Why is it that no matter how hard you try ‘life’ always seems to want to get in the way? I am a writer, I’ve told everyone that is what I am doing all day, every day. Yet somehow that never seems to mean anything to anyone but me. I don’t have a proper job so I must be doing nothing or sitting on my ass watching TV all day!
Admittedly, there are times when I watch TV to give my brain a little break whilst I’m eating lunch, but the majority of the time I am actually busy. I might be writing or editing, reading, researching something for my book or working on the plot or characterisation. I might even be interacting on social media or updating my blog. But I am certainly not ‘free’ or busy doing nothing!
So why is it that when I say ‘I’m busy’ people think that is code for ‘I’m not really busy, I’m just saying I am because I’m otherwise unemployed!’ and feel the need to invite themselves around for coffee or suggest doing lunch to give me something to do, because let’s face it – you’re just saying you’re busy aren’t you?!
I find life so frustrating sometimes. All I want is to be left in peace with my computer and my imagination, and perhaps a bottomless cup of hot coffee, so that I can allow my creativity to flow from my fingertips uninterrupted. Yet that always seems to be too much to ask. There are endless people (usually the same ones on a loop) vying for my attention. I don’t mean to be selfish, I do want to see you, honestly I do, but I just need some time to myself right now. Just for today. Please. So if it’s not too much trouble, and it won’t put you out, then no, not today, thank you!
© Abigayle Blood
When I first heard that there was a new biographical film being made about Princess Diana’s life I expected a compelling, powerful story about a British female icon. I could not have been more wrong. Instead, we have some flimsy love story with Diana given the leading role as the typical helpless female in need of rescue. Somehow even a woman like Diana, who is well known for all the amazing things she accomplished, has been transformed into nothing more than a weak puppy-dog desperate for love.
What is it about strong women that filmmakers are so afraid of? Are we not allowed to know our own minds, have the courage of our convictions and be independent enough to accomplish our dreams without the aid of a man? We aren’t all damsels in distress desperate for a male hero to save us with happy-ever-afters. Diana was proof of that. She did charity work, helped the sick and dying, worked with the homeless, drug addicts and the elderly. She campaigned against the use of landmines and influenced the signing if the Ottawa Treaty. She did all this in spite of her divorce from Prince Charles and the way she was treated by the Royal Family, effectively becoming a single mother with two young children. She was constantly battling the press and public opinion on what she should and should not be doing, thinking, saying… and so on. Yet she died a strong independent woman that would not be told what to do or how to live by anyone.
I am so frustrated that a woman as iconic as Diana, historically known for her strength and charisma in the face of so much adversity, has been reduced to a pathetic ‘Mills and Boon’ character; that such a powerful woman of our time has been subverted into a non-threatening fiction when she could have (and should have) been so much more; this is a tragedy for both female-empowerment and for Diana’s legacy – a car-crash of a movie that should never have been made!
“Write the kind of story you would like to read. People will give you all sorts of advice about writing, but if you are not writing something you like, no one else will like it either.”
Meg Cabot (via writingquotes)
“A book is really like a lover. It arranges itself in your life in a way that is beautiful.”
Maurice Sendak (via bookmania)
“I am profoundly uncertain how to write. I know what I love and what I like, because it’s a direct passionate response. But when I write, I’m very uncertain whether it’s good enough. That is, of course, the writer’s agony.”
Susan Sontag (via ilivetowriteandinspire)
“We all know writing is a reclusive, lonely endeavour. It just is. But nobody writes alone.”
Iain Reid (via writingquotes)
“Number one rule for fiction: Coincidence can be used to worsen a character’s predicament, but never to solve his problems.”
Vivian Vande Velde (via writingquotes)
“A book is the most effective weapon against intolerance and ignorance.”
Lyndon Baines Johnson (via samswish)
“There is no friend as loyal as a book.”
Ernest Hemingway (via tumblerete)
“Many a book is like a key to unknown chambers within the castle of one’s own self.”
Franz Kafka (via silencemadenietzschecry)
“Words can be like X-rays if you use them properly — they’ll go through anything. You read and you’re pierced.”
Aldous Huxley, Brave New World (via onesunnycloudyday)
“Start writing, no matter what. The water does not flow until the faucet is turned on.”
Louis L’amour (via writers-conflict)
Not all writer’s block is created equal..
1. The Mental Block
This is when you get trapped by your own thinking. To help this form of block go do/watch/see something new, take a break, and ask yourself “what if”. What if your character did something else? What if this event didn’t happen or is something else happened instead?
2. The Emotional Barrier
You may be uncomfortable with something you are currently writing. Or maybe you are scared about how this will reflect on you, what you will learn about yourself, or feel your subject matter is embarrassing or weird. A good way to deal with this kind of block is just to write through. Push yourself to new limits, open yourself up to new options and horizons. It will help take your work to new depths.
“It’s like getting into a cold swimming pool — you can dive in head first, or inch your way in. Either way, it’s going to be bone-chillingly cold. But once you’ve got over the initial shock, done a few lengths, and got into the flow of it, you may be surprised to discover how invigorated you feel.” – MarkMcGuinness
A block may come from having too much, instead of too little. Maybe you feel paralyzed by too many ideas, options, and obligations. To help this type of block, I recommend simplifying. Keep a journal to store excess ideas and get them out of your head. Then focus on the core of your story. You can always add things during revisions.
Whatever the type of writer’s block you experience, the important thing is to just keep at it until you break through it. Don’t give up. Keep writing!