“You are in the clouds, and we, are in a basement.”

That’s right, a quote from The Goonies! Although, I should point out that The Goonies actually has nothing to do with this post. But the one simple line does. We’ve all experienced the dreaded Writer’s Block, and it’s not some fancy party or amusement park. I find myself in the grips of this horrible monster- and have been for over a month. Sadly it’s not chained to the wall and it does not sound like Kong (yes, more nods to The Goonies).

(Cue the sad panda playing a sad trombone.)

I have been writing though, battling the beast like Gandalf fought the Balrog… I seriously wish it was that epic. It’s more akin to Andy from Shawshank Redemption trying not to get prison raped. But guess what, he does. So Writer’s Block has me bent over the prison sink, but I’m still fighting. I grudgingly force words onto the page every day. Every. Day.

I know that a lot of the time, we get the block when we don’t have anything to write. That part is not the issue. I have a Croste serial I need to finish- a lot of you have been waiting for it. I have a new trilogy with all three books blocked out; and I’ve started writing some of it. I have those neat little progress bars on the right side of the screen there showing four other projects I’m working on. I have two Anthologies I’m writing for- one for the Cosmothea Role-Playing Game, and the other for Charity to help fund Cancer research! And I still have my book, Beggars in the Streets of Time, coming out on December 1st.

So why is it that I’m fighting to sputter out any words? Your guess is as good as mine…

I wrote a post several months ago about Writer’s Block: Get Out Of Your Own Way. I tried giving advice on how to pass said literary stone from said brain bladder. (Hmm- don’t think that reference made any sense.) The big surprise? None of the things that have worked for me in the past are working. So I ask you, dear Reader, do you have any tips or advice? What things have worked for you to get past the block? How do you defeat your own personal El Guapo? See what I did there? That’s right, Three Amigos reference.

But seriously, do you guys have any advice? I’m on the verge of drowning my pet fish and throwing my bird off the roof!

(I don’t really have a pet bird or fish. I have a little dog named JP.)

I would love to hear from you fine, fine folks about how you deal with Writer’s Block. I know we all get it, I may not understand why, but I know it happens. Please let me know what you do to get over the horrors of the Writer’s Block.

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10 thoughts on ““You are in the clouds, and we, are in a basement.”

    • I’ll give it a shot. I read at least a book per week already. Taking a break sounds good though, off to play some Xbox for a few days, hehe. 🙂
      Thanks, Rati.
      Also, I would never drown the puppy- only the goldfish.

  1. When I can’t write and it driving me completely insane, I do something new. Something I wouldn’t normally do. This is how I found I like sushi, and learned I hate rock climbing. Usually, recharges my mental batteries.

  2. Was wondering what was going on with you, like you mentioned, your writing is dearly missed!
    I can offer my advice, but I cannot guarantee it will help you. I almost never have writer’s block. When I do have writer’s block I dont actually have it, I am jsut worn out by life and/or depressed. The only thing that gets me going and returning and actually writing or typing and working and climbing out of the gitter is – rage.
    I deliberately go to a page I know has a writing, or news or music or similar that will make me enraged, so much that I will start debating it invisibly. Like, to give a more precise example, I have read a terrible story in the news. I got so mad at what happened that I wrote a lot. This writing was not literary good or perfect or of any value, it was full of profanity and just release, BUT, it got the machine going.

  3. I know the feeling of the basement all too well. It can be a very lonely feeling. There was one time about five years ago that I wasn’t even sure I could write anymore. I started on a project and wrote about the first forty pages and they were terrible, not what I wanted at all. But I just kept going, probably through sheer desperation of writing anything. And then I wrote one scene and it was like a light going on in a dark room. And from there it was difficult but I felt like I had remade my connection with the process. After I was finished I ended up rewriting the first 50 pages dozens of times to get it to match the rest of the story. But I had to get through that to write the rest of it.

    I think writer’s block might be the sensation of losing familiarity and connection with the process. That thing that feels so good when the pages are flying can be absolutely terrible when you sit down at your keyboard and you don’t feel it. I don’t have any tips on how to conquer it because I’m not sure the process ever leaves you, I think it’s the comfort and familiarity gets replaces with an empty feeling and coldness. I have never been able to trick myself into feeling that that is there.

    I do think you can follow your impulses. That’s what I’ve tried to do. My impulse and desire was to write the above mentioned story. Even though it was going terribly something was telling me that I wanted to write it! I think that’s how we pick projects. And if you keep going, keep doing the hard work that rush of connection will come back to reward you…. One of the guys who wrote Pirates of the Caribbean, among other things, says that he has never had a good day of writing in his life. He has writer’s block every day and just has to brute force his way through that and keep rewriting and keep rewriting until his quality level comes up. So feel blessed that you do have good days because some people never do.

    P.S. You wrote an entire novel in a month! You might just be taking a well-deserved break!

  4. I don’t recall ever having Writer’s Block, but I work on several projects at once and have more ideas I’m excited about than I have time to write them down, so I’m usually in a mode of “Hurry. Hurry there’s more to write!” That said, there are times where I don’t feel like writing. I get my juices flowing by watching a great movie or reading a great book. Anything that inspires me generally in life, gets me in the mood for, and inspired to write.

    Sure, there are times I question my own talent, but it doesn’t take me much to get me writing passionately. Sometimes it’s just brainstorming on something. Slap a word on a page and challenge yourself to do something meaningful with it; challenge yourself to develop a concept and hash out ideas for it. Keep doing it till you get inspired – well that works for me anyway. The more I think about something, the more I want to write about it, at least if it’s in my field of interest.

    You will never write better than when you are passionate about something. I saw a TV documentary about Talent Shows one time, and how Mothers sometimes push their children so hard, and it got me so mad that it inspired me to write and produce a full length play about the topic, which I did (What a blast and a cast of 23 no less!)

    Figure out what inspires you and go to town my friend! Not every day or even every week will be a winner, and that’s Ok. But take a short break when you need one, write as often as you can, hang out with inspired people and immerse yourself with inspired concepts (for me, sometimes that’s just looking at cool art), and inspiration will come!

  5. Hi Joe, I have been thinking about you and was days away from searching for your email address, or contacting your mother 🙂
    Personally, I don’t get writer’s block – my problem is too many ideas and not enough time. But, I think I might have spotted something in your words that struck a chord with me. You said that you are working on multiple projects…when I do that (and I frequently do) I tend to procrastinate and get nothing done…in these events, I find it useful to pick one project and focus on it 100%. Also, set small, achievable goals – example, 500 words, or 20 minutes, or finish a project etc… Also, don’t overthink things…try to get out of your head…take paper and pen (or laptop) outside, pick a scene/subject/theme/character/scenario etc. and just free write. Keep doing that until you break that mental barrier.
    I hope that helps a little bit, my friend. Let me know if it does?:) Also, exercising, watching films/tv that are sure to inspire or provoke you, going somewhere completely different/changing your scenery…
    You’ll get there!

  6. ” It’s more akin to Andy from Shawshank Redemption trying not to get prison raped.”
    If that’s isn’t an accurate feeling of writer’s block, I don’t know what is. I, as you know well, have been going through that exact problem as well.
    I think what’s worked for me was Rick and I’s trip to Salem. It gave me some inspiration to sit down and write about all the creepy ideas swimming around in my head.
    Now, I’m not suggesting pulling up stakes and empty your savings account to travel, but it has helped me in some ways. (If you have the means, then DO IT!)
    I have to say, its been meeting up with the writing group that mostly helps me. (and we’re glad to have you among us now) Sometimes those wonderful people can put me back on track. That is, if we don’t get to stuck socializing.

  7. Just bang out some nonsense. Random words. Search for the patterns in the block of words. Your brain will try to make something of it. Write a flash using this phrase: the ghouls wouldn’t leave me alone unless I furnished copious amounts of candy, but I knew if I failed to deliver the sweets, my life would be forfeit.

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