You try your best, put in a lot of work with your writing and you still feel like you’re getting nowhere. Usually this point of view comes along with stress and frustration. What’s really happening is that you’re beginning to doubt yourself and are probably sorely in need of a rest. Every writer gets times when they believe everything they’ve written is worthless. It’s a fact of life that on some days you can’t seem to get anything right with your work and on other days everything comes together fine. Don’t ever give up hope or think that everything has been done before. Great writers don’t believe that everything has been done before because they know that each piece of writing is unique. Writing cannot be summed up into segments, nor should it be. When you begin to dissect everything and lump it all together, it’s often a sign that you’re overworking yourself and need to go back to writing for fun.
This is easier than it sounds, as everyday life will often interfere. I find that as technology has gotten better my attention span and spelling ability has decreased because I haven’t spent time focussed for long periods like I used to in the days before spell-checker when the library was the main source for research. An ability to focus is a requirement for writing novels. To bring back your attention span, try to avoid googling everything. Remember when you used to see something and think `what’s that mean?’ and you had to mull it over, look through a book, or ask someone. People will tell you to keep reference books to hand for writing.
This is true in some cases (Thesaurus, Dictionary) but you don’t necessarily need them all the time. Relying too much on instant information sources can make me lazy as I stop challenging myself and my brain.
If you’re stuck in this stage, then put away all the reference books, stop googling and researching and expand your attention span. Watch something that requires an hours sitting or do some puzzles that require good concentration. It will take you a while but you’ll feel better when you can think for yourself again and stop relying on the internet. Stories, though influenced by the outside world come from within and you need to spend time developing them in your mind before you can create them.
When the world has become a burden and opening your heart doesn’t work.
Close it, blow out your light and endure.
For hope will rise again when you forget what you’re supposed to be.
Through hardship and turmoil and walls of ice.
Fire will burn through eventually.
Never quit looking for your answers.
But know that the trek may take a very long time.
And each answer will open another layer.
Copyright (c) bardicblogger / A thinker never sleeps / Teri Montague 2011. All Rights Reserved
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This is great advice. It really is a case of training the mind to think for itself.
Thanks! It occured to me recently that I relied too heavily on the internet to remember things for me. I then remembered when I had no internet and no source for instant information that I was far more able to think things through then so I’m trying to lay off the googling for a while.
I will openly admit I rely on Google far too much. I have also come to expect information to be available to me immediately, and start looking like a drug addict having withdrawals if I can’t access the internet when I have something in mind that I want to Google.
Perhaps I should try going cold turkey?!
I’m trying it slowly. I’ll still google but not for every little thing like I was doing before. It stretches my memory to work for itself again, after years of working in a call centre at a pace that was far too fast, my brain had started to turn to mush.
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