How do you come up with the ideas you want to write about? Do you read a book and get ideas? Do you listen to music for inspiration? Do you use your own life events?
For the last two years, every time (and I really mean every. single. time.) I went for a run or I worked out, I would fantasize about the same scenario. It sounds silly to me and maybe this whole thing is silly. Recently I told a friend a little bit about this reoccurring fantasy and they told me I should start writing it down and see if I could turn it into a book. This is one of those friends who is perpetually optimistic and thinks you could conquer the anything because he believes that much in you. Everyone should have a friend like this!!
It wasn’t long before I started writing before I came to a huge roadblock and felt completely stuck. All weekend I have been stuck with this one aspect of my book. Thinking it over, I realized I had a HUGE plot hole. For days, I have tried to figure out a solution and nothing came. Finally I gave up and went for a swim and the darn solution jumped out at me. Ha! I don’t know why I didn’t do it sooner and in retrospect, it kind of makes sense. The book idea came to me via endorphins and working out. Why wouldn’t solutions come the same way 🙂
Now that I have the solution, I am at a lack for words. And the more I try to pull something onto paper, I worse my writing becomes. And to me, that’s the worst. I hate how I have this great (at least to me) idea and I am unable to explain it well enough. So what do I do when I can’t write… I read. I read a LOT!! I have read three long books in three days. And I fear the longer I don’t write, the worse it will be.
Searching the web, I found some hints for overcoming the dreaded Roadblock.
Exercise: Surprise, Surprise, this one came from me. Endorphins help everything look brighter and better. It would only make sense that endorphins help give you a better outlook on something you’re not feeling confident on. Give it a try, what’s the worse that can happen. My favorite is running. I do my best thinking while I’m running 🙂
Just Write: Write anything and everything, but just write. I like the saying that if you don’t use it, you lose it. I have read that if you write a little bit every day, you will become a better writer. I think that’s true but I also think you can get burned out easily. During one of my creative writing classes my teacher would set the timer for ten minutes and we were required to write continually for that period of time. It didn’t matter if you write, ‘what am I going to write. I don’t know what to write. Just write.’ over and over for ten minters. Although I truly doubt that will happen. I remember doing this and some days, it really worked to getting the creative juices flowing. Give it a try and it might help!
Move: Maybe a new location would help. Sometimes when I get stuck on a character- what does he/she look like? Mannerisms? I will go to a new location, usually a coffee shop, and I will people watch. I found the mall to be over stimulation and too loud to concentrate. But a coffee shop not only provides inspiration but also smells delicious!! Just an idea..
Read: The suggestion is to read something you have already written. I think this is a great idea but what if you are a first time writer?? Well, I think just reading can help in many cases- It helps you see how other authors phrase things, the structure they use, and even how detailed they get.
Writing Exercises: Write something that has nothing to do with your story. Look up a fun writing exercise topic and just attempt to write. An old teacher of mine once had me pick up a book, open it randomly to any page and point to a line. I was supposed to use the line I pointed to and write something completely new using that line. I ended up picking a line from George Orwell’s 1984 and I had so much fun writing it. I think the same thing could be done with using your favorite quote or song lyric.
Blog: I guess this is the route I am going today. Write in your blog and hope for the best. And I do kind of feel better about my writing.
Get Support: I think it is easy to get down on yourself and wonder if you are wasting your time or if this idea you are writing will ever turn into anything. Sometimes all we need is acceptance and someone to tell us that you have a great idea or this chapter is awesome. Maybe just enough encouragement to keep moving forward.
I have no idea if any of this helps but here it is. Hope you have a great day 🙂