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The writing post that was titled “It’s the ‘tearing my hair’ out post.” October 18, 2014

Posted by phoenixaeon in MA, Try my tiger fist on for style you dirty writer's block, writing.
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Princi says, "Take that, writer's block!"

Princi says, “Take that, writer’s block!”

Earlier this week I tapped out a post whilst in the throes of writerly frustration. I never got around to posting it. I was up the wall with writer’s block, bouncing my head like a basketball off the floor. I was at the end of my rope. Here is what it said:

Why? Just why? Why did I sign up for the creative writing. Because my creativity was eaten by the cat and my writing is worse than my doctor’s. Argh!

 

Okay. Well. I won’t lie, I have (kind of) enjoyed the writing module so far. I’ve had some good critical feedback on the little exercises I’ve had to do, but the ability to spin any of the pieces out into something bigger is eluding me right now. I think I’ve got a solid start for one story, the only problem now is working out where it’s going to go. I am unbreakably chained to self-doubt and it’s strangling the words. And for another confession – I am seriously thinking of quitting. And I hate quitting. The whole situation has me stressed to the eyeballs, and when you add into the equation that I need to have something ready for peer review in two weeks, well… *cue retching and tears*

 

Why can’t I break out of this funk? My syncopation is out and my words have no rhythm. My writing is a dead beat. Hmph. Off to pen dancing classes, with some laptop tip-tapping classes for added value.

 

I decided it was time I took a step back. The two short stories that I was pinballing between were just not working – or wouldn’t work in the time frame I had available. One needs a whole truckload of planning and logistical structuring, the other one needs work on the voice (I think the lyrical tone is going to end up too cloying at the moment, but I like the idea of it. Still playing around with the option of breaking with the POV and switching to another character, but we’ll see). I ended up ditching both – for now.

 

I opened my book at a fresh blank page one night just before bed. It was probably Tuesday night. I started scribbling words that were nagging at the back of my head; words that had started to spill from one of the first writing exercises I randomly chose before the writing course began. They were like little evil Ashs – you know the ones from Army of Darkness who escape from the broken mirror – and they were jabbing me with pointy things. They were demanding to be heard. I only jotted about 150 words that night, but it was a beginning. The basic idea grew as I continued and I had no idea where I was going to end up. It was a complete seat-of-my-pants write, something that’s not ever really happened to me before. And today, I ended up with a first draft. Yay!

 

I’m not sure Princi was too chuffed because I asked her if she would read it. I needed a child’s reaction to the story. Of course, I was ‘making’ her read something. She wasn’t pleased – especially considering that one of the stories I’d ditched was something she wanted me to continue with. But she moaningly read it and said that she enjoyed it. I’m hoping she wasn’t just saying that to spare my feelings. But she did leave me with one critical positive from her reading: I asked her what age she thought the character telling the story was. She said, “Ten.” I took a deep breath and thanked the blue-haired fairy! That was the age I was aiming for with the character.

 

I am chuffed beyond belief to have a full story written (however open the ending might be!). I haven’t been able to break from my writer’s block for years – I think the last time I wrote a full story was 2009. I am hoping this trend will continue and that I can tippy-tap something longer than 3,000 words in the not to distant future. And that’s not including the fast approaching dissertation, although there’s still a year before I get going with that. So, with that happy relief, I shall get back to the studying – I still haven’t written this week’s writing exercise!

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Comments»

1. Metajugglamum - October 19, 2014

Ally Ally Ally don’t you dare give up. You are brilliant and your writing reflects the amazing person you are. Love you and love your stuff. If you’re in a hole, just think of that – you have a permanent fan in DE. xx

phoenixaeon - October 21, 2014

Awwww, ta! I haven’t given up yet. I don’t plan to, either. I’ve just got to control the stress! *hugs*


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