Archive | Beware of Run-On Sentences RSS feed for this section

15 cures for writer’s block. (because i’m such an expert on these things.)

28 Feb

writers-block21Not really. And I have about 5, maybe 6 “cures” to share. All about the misleading titles, don’t you know? Anyway, as I sat on the metro this morning, being shuttled towards the OK Corral, it dawned on me that I should never complain about writer’s block. Not with the plethora of possible stories all around me provided by the various walks of life on the metro. One afternoon some months ago, for example, I watched two women chat with one another across from me and was immediately fascinated with them. I don’t know what it was; they just seemed full of energy and verve and were extremely entertaining to watch. Enter the trusty smartphone, which I used to viciously take notes about them, then enter the short story I began to write based on those two interesting ladies. See? Writer’s what? Nevertheless, there are times when yes, ideas and inspiration are everywhere, but the creative brain still doesn’t seem to connect from idea to story. Well, fellow creative writers and other such artists, here are a few things that seem to help me, not that you asked or anything:

Music. Put on your headphones. Lean back. Close your eyes. Regardless of whatever you’re listening to, whether Rachmaninoff or Backstreet Boys, I guarantee that the pen will start moving, the fingers will start tapping on the keyboard–there will be writing. It never fails for me. Not quite sure what it is about music and the written word for me, but the two seem to go hand in hand. And forget it if I’m listening to any songs by this guy. He makes me crazy. I want to write and paint and traverse rivers. Goodness. In fact…

I think this song embodies everything about the struggle of making art. Apparently, the song itself came from a place of frustration and writing the final track for the Born in the USA album. It’s pure beauty.

Keep your eyes open. I won’t rehash it more than I already have, but there are trillions of people all around us, full of intrigue. Stare at them. (Carefully. A newspaper or book helps if you need to look away quickly.) Watch them. Imagine. Write.

Read. Good writers being good readers aside, I think it’s important to also surround yourself with everything from newspapers to small ads in the back of magazines. You never know when a story will jump out at you.

Know the Difference…between laziness and being blocked. Because I gets lazy. The work is there, the ideas are there, but there’s a Golden Girls marathon on, and I don’t feel like writing…you get my drift. The marked difference, I think, is how you feel. I’ve been in a place where I could not write. Nothing helped; creativity was next to gone; I even shed tears about it. It was weird, crippling, and utterly frustrating, being that for most of my life, writing is all I’ve done.. Conversely, I once peered through some of the pieces I was working on and bypassed all of that for a nap on the couch and some channel surfing. Yep. Major difference.

Art. You see them when you visit the museum or art galleries. They sit on benches facing paintings/sculptures/etc., staring intently at the works of art as they write/sketch/doodle into notebooks and tablets. In my mind, some of them have come to get the creative juices flowing. And I’d like to think that art inspiring art is the way to do it.

Those Pesky Delusions of Grandeur. Ok. Perhaps like me, you think every piece of fiction you create should be the next winner of the O. Henry Award for Fiction? So you’re waiting for an elevated, complex plot that trumps the so-called simple idea you have in your head about a dog who finds a pot of gold in the backyward? Yes? I once had a college pal and fellow writer (amazing, that guy) tell me, after I complained about writer’s block, “I don’t believe you. The ideas are there. You just don’t like them.” At the time, I wanted to kick him in the toes. Deep down, perhaps he was right. Well, not perhaps; he was correct, being that I had just mentioned a few ideas playing around in my head. The point is–and I constantly deal with this–work with what you have. An idea is an idea. It may not be the next piece shortlisted for the Orange Prize for Fiction (oh, I know ALL the awards for fiction, believe me), but it’s all yours. Work with it.

Six ideas, not 15, but I think you get where I’m going with this. It’s really advice to myself: just try to keep writing.

Anyone out there have tips to combat writer’s block?

So I Don’t Forget

28 Dec

Welcome? Not really, because I doubt that many eyes will visit this little nook within the web world. Anyway, that’s not entirely a concern–I’m doing this as a form of self-discipline. You see, I’m a “writer.” (Get used to the quotes.) But I hardly write anymore. Therefore, in an effort to somehow keep at it, this is a little exercise to keep what’s left of my creative brain–largely burned to a crisp after years of technical writing and utter boredom–going. So I Don’t Forget: forget my love of words, of prose, of putting it all together.

Promises I’m going to hopefully keep:

1) Write something every day.

2) Don’t be frustrated when what you produce isn’t worthy of an A+ sticker, much less a Pulitzer or The New Yorker (applicable for times when I feel like sharing my work).

3) Yeah, about Promise #2: be realistic. You’re not going to win a Pulitzer next month. The chances that you’ll make it to the New Yorker are, well, currently slim. (One day, one day…) Right now, re-develop your love for writing; work on the craft, then think about those other things.

4) Seriously, Girley, write EVERY DAY.

And so, I’m going to express myself in the ways I know how (journaling, thinking aloud, getting my thoughts out there) and in a few other ways (mild ranting and raving, presenting my work every once in a while). Let’s hope this thing works.



Sincerely, Taj

Dear World, I have stuff to say, so get cozy. Here, I've got cupcakes.

Fully Awake and Alive

A collection of poetry and essays on politics, social justice and the condition of humanity

Kristen Hope Mazzola

Everyone has a story; this is mine


When all fails, write a poem. You might succeed in that, so what's there to lose?

Dear Husband|Dear Wife|Dear Baby

Little somethings to one another

Traipsing After Jane

The Writing Life of Pamela Aidan

Welcome to My Empty Nest

Musings from Mama Bird


Conquering the döner kebab at a time


Have you finished that book yet?

The Victoria/Italia Project

Finding My Way Back


Learning the importance of self-worth

Bucket List Publications

Indulge- Travel, Adventure, & New Experiences

The Daily Post

The Art and Craft of Blogging

%d bloggers like this: