...I'm not thinking about anything in particular and instead choose to allow my emotional intelligence rather than my intellectual intelligence make my decisions.  I get the most honesty out of myself that way, when I write from the gut instead of the brain.

 

I also like to scrawl meaningless things when I'm drinking alone after work, elbows on the wood at my local pub; they often become some of my favorite pieces when I decipher them the next day.  Guiness is my friend, the staff all know me as "Scott, the quiet guy that sits and writes but will talk your ear off if you start a conversation".  I try not to do this too often though because I'm aware of the pitfalls of the romantic notion and characterization of substance abusing creative geniuses.

Views: 51

Replies to This Discussion

Just from the gut, huh? Interesting... After all, no two brains work the same way twice. :)

On my part it's a little bit from the gut and my own noggin all together. I'm very visual when I get to writing, well, most of the time. If I can't see it through my mind's eye (AKA the term I use for my imagination), I can't really write at all...

I get to be on a roll when writing a fiction chapter or finish a poem when the air temperature around me is not distracting and in between. That has been going on for as long as I can remember. This year, winter over here in Maryland's been very snowy. Now I'm on and off Writer's Block, especially on the old PC at work. I own a bookstore, and when it's slow, I try to write something over there, not just at home.
I listen to LP's Meteora and sit on my feet.

Pressing on the toes enhances the creative parts of the brain. I learned this after I had been sitting on my feet for years and years.
I'm always listening to music when I write. Say I'm writing something really sad, I'll find a couple sad songs, put them on a playlist, and write while listening to it.
... I'm absolutely miserable. It's been a while. I haven't written anything meaningful, prose or poetry, for a couple of years. Will try to write something if the LC ever returns.
Mike A., really, that miserable huh? Ask yourself a handful of questions, it may help:

1. What is my personal style?
2. What are my interests?
3. What are my goals?
4. What point do I want to get across to readers?
5. What makes me stand out in comparison to other writers?

Not being able to write or having writers block can definitely make you miserable. I go into withdrawl syndrome if my computer isn't working right. I get anxious, irritable, restless, and if it gets real bad I even shake. Sometimes, if I have a block, I will either force myself (not recommended), or watch a really cool movie with a compelling story or plot twist. That'll get me in the mood. Have you tried listening to music while writing, or a light snack? Sometimes that works too. Maybe turn off the lights, close blinds, shut a door, clean up the room you are in, shut off the TV, and eliminate any other distractions.
Those are good tips for combating wirter's block Alexandra. I myself am a very contrary person though and so I'm going to point out some of the pitfalls with using the bits of advice you gave; not to start an arguement as they are, like I said, good bits of advice...but rather to show the other side of things (like when they spend as long talking about side effects on a prescription drug commercial as they do talking about benefits).

1. What is my personal style?
-the problem with this is that if you call it "this", it cannot be "that". Well...at least not easily. Once someone defines their "style" in whatever that may mean it becomes hard for them, when suffering a block, to break out of their own self-defined niche. It's best to allow your writing to define your style rather than have your style define your writing.

2. What are my interests?
-my interests are empowerment, ownership, accountability, and blazingly heavy metal. None of those things comes across in my writing though, as most of my writing is blatantly self-flagellating and full of blame (to myself or others). None of that would be evident given a list of my interests. The person I am and the person my writings would make me appear to be are two totally different things. Had I focused on my interests I would be writing Slayer fan fiction and self help books about taking control of your life. So I suppose your advice stands strong...provided the person using said advice realizes that the answer to this question may tell them what *not* to write about just as much as what *to* write about.

3. What are my goals?
-this one is awesome. But I'd add to it not to focus on your goals as a person, but your goals as a writer. Examine not *what* you want to write, but *why* you write at all. If you are clear about *why* you are writing in the first place, *what* to write about comes naturally from there. That's probably what you meant though. LOL.

4. What point do I want to get across to readers?
-also awesome and very important. What I've found even *more* important to analyze as a writer isn't necessarily the point you are trying to get across. Struggling with "what does this all mean" can trap you in an endless circle of editing and re-editing until you've destroyed the initial raw kernel of your idea. I find it best, in my own experience, to instead focus on what emotional reaction I am trying to illicit. All writing be it fiction, nonfiction, poetry, or a news article has one main agenda...an emotional reaction from the reader. Discover what you want me to feel and the story will write itself.

5. What makes me stand out in comparison to other writers?
-another note of caution on this one...a good story or a good piece of poetry or whatever will make you stand out from other writers because the simple fact is that most writers aren't very good. Trying to focus on "what makes you different" will sometimes distract you from what you should have in common...good grammar, good structure, and the like. Stylistically approaching writing is nice in an artsy sort of way but at the end of the day your content rather than your style should be what sets you apart. Delivery is ultra important as well, but an example of what I mean here is Burroughs. Too many people laud him as some kind of genius but he didn't even use punctuation in most of his work. That defineatly set him apart, but it also made his work painful to read. Opinions aside...Burroughs would have been worlds better if he'd stuck in a period or a comma every now and then.

On the topic of writer's block in general; most breakthroughs come while sitting at a keyboard/notebook, not while watching a movie or cleaning the yard. If you want to be a working writer, understand that it *is* work and though you have no boss and can just get up and go for a walk (not a bad idea) you also have to know that the work takes place in front of your medium...so by all means go for a walk, but then get back to writing. Looking for things to "refresh your creativity" is all well and good, but it can be an even greater distraction in itself. I know writers who've let their hobbies take over in the interest of "taking a break" only to discover that they didn't cure their writers block...they took up smoking and forgot about their writer's block in favor of painting.

I guess what I'm saying is sometimes it's okay to force it. You'll probably throw away more than half of what you produce while forceing it, but you will come out the other side ready to keep working. You should be chucking out more than half of what you produce anyways...that's what drafts are for.
I should answer these for myself... Scott, I find you to be one of the most interesting writers I've met in a long time :D

1. What is my personal style? I value plot and character development equally, and keep my attention to detail very serious and tedious. I usually like to combine several genres rather than stick to just one. My favorite combination is horror with fantasy, but I also do horror/romance, adventure, mystery, and things that are supernatural. The book I am publishing later this year is romance, horror, and supernatural all tied into one. I also favor plot twists highly, as well as more than one sub plot. I also like duo stories, or trilogies and series. The way I talk both on and off the internet, can be seen in my work, but with better grammar and a thicker vocabulary. The majority of my main characters are male, and if they are female, they usually become Mary Sues, or complete assholes. (Mary Sues are perfectly okay, in moderation). I also like to think about my stoies in the context of: "What if they were put into a movie form?" I usually write so that, if that were to awesomely happen, they could be mildly edited and keep the integrity of what has been laid out. If a detail is lost, the story will not make sense. Everything is part of the plot.

2. What are my interests? I find they way humans interact to be both compelling and fascinating. Dialogue is a big deal to me, and a fun exercise. I usually am drawn to explosions, shiny things, battle cries, cute gay guys, demonology, astrology, ghosts/spirits, religious stories even though I am atheist, and one way or another these end up in my writing. Especially my fanfiction "Sky". I like anger a lot too. Anger is people interests me, especially when it is tied to a personality disorder or mental illness. Insanity is fun for me to write about.

3. What are my goals? My largest goal is to ultimately, frighten someone, to the point where the story either dwells on them for a while due to the intensity, or it messes with their heads a little bit. I am always aiming to combine opposing genres, like making a fantasy world frightening. Fantasies are supposed to be magical and make you want to go there and experience it. My biggest goal with this is to take that away as much as possible. A story can be fantasy without a desirable world.

4. What point do I want to get across to readers? It's different with every story... Usually I have a very strong opinion inserted somewhere, and want to show it off. I like it when a reader can be drawn into a story by both emotion, like Scott, but also to feel what the characters feel, so it's almost like they are experiencing. This isn't listed as a goal, because it used to be a goal that I didn't tell anyone about, and a reader told me she had some intense mood swings while reading an older work of mine.

5. What makes me stand out in comparison to other writers? First of all, no two writers are the same. Yes, most writers are pretty crappy, but, I'm not crappy, I have a strong confidence in myself as an artist. I take an artistic approach to creative writing, the same way I would a piece of my visual art (paintings, drawings, sculptures). I am not mainstream, cliche, cheesy, or in any kind of box. I spend no less than a year on a manuscript, and the most I've spent is about five years. I don't over-edit, I instead, add new ideas to enhance what is aleady there. I firmly believe that everyone in the world has the right to read my stories, with an air of discretion since I do not write for those under the age of eighteen. My imagery is very, very graphic sometimes, but never sensational like the Saw movies.
Despite pitfalls it can lead to, still not a bad excercise. I'll go next.

1. What is my personal style?
-I write blank verse poetry that sometimes ends up rhymeing anyways. When I'm not doing that i write essay like ramblings and musings on various topics close to the central theme of internal and external conflict. I do this because I believe conflict and stress lead to growth provided the right choices are made by those involved. I like to dwell a lot on situations where I feel I made the worst choice imaginable; more out of catharsis than self-abuse.

2. What are my interests?
-I'm interested in honesty and self exploration. SOmetimes this leads people to get the wrong idea about me while erading my work, but that's okay too. I don't write to make friends or try to convey some part of myself, but rather to provoke a gut response in the people reading it to either hate or love their perception of me based on what I say and then compare themselves to that imaginary me and hopefully realize something about themselves in the process.

3. What are my goals?
-as above, but I also aim to show that angst doesn't end when you turn 19 or 20. People talk about "teen angst" all the time and make fun of it, then go on to riff on their mortgage or their stupid kids or their lousy wife or their terrible job. The most depressed people I've ever met are above the age of 30, and yet they don't want to admit they haven't really changed from their "teen angst" days and are now just flipping out about different things. I'm mnore honest than that, and my middle-aged angst is going strong.

4. What point do I want to get across to readers?
-see above. The point is that we all get pissed at ourselves or others just as often as each other. Even buddhists do it, they just calm down quicker afterwards.

5. What makes me stand out in comparison to other writers?
-I think it would be my complete and utter lack of attention to what makes me stand out from other writers. I couldn't even make a list because I don't pay overmuch attention to my own writing. Were I writing fiction that would all be different by necessity, but as it stands I don't find myself saying things to myself like, "Self, you wrote that stanze very much like Saul Williams when you should have opted for a more Byronesque approach" or "Self, you aren't really writing in your groove today". I have no groove, and that's the point. I am free to let the words take any shape they please and let the chips fall where they may.

In the end each person who reads something I write thinks it's about something different, like six blind men trying to describe an elephant. And if they know me...they invariably think it's probably about them.
I know I can write any time I want. The title is 'when I write best', which is when I'm miserable. I don't really write all that often anymore because I am very happy with where I am. My best works all come from being just... fucking miserable. As miserable as I could possibly get.

But I will read your suggestions very carefully and see if they do help me to write better when I'm not close to gouging my eyes out. =P

Thank you!

Alexandra Nofi said:
Mike A., really, that miserable huh? Ask yourself a handful of questions, it may help:

1. What is my personal style?
2. What are my interests?
3. What are my goals?
4. What point do I want to get across to readers?
5. What makes me stand out in comparison to other writers?

Not being able to write or having writers block can definitely make you miserable. I go into withdrawl syndrome if my computer isn't working right. I get anxious, irritable, restless, and if it gets real bad I even shake. Sometimes, if I have a block, I will either force myself (not recommended), or watch a really cool movie with a compelling story or plot twist. That'll get me in the mood. Have you tried listening to music while writing, or a light snack? Sometimes that works too. Maybe turn off the lights, close blinds, shut a door, clean up the room you are in, shut off the TV, and eliminate any other distractions.
Oh, yeah... that is what the thread is about... I misread.

Glad I could still be helpful, regardless!

Mike A said:
I know I can write any time I want. The title is 'when I write best', which is when I'm miserable. I don't really write all that often anymore because I am very happy with where I am. My best works all come from being just... fucking miserable. As miserable as I could possibly get.

But I will read your suggestions very carefully and see if they do help me to write better when I'm not close to gouging my eyes out. =P

Thank you!

Alexandra Nofi said:
Mike A., really, that miserable huh? Ask yourself a handful of questions, it may help:

1. What is my personal style?
2. What are my interests?
3. What are my goals?
4. What point do I want to get across to readers?
5. What makes me stand out in comparison to other writers?

Not being able to write or having writers block can definitely make you miserable. I go into withdrawl syndrome if my computer isn't working right. I get anxious, irritable, restless, and if it gets real bad I even shake. Sometimes, if I have a block, I will either force myself (not recommended), or watch a really cool movie with a compelling story or plot twist. That'll get me in the mood. Have you tried listening to music while writing, or a light snack? Sometimes that works too. Maybe turn off the lights, close blinds, shut a door, clean up the room you are in, shut off the TV, and eliminate any other distractions.

RSS

© 2014   Created by LINKIN PARK.

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service