Getting-Out-of-Bed Block

I never get writer’s block. Not really.

There’s just so much to write. So many ideas [dancing whirling swirling careening] through my head. Sometimes I get stuck on individual words, but I’ve learned to just bracket the concept I’m trying to get at and move on. See above.

And sometimes, I’m not entirely sure what should happen in the story arc, but I’ll do some brainstorming and it will come. I’ll pull out the unlined journal and scribble and draw pictures and create timelines and connect events like dots in a children’s activity book. And it will manifest.

But this is all in regards to my fiction.

When I write non-fiction, blog posts and the like, I sometimes get stuck.

Like now, which is why I’m rambling.

I just want to work on my novel.

But also, there’s cleaning to be done. And other jobs that pay bills. And potential jobs that I’m not sure I really want.

And I feel guilty right now, because my wife is cleaning and I was supposed to help her. But she said I could write. She’s amazing.

And I promised myself I would write one blog post a week.

I want to give up right now. Say, “fuck it.” Try again next week.

And yet I sit here and try to write something worthwhile.

This is not it. You know that. I know that.

What do you do when you’re stuck? What do you do when you just don’t want to get out of bed? When you felt like it was all starting to go so well and then you get derailed? Something stupid happens, something that’s probably pretty minor even, you just made a bad choice maybe, but it gets you in a crap mood, and life becomes this annoyance, this task that you never asked for. How do you get out of it?

I’m pretty good at berating myself. But I know that will end too. Just like the story will come eventually.

Writing helps. Which is ironic, right? You can’t write. You don’t want to write. But writing helps.

Weird.

Leave me some comments. Seriously. Tell me how you deal with writer’s block, with getting-out-of-bed block, etc. I could use the advice.

I’m going to go help my wife.

10 thoughts on “Getting-Out-of-Bed Block

    1. I like that, Andrew. Write anyway. I guess that’s what I did. And I do want to have more pictures on the blog so that’s a great idea! Thanks. Maybe a picture would even inspire a writing topic.

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  1. Sometimes good stuff can be found (maybe more like tripped over?) when one rambles. You never know where your mind will go!

    I’ve been in a writer’s block with my novel for awhile. I’ve still been writing it, but it’s been a struggle. Thinking of dedicating a blog post to that issue later, so I will elaborate more there.

    Usually when I’m in a rut I take a break from writing altogether to recharge. Or I write something else. Or I change my surroundings, go write in a new place. Or I read books that inspire me. The tricky part is when you keep doing all that… and the block is still there. Arg!

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    1. Thanks, Shannon! I like the idea of writing in a new place. It does seem to help if I go to the park or somewhere new. Even moving to the kitchen can help a bit. It feels like all the energy has been drawn from certain places and I need something fresh. But usually I’m too lazy and just stay here in my cluttered office. I try to avoid writing other things actually, unless it’s paid work. But I get too distracted. I’ll start something new and never get back to what I was working on. And then I’ll have two unfinished things! Plus, I’m trying to follow Henry Miller’s number 1 writing commandment, “Work on one thing at a time until finished.” I like the idea of reading too. I think that is crucial. If I don’t read, not only is it more difficult to write, the quality of my writing suffers too, I think. Thanks again for your thoughts! I look forward to your blog post about it, if you decide to write one. I hope you break out of your writer’s block soon!!

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      1. I actually had a really productive day today! The words flowed more easily than they have in awhile, and I liked the result. Not sure what was different. I don’t think I’d say the block is gone for good, because that’s the nature of blocks – they came and go. But TODAY, at least, was good. 🙂

        I don’t buy that commandment. Sometimes a person needs a change of pace to stir themselves up. I wouldn’t start a BIG project while in the midst of another, because that can be overwhelming. But short stories? Flash fics? Oh yes. And actually, I am remembering now that I actually started my current (second) novel while still writing my first, haha, but I couldn’t not. I was burning to start it, I HAD to. And I’m glad I did, because I wrote the first 20k words while I was in the throes of that magical inspiration, and my first novel didn’t suffer. I went back and forth between them and finished the first novel, no problem. But I wouldn’t start a third big project right now, no way, not with how much a doozy this current one is. Oof. It’s elaborate and complicated and there’s no way I could fit a third novel in my head right now! But I do write short stories concurrently and that motivates me a lot.

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      2. Glad to hear it! It’s a beautiful thing when those words are flowing. 🙂 I hope it continues.

        Well, it’s funny. I see your point, but I’m someone who has a hard time focusing as it is, and I have about 20 different novel ideas floating in my head at any given time, not to mention the short story ones. So if I ever want to get anything done, I have to try to keep that commandment. And the funny part is that the novel I’m currently working on was SUPPOSED TO BE A SHORT STORY! It was supposed to be a quick detour while I was working on a different novel! But it kept getting longer… And now it has completely stolen focus. And my other novel has been put aside, even though I think about it all the time. I can’t wait to get back to it. But also, I’m enjoying this one and am excited to have it close to completion. So for me, any short stories I start now will have to be related to what I’m currently working on in one way or another. Any other ideas go in my ideas file to be tackled later.

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      3. Ahhh, yes, I can see that. If focus and completion are a problem, I can understand wanting to stick to that rule. It’s great having so many ideas though, knowing that no matter what you’ll always have something to write about!

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  2. Julia

    Free writing. On a piece of paper. With a timer. You cannot remove the pen from the paper until the timer goes off. Get away from the computer screen and write by hand.

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    1. Thanks, Julia! I like that idea a lot. Sometimes I get computer burn-out. It reminds me of writing “morning pages,” which is from The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron. Just write non-stop with no self-editing. I did that every morning for a while. Some crazy stuff comes out, but it’s definitely helpful. I’ll have to get back into that. Thanks again!

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