Posted by: justasked | March 9, 2012

Literary Constipation ~ Overcoming Writer’s Block

Some authors may have deadlines, others may be writing their memoirs or personal blog posts.  Whatever category you lump yourself into, something in this post may be of value to help you become (literary-speaking)…..unconstipated!

The mind is an incredible piece of biological technology that the average human being barely even comprehends.  It has requirements and needs (rhythms, cycles, inputs and outputs).  Unfortunately all too many of us make demands of it, rarely understand how it works, and get upset when it doesn’t function as expected—just like we do our computers.  Somehow though, we’re more forgiving with our computer technology than we are with our humanity!

Preparing Yourself to Write

Being the creative sort, you’ve armed yourself with a trove of favorite standbys, you’re special writing utensils, and yellow stickys with notes collected throughout the day when fleeting thoughts race through your mind’s theater.  Another handy tool you may use and take with you (via computer or smart phone) is Evernote.   Of course, the scene is not set without a cup or glass of your favorite beverage, sometimes a light snack and maybe some mood inducing music…..or not!

When You Suddenly have Nothing to Say

It seemed when I lived in Washington D.C., every time I needed to be someplace in a hurry, traffic would come to a grinding halt! What can you do? Well, after getting stuck in one of those jams more than once, you quickly learn to bring along some of your favorite music, a good book to read or some form of electronic entertainment.

The same dilemma happens to writers.  Except, instead of being in the middle of the road, away from a bathroom, your mind was all geared up to download the next best seller and instead, you have EBS (Empty Brain Syndrome).   Frustrating isn’t it?  Over the past several days on your mental pad (mind space partitioned for your writing efforts), you may have watched a movie or two; listened to music that would make Yanni stop in his tracks; endured unexpected stormy weather; received emotional news of some sort; or met for coffee at a local TweetUp….all of those life events that help marinate and add to the flavor of your story.  Just when you thought that everything had jelled together … the feeling’s gone! The play of mental images doesn’t make sense, and you’re really starting to doubt that you had anything useable or interesting in the first place!

Don’t Stress or Get Upset

Turtles don’t come out of their shells on demand!  Your writing Mojo has just taken a short sabbatical and restricted your access to the partitioned writing mind space.  I’ve read several articles doing research for writing this post and there are many who say there’s a “cause” for it.  Many of these articles basically tell you it’s your fault!  It’s nothing more than some psychological fancy way of saying you have:

Fear of failure or success
Pushed yourself too hard
Used up all of your inspiration
Illness or depression
Finance or relationship problems

Be Your Own Best Friend, Get Up and Walk Away

I’m a believer that our computer technology is slowly evolving to imitate what biology has mastered.  The body is a very complex work of chemical & physiological technology.  It evolves and becomes better with each version/generation or offspring (iPad2 move over iPad3’s here!)  As we’ve learned with computers, sometimes they get stupid, lose their mind  or give you a blue screen of death!

There’s only one thing to do—POWER DOWN and RESTART.  So, when you experience writer’s block, quit fighting and doubting yourself!  Leave your house, go outside for a walk…nature is calling you—giving you a blue screen on your mind’s monitor.  I really couldn’t be more serious!  A walk outside is what you need…not looking for answers or walking and staring at the ground with a furrowed brow—intentionally LOOK for Nature!!  What birds do you see, are there leaves budding, flowers blooming?  Can you smell the scent of the earth with spring’s sun warming the soil?  Do you hear the birds or the sound of running water?  Plunge your mind into purposed and focused engagement with nature.  When you return to the task at hand, if it still doesn’t come easily to you…take a look at the list of “causes” and write a paragraph on the one you think may be your culprit.  If its still not flowing, review some of your previous writings from an editor’s perspective.  Writer’s block is your body’s way of telling you it needs a reboot!

Posted by: theinspiredscribe | March 3, 2012

Gratitude and James Rollins

I would be remiss if I didn’t give thanks to the man who actually inspired me to persist at writing.

In 2005, I had wanted to write for a long time. Actually I had wanted to write from the age of eleven. ( I even cut pieces of paper and stapled them together to make them look like a book!) At that time the lines were empty but my ambition and desire wasn’t. Years went by, projects were started but because of a lack of confidence and the fear of rejection, they were almost always abandoned. It wasn’t from a lack of encouragement from friends, family and colleagues that my confidence and fear was founded, but from myself.

Many years later, I read one of James Rollins novels entitled Sandstorm. I loved it so much that I looked for more of his books and then one day decided to visit his website. There I saw his biography and read his Q&A. I soon realized that he was a grounded, approachable writer. He seemed like someone I could relate to.

I gathered my courage and sent him an e-mail, outlining my problems with starting a book and a request for tips to help me. To be honest, I really didn’t expect an answer, only because he was a busy author and probably wouldn’t even see my e-mail with all of the correspondence I was sure he would have to deal with.

To my absolute delight, a couple of days later, James sent me an e-mail back and to me, the words were like gold. He gave me recommendations on how many pages to write a day and to start with a scene and go from there. These were just a couple of the numerous tips he gave me, and I was thrilled and honoured that he took the time out of his busy days to write back to me.

Because of that e-mail, and the wisdom and tips in it, I followed his advice. For the first time I didn’t abandon my project.

I have made leaps and bounds since then. completing two books, working on a third and I feel I owe it all to James Rollins. To me, he made the craft of writing a real achievement to strive for, and helped me find the inner strenth and confidence to finish what I started.

To persist.

I realized that there was only one person stopping me.

Me.

He made a huge impact, and a life changing difference.

To James Rollins I say , Thank You,

Jonathon

Posted by: theinspiredscribe | February 29, 2012

Welcome to theinspiredscribe

I am multi-genre writer, whose works range from Science Fiction to Thriller/Suspense. I have completed three novels and am now working on my fourth, as well as a project on Autism. My goal is to be published and share my works with the world!

On this site I plan to exhibit excerpts on my own works, promote other authors through reviews, interviews, and guest blogs as well as try and provide practical, tried and true tips for the struggling writer.

I am theinspired scribe!

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