Monthly Archives: January 2018

Blank Page Syndrome

Credit: The Draw Shop

Blank Page Syndrome – it really is a syndrome – and a scary one at that. If you are a writer, I can guarantee that you have been struck with it at one time or another.

You can suffer through it until you get a breakthrough or you can take some medicine to cure it.

Causes of Blank Page Syndrome

No. 1 – No fun, no passion – You’ve lost that spark that got you excited in your story. The writing has become humdrum, the characters dull, and you’ve edited it so much that you can’t stand the story any longer

No. 2 – Perfectionism – it’s probably what’s caused No. 1 (No fun, no passion). Forget about editing every little detail. What I like to do is make my comments in the comment boxes and let them stew for a while. By all means, re-work areas that you’ve decided to change – but remember that a first draft is your chance to get your thoughts and ideas down. Don’t sweat every little detail

No. 3 – Burned Out – You’ve gone at with such gusto, that you’ve burned yourself out. Writing a novel takes time and effort.

Remedy for Blank Page Syndrome

No. 1 – Pilfer – Steal a great line from a novel you’ve read and write it down to start your thought processes off. Trust me when I say you will not be plagiarizing simply because that line will not stay the way you’ve written it down – not for long, anyway. As your creative writing juices start to run, you’ll realize why that line worked for its own author and how it needs to change for you. So go for it – write it down and let the magic begin

No. 2 – Pretend – Act out your story in your mind. Become the heroine and play-act her problems in order to solve them. Role playing is not just for video games and nerds. Try it – you’ll like it and before you know it – Blank Page Syndrome will be vanquished

No. 3 – Write – Anything you like. Try a poem or a song or even a limerick, but base it on the story you are writing. Sometimes a change of writing can help kick-start that blankness in your head.

No. 4 – Brainstorm – this is my favorite remedy. If you belong to a great critiquing group, they can be a help like no other. They probably know your story as well as you and can give you stupendous ideas of where the plot should go. Use them as a fail-safe remedy.

What’s your remedy for Blank Page Syndrome?

New Year Writing Resolution

New Year’s Resolutions, list of items

Your New Year writing resolution is still pretty fresh in your mind, I’m sure. You’re probably writing away madly and sure that you will be able to keep up the frenetic pace for the rest of the year.

I hope so, but chances are – the writing peaks and wanes.

Achieving Your Writing Resolution

Be consistent and and dedicated. It’s a surefire way to achieve success. While I do believe that the muse does descend upon all creative types, it is necessary to build on what the muse imparts. That means – fleshing out your story idea, adding meat to the bones of your characters’ personalities and carving out conflict after conflict to hinder your protagonist.

Making Writing Your Priority

Of course you have other things to do in life, but ensure that you set aside an hour or two to consistently work on your story. It’s really not that much time. Think of how much time you fritter away watching television or window shopping. Don’t think of it as strict ‘writing’ time – it can mean editing the work or just planning how to progress.

Consistency

Consistency is boring for many, but it’s also the key to maintaining your writing resolution. If you know you are going to spend time writing from 2 – 4 in the afternoon, you will work the rest of your schedule around it. It’s a date with yourself, similar to what you do to go to the gym. It will also help the panic that arises when you know you have one night left to submit your piece for critiquing to your writing group – and you have nothing to submit.

Treat Your Resolution as a Challenge

Many of us like a challenge – even if it’s with our own selves. Challenge yourself to maintain your writing discipline for the next month. And when you achieve that, renew the challenge for the next month and so on. You’ll be so pleased with your progress, it will keep you going.

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