Friday, November 9, 2012

Guest Post by Evelyn Robinson

Hello everyone,

Today, I have a guest post from Evelyn Robinson. She contacted me about wanting to add some content to my blog, and I think what she came up with is pretty interesting. Let me know what you think below, and thank you Evelyn!


From Notes Into Novels – How To Get Your Creativity Working

Every aspiring writer dreads the inevitable bout of writer's block, but don't despair. There are ways to get your creativity flowing again, and none of them involve staring at your laptop screen and quietly weeping.

Why not give one of these tips a try?

Use technology

One of the best ways to come up with ideas is to be out and about. After all, who hasn't had a brilliant idea in the middle of queuing for coffee? However, you risk looking pretentious by pulling out a pen and paper wherever you go. Think about getting a Dictaphone so you can record a little message to yourself, or even make notes while driving. If you have an iPhone, then you don't even need to invest in new technology, there are plenty of apps to help you with taking down ideas on the move. From the basic voice recorder and notes programs that are already installed on your phone, to more advanced apps such as N+OTES. This allows you to keep different folders with different projects in, and even flip through the pages, perfect for those who are slightly scatterbrained and need to organise their ideas. If you're the kind of person that finds it easier to vocalise your ideas than to write them, software like Dragon Dictation can help. You speak into your iPhone and your words appear on screen. Perfect for those who are getting tired of typing.

Make a schedule

Unless you're a best-selling author already, you will probably have a day job and a million other commitments to think about. Unfortunately, all these activities going on in your brain tend to melt into one, leaving your creative brain sadly neglected. By scheduling time away from work, family and other distractions, you are making a serious commitment to writing, and hopefully this will encourage you to sit down and get some words out. When it comes to your scheduled time, you may not feel hugely motivated, but you should get some kind of words onto the screen. Even if it's just Freewriting, at least you've done something, and it'll warm up your brain, getting it used to writing at a certain time. See it kind of like a part-time job. Between certain hours you can't see family, do housework or go out because you're at 'work'.

Collaborate

There's nothing like talking to a fellow writer to develop some creative ideas. If you don't have a creative writers group in your local area, then just grab a lit-loving buddy and discuss your work over a few espressos. Not only can you gauge people's reactions to your ideas, but they might be able to find a new angle that you hadn't thought of before. In return, hearing about their work can be both inspiring and motivating to you. You can even make writing buddies online. Use Google Docs to upload your work, and you can both make real time changes while having an online discussion.

Get some exercise

Not just the physical kind either, although that can get your brain working too. Writing exercises are often taught in creative writing degrees, and they are simple, fun ways to kick your imagination into gear. For example, taking a random list of words and giving yourself ten minutes to write a short story about them. Yes, the results will probably be surreal, but the important thing here is to get yourself writing.

NaNoWriMo and beyond

Many writers enjoy the motivation that participating in National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) can bring. You sign up and pledge to write 50,000 words in 30 days, the length of a short novel. With support tools and forums on the site, it can be a useful exercise, but don't feel that you need to wait for it to come around in November. All you really need to do is set yourself targets for every day, whether it's a certain word count, a couple of pages or an entire chapter. If you can get friends to join you in this challenge, then even better.

The best way to overcome writer's block is to relax. Learn the difference between being motivated and being hard on yourself. Nobody can be creative every day of their lives, so sometimes taking a break and looking through your work when you're refreshed is the best option of all.

6 comments:

  1. While I can't say I have writer's block, I haven't been focusing my attention on my writing this year, and this post has some fantastic ideas. I'm definitely going to have to implement some of them.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Fie upon writer's block! It sucks!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Great post..very helpful information
    Thanks for sharing.
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    ReplyDelete
  4. Such a wonderful post. Thanks for the share. It was very interesting and informative.
    Estetik

    ReplyDelete
  5. ‘philanthropic + epiphany’ (=so much to give + vision):
    ~let these two words be the start of your journey~

    I looove RITErs;
    I looove giving'm new opportunities
    for thots/ideas/structural integrity,
    taking'm in a completely-new-direction:

    Why else does a moth fly FROM the night
    than to a bold, attractive candle Light??
    Don’t let His extravagant Brilliance be extinguished.
    You’re creative, yes?
    Then, fly-away with U.S. to the antidote…

    Whether you obtain moralityB4mortality to wiseabove
    or just glean tantalizing specimens for thy next best seller,
    you shall find in our blogs a lotta (subliminal) moxie
    which has taken this sinfull mortal yeeeeers to compile!
    I lay it ALL out for you, dear, with All-Star-Oxygems:

    Wouldn’t ya love an endless eternity
    of aplomBombs falling on thy indelible cranium?
    An XtraXcitinXpose with no zooillogical-expiration-date?
    An IQ much higher than K2 all-go-rhythm?
    An anti-establishment, savvy victory +
    avant-guarde-humility =
    you’re promptly astonished, ain’tcha?
    withe extraordinarily explosion of maelstrom mellowdramatic??
    Here’s what the exquisite, prolific GODy sed
    (with a most-excellent-detector of bull§ht):

    “Faith, hope, and love,
    the greatest of these is love –
    jump into faith…
    and you’ll VitSee with love”
    Doesn’t matter if you don’t believe (what I write);
    God believes in you.

    Meet me Upstairs, girl, where the Son never goes down
    from a super-passionate, lucrative iconoclasm where you’ll find
    nonillionsXnonillionsXnonillionsXnonillionsXnonillionsX…
    of deluxe-HTTP [<- pi] opportunities for excitement BTW.

    Do it. Do the deed, dude. Sign into the Big-Zaftig-House.

    PS “It is impossible that anyone should NOT receive all that they have believed and hoped to obtain; it gives Me great pleasure when they hope great things from Me and I will always give them more than they expect”
    -our Lord Jesus to Saint Gertrude

    ...think about it, girl:
    1-outta-1 perishes in 88ish years;
    then, how WE sinfull mortals have lived
    is where we go for eternity, Up or Down,
    Seventh-Heaven or the Abyss o'Misery.
    Satan's working overtime now precisely
    cuzz he knows his time's short.
    Choose.

    ReplyDelete
  6. ‘philanthropic + epiphany’ (=so much to give + vision):
    ~let these two words be the start of your journey~

    I looove RITErs;
    I looove giving'm new opportunities
    for thots/ideas/structural integrity,
    taking'm in a completely-new-direction:

    Why else does a moth fly FROM the night
    than to a bold, attractive candle Light??
    Don’t let His extravagant Brilliance be extinguished.
    You’re creative, yes?
    Then, fly-away with U.S. to the antidote…

    Whether you obtain moralityB4mortality to wiseabove
    or just glean tantalizing specimens for thy next best seller,
    you shall find in our blogs a lotta (subliminal) moxie
    which has taken this sinfull mortal yeeeeers to compile!
    I lay it ALL out for you, dear, with All-Star-Oxygems:

    Wouldn’t ya love an endless eternity
    of aplomBombs falling on thy indelible cranium?
    An XtraXcitinXpose with no zooillogical-expiration-date?
    An IQ much higher than K2 all-go-rhythm?
    An anti-establishment, savvy victory +
    avant-guarde-humility =
    you’re promptly astonished, ain’tcha?
    withe extraordinarily explosion of maelstrom mellowdramatic??
    Here’s what the exquisite, prolific GODy sed
    (with a most-excellent-detector of bull§ht):

    “Faith, hope, and love,
    the greatest of these is love –
    jump into faith…
    and you’ll VitSee with love”
    Doesn’t matter if you don’t believe (what I write);
    God believes in you.

    Meet me Upstairs, girl, where the Son never goes down
    from a super-passionate, lucrative iconoclasm where you’ll find
    nonillionsXnonillionsXnonillionsXnonillionsXnonillionsX…
    of deluxe-HTTP [<- pi] opportunities for excitement BTW.

    Do it. Do the deed, dude. Sign into the Big-Zaftig-House.

    PS “It is impossible that anyone should NOT receive all that they have believed and hoped to obtain; it gives Me great pleasure when they hope great things from Me and I will always give them more than they expect”
    -our Lord Jesus to Saint Gertrude

    ...think about it, girl:
    1-outta-1 perishes in 88ish years;
    then, how WE sinfull mortals have lived
    is where we go for eternity, Up or Down,
    Seventh-Heaven or the Abyss o'Misery.
    Satan's working overtime now precisely
    cuzz he knows his time's short.
    Choose.

    ReplyDelete