Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Insecure Writer's Support Group: A Room With No Windows


So today is my first post for the Insecure Writer's Support Group hosted by Mr. Alex J. Cavanaugh.

Today I wanted to talk about something that's been plaguing me for a while. Maybe the last couple of months.

I'm stuck.

But not in the way you would think. The inspiration is there. The ideas are there. The words are there. I just can't seem to get them out.

Last Friday I touched on the subject of how cluttered spaces can create a cluttered mind. Well, that's how my mind has been feeling lately. Cluttered.

There is a serious game of table tennis going on in a windowless room with no doors in the confined spaces of my brain. These words go back and forth, each one ricocheting off the other, colliding with the next new onslaught of "ah-hah's" and "I should do that!".

And there they bounce, with no where to go, not even a small sliver of light in the darkness to provide any release. I sit down each night, and face my screen... overwhelmed, excited, nervous.... and then...

...nothing.

My fingers freeze. The room shuts down. Sentences which made perfect sense three hours before now exist in fragments, each one blending into the next, until it's all a blur.

I know what's causing it. I'm stressed beyond words right now. Too stressed to believe in those very words that keep me going, help me make sense of the daily craziness, of things outside of my control... the ones that normally keep the stress at bay.

Maybe I put too much pressure on them. Maybe I'm not putting enough...

Okay, I'm going to leave you there, because this post is already long enough as it is, and I know there are many more to go through... but pop back here on Friday when we'll explore various ways I've found helpful for dealing with this.

Thanks for listening--er--reading guys, and thank you to Alex, for being the driving force behind this wonderful idea!

Please do share, have you ever experienced this? Have you found yourself stuck lately?

22 comments:

Miranda Hardy said...

Well, I hope things get better soon, and you burn the clutter. I'm sure we've all been there, and I'm sure you feel better having expressed it.

Leigh Ann said...

What a perfect metaphor for EXACTLY WHAT IS HAPPENING IN MY BRAIN RIGHT NOW.

Obviously, I don't know how to break the blockage. Here's hoping we both do soon, though.

Jan Morrison said...

Yes, I've been there. I'm not there right now - my life is spinning out of control in many ways - but in my writing, my hands are on the wheel and I'll drive through whatever is on my path! I bet you're not quite up to suggestions but I'm an old broad so I don't hear so good! Write through the shit storm. Don't even worry about whether your words make sense - just keep writing, one word after another. Give yourself a completely do-able time frame - a half hour a day and keep your fingers moving even if it is complete gibberish.
much energy to you, I'm sending - hey I'm Yoda!!!
Jan Morrison

Annalisa Crawford said...

Years ago I tried using a dictaphone (okay, I know there's probably a 21st century equivalent). As the words came into my head, I recorded them. It removed the time between thinking and writing it down.

vanyelmoon said...

I like the tape recorder idea. Iusually have break throughs when I am far from anywhere I can write them down. They even have nifty pens with recorders in them that I could keep in my purse.

Brainstorming sessions with classic pen and paper sometimes help me as well. Sometimes it is more comforting that the white computer screen and flashing cursor :)

Summer Ross said...

I can't say I have been stuck with actual ideas in my head and not being able to get them down. even if they sound crappy I write them down anyways. even if they go nowhere- I have a diary just for thoughts on stories or ideas for new ones.

Barbara Kloss said...

Looks like we were on the same page this morning. Weird!

And this is why IWSG is wonder (thank you Alex!)

KEEP. AT. IT. They'll come around!

Nadja Notariani said...

Ha! Great wording....'Cluttered space = cluttered mind'. I'll use that when my family tries that 'just relax, Mom...you're practically OCD or something...'.
I cannot work with a cluttered space or mind, either.

Hope you get all cleared out soon. I'm anxious to read your 'How-To' post on Friday...~ Nadja

Tricia Clasen said...

"My fingers freeze. The room shuts down. Sentences which made perfect sense three hours before now exist in fragments, each one blending into the next, until it's all a blur."

This spoke to me. I'm glad we have each other to lean on.

Cynthia Lee said...

Yup. I know that feeling. I usually go for a very long walk with my Ipod when this happens. I try to shut my brain down and sink into the rhythm.

Oftentimes, an inspiration or plot point or whatever will bubble up.

Just a suggestion.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Maybe you should have a recorder with you and say those awesome sentences aloud as you think of them. Even if you only record ten minutes worth of that, when you sit down to type them, it might inspire your brain to continue with more.

Raquel.Somatra said...

Absolutely. And yes, I feel like this very much lately. It's like pulling teeth to get myself to edit this novel. I have to add it to my "to do" list along with my other household chores! But it feels so good to be able to check it off the list and be done with it. You're not alone in this!

Liza said...

When I am stuck I try very hard to sit down and write through it. Meaning, I don't write what I want to write...I just write whatever comes. Sometimes it's even about the sound the clock makes when it is ticking. Lots of times that loosens me up, and when I write it does help drain the stress.

jbchicoine said...

For sure, distraction and stress are huge hindrances to writing--I'm experiencing both right now, veering more toward distraction. I simply can't seem to concentrate. Maybe what you'll write about on Friday will help! Meanwhile, perhaps a nap or glass of pinot noir and dark chocolate would help! ;)

Marta Szemik said...

When I'm stuck, I put myself into the scene and the characters mind. I think to myself: "What would happen now?". I heard someone say once, when in doubt, have a new character walk into the room with a gun. Hasn't worked for me, but I got the idea...
Hope your fingers thaw soon...
Marta

Mina Burrows said...

Clutter doesn't help when you're stuck - that's for sure. I feel like I'm living in a constant state of clutter. I can't stand it. You're making me want to go clean. Drat... I'll go get my mop.

Sheri L. Swift said...

Yes, many times. Sometimes I have to allow myself a few days off and get out and about to get new inspiration.

I wanted to let you know that I have a blog award for you: http://sherilswift.blogspot.com/2011/10/irresistably-sweet-blogger-award.html ; )

Janet Johnson said...

I am SO there! I have this book dying to get out, and I've been forcing words onto the page, but they don't sound even half as good as they did in my head.

Glad to know I'm not alone. I look forward to friday's post!

Lynda R Young said...

Yes! I have experienced this. A break sometimes helps me. I give myself permission not to produce any words for a day or two and then I get back to it and usually I'm fine again. Fresh air also helps.

Jeremy Bates said...

October 6, 2011 at 9:05 pm

i think blockage is simply something not sitting right in ur subconscious... i know that sounds obvious, but ive been stuck and have had no idea why... then i delete, say, an entire chapter than wasn't quite right, and suddenly im ready to write again
cheers!
jeremy

“Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do”

-Steve Jobs

Theresa Milstein said...

Getting stuck is no fun. There's no rhyme or reason as to why I go through a productive writing period and why I don't write awhile. And I never know why I get to a part when I don't know what's coming next in my story.

They say to just write through it, even if it's dreck. We're supposed to learn from anything we write. Easier said than done?

I hope you find your way soon.

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