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Blocked

11/07/2011

Really. I've had writer's block since 2008. And by 2008 I mean 1992. So when I decided to try and write 50,000 words in one month< didn't have very high expectations. Until I read "The Most Important Thing an Aspiring Author Needs to Know", a blogpost by Jim Butcher.

Nice motivation, didn't help. I'm still blocked. Maybe hypnosis, maybe drugs, I don't know, something might get me over the hump. Sitting down and dropping words on page doesn't work.

It's not that I haven't tried. I spent most of Friday looking at the word "It's" typed out in OpenOffice. I replaced it with "The" around 2:30, but by the time I gave up I had put "It's" back up again.

When I was younger I could, no shit, bang out 15 - 20 pages a day, free of pop culture references and heavy on character development and style. Most of what I churned out was garbage, but I could do it. There was a zone I could get into. I would re-read what I had written the day before, bang out what happened next. I would seriously get into a zone, I could hear the characters talk, I could see what they were seeing, I had a pretty good understanding of where events were taking them. Not any more.

I read an interview with some music star once, I can't remember who they were, but I do remember that I thought he sucked. I ended up having respect for the guy, even if I still didn't like his music. He was talking to the reporter about his favorite albums and one of them was from a group who had one big record then crashed and burned. This guy said he knew that group was going to blow it with the second record because they didn't work on it while they were touring. He said that they had five years to get their first album made, but instead of using the next two years of touring to focus on the next record, they waited until they went into the studio to put pen to paper. He said that for two years these guys were totally immersed in music, touring, playing and hanging out with other musicians, and they didn't take advantage of it, and it showed. I remember thinking it took quite a bit of moxie for this guy to sound off like that, seeing as he was most famous for singing songs someone else wrote. But what he said sticks with me. I had years where I was surrounded by creative people, physical and virtual, who I could have collaborated with, talked to, studied, emulated or just bitched at. I didn't do it. I had the time and the opportunity, but I didn't use it.

Now I'm blocked. Too self-conscious to write crap and not good enough to write anything good. I'm like a fat seventh grader in gym class, stuck at the top of the rope. I don't even have ideas for stories any more. Urgh.

Live and learn, I guess. There ain't no such thing as a free lunch.

PS: The most motivating speech I've ever heard is this one, maybe I'll start playing it on a loop:



Let's go eat a goddam snack.


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