionally used the term "gentle readers." He also once referred to his audience as "frigid gentlewomen of the jury" (I think; I don't have a copy of Lolita on me). I'm not really sure how that helps you, but Nabokov was a pretty good writer, yes? I say your use of gentle readers is a good sign. Go forth, and write with playfulness and deceptive narrators. And it will be good.
You're out of adventures :(: ray and fraser by tararclaire on May 24th, 2005 11:39 am (UTC)
I would expect something vaguely more porny from you.

Perhaps "It was dark, also: cock!"
millysdaughtermillysdaughter on May 24th, 2005 12:44 pm (UTC)
Put words on paper--a specific number--but force yourself to write about 100 words or 200 words or whatever number you select. If all else fails, write the actual numbers...one, two three...until you get past the blockage. Then get up and move a bit--fold the laundry, wash your dishes, sit back down, and do it again.
Either your writers block will end or you will become a total math geek...
peeps wanna see peeps boink: rustymusesfool on May 24th, 2005 01:33 pm (UTC)
stare at pictures of Brad Pitt with guns.


I find that exceptionally inspiring.

Seriously, though, walk away from the computer and read a good book.
Adoable Frunklyra_sena on May 24th, 2005 03:25 pm (UTC)
ubixtiz on May 25th, 2005 03:00 am (UTC)
Lake of despond? Interesting.

I have nothing helpful (nearly wrote something to do with soap bubbles) to say, but I offer you my lj haiku:

green shoes it wouldn't when
i was laughing so hard on
cuddy and her breasts