Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Stuck

Have you checked out my word meter?

NO???

Well, don't feel bad. It hasn't moved because I'm stuck. There are various reasons for this pause in my writing and as I mentally sludge my way through this WIP torture, I read. Mostly historical romances.

When you're stuck, what do you do? What's your favorite form of procrastination?

60 comments:

Katie Ganshert said...

Check blogs! I should be writing right now, but I am also stuck. I came across a scene I have to write and I'm not quite sure how to write it, so I was naughty, clicked out of my story, and jumped onto blogger. Tsk. Tsk.

sherrinda said...

Hhhhmm, as Queen of Passitivity, I have a list of possible procrastination activities: blogging, reading blogs, commenting on blogs, reading books, tweeting, and playing on FB. My newest love is farming coffe on Farmville. Sigh...such a waste of time. ;)

So what has you stuck in your WIP? I shared what has me stuck and recieved some good ideas that have spurred me on. :)

Tabitha Bird said...

when I am stuck there are a few things I do. First I try jumping forwards and writing some part of the story that I do have a clue about. This works sometimes and then I come back and fill in the blank. But if I am stuck it can also mean that I need to back away from whatever I am working on and go do something else. Go write something else. So I write short stories, poems etc. usually something shifts and I can go back to the story. What does not work for me is sitting there banging my had on the table saying, "I'mstuckI'mstuckI'mstuck!"
I have tried that. Trust me. It doesn't help :)

Jennifer Shirk said...

When I'm stuck, I'll skip and write the ending. :)
Or another scene that I know I want to put in the story somewhere. Or I read, too.
Hope it passes soon.

Jessica said...

Too funny, Katie! Sending a double Tsk your way. LOL I hope you have a great day at work today. :-)

Jessica said...

Sherrinda! LOL I didn't realize you could farm coffee. I mean, I guess I knew, but I hadn't really thought about how the beans are grown *embarrassed smile*
I wish I could pinpoint the problem and then I'd be happy to share, but I'm just not sure what has me stuck. Something abstract, like fear? Or concrete, like a lack of motivation/goal for the characters in the scene. I'm just not sure.

I loved how you posted your dilemma. It was cool, and I liked hearing about your plot. It sounds great. :-)

Jessica said...

Whoa, Tabitha. All this headbanging doesn't help? What about griping? Because I'm really good at that. LOL

Seriously, thanks for the advice. I hadn't thought of writing a future scene...

Jessica said...

Thanks Jennifer. I hope it does too. I'm forcing myself to write a teensy bit, but I'm afraid it's all going to end up being cut anyway. Heh.
So you recommend writing a future scene too? I'm definitely going to think about that. Thanks!

Donna M. Kohlstrom said...

When I'm stuck I either go back and edit/revise or jump ahead to a new scene. If that doesn't work, then I blog! And as a last resort I go to the book store for hours!

Sarah Forgrave said...

Jessica - You know about my recent motivation problem from my blog post last week, right? :-) Well, somehow I'm unstuck now! I had one particular issue that kept holding me back, but I decided to push through it, even if it was a half-hearted job. I've been doing that on tough scenes now too. Instead of fleshing everything out, I write a trimmed down summary version and move on. I figure I can get back to the tough scene and hope my summary will prompt more ideas later. It's been working so far.

Wendy @ All in a Day's Thought said...

I quilt and I exercise. HA! I exercise when I'm stuck...pretty sad, eh? But it does seem to get the juices flowing...brain matter jumpin' again.

Writing surge blessings to you.
~ Wendy

Jody Hedlund said...

Now that I'm back into research mode, I find myself much more easily distracted when I'm working. Yesterday, I closed up the lap top and refused to look at it during my two hour concentrated work time. And that helped immensely!

Jessica said...

Sarah, I like that idea of summarizing. I could just do that with the scene and then come back to it later. Then I can write a future scene without feeling I'm missing something. Thanks! Oh, and kudos to you for pushing through. That's awesome. :-)

Jessica said...

Donna, the bookstore for hours sounds like bliss! LOL I actually go back and revise too. Work on crits, etc.

Hey Wendy, thanks for the blessing! :-) I didn't realize you quilt. That's pretty cool!

Jody, the sad thing is that I write on a laptop that has no internet. So it's just me and the laptop, and I'm still wracking my brain. It's really getting frustrating because I'm used to getting in my scene fairly easy. Hmm.
I hope you can tune out the distractions as you research. :-)

MeganRebekah said...

Oh, how I know that feeling! Usually I realize (afterwards) that I was stuck because of some internal problem -- fears, doubts, lack of faith....
Once I can clear my own head and get back on track, things progress much easier.
And like you, I usually read. It's very inspirational and affirms my faith in my own story.

Good luck, and keep at it!

Terri Tiffany said...

When I'm stuck, I read craft books. I'm reading one now and it really motivates me and gets my brain going again!!

Jessica said...

Thanks Megan. :-) I can't quit now, right? LOL This is the dreaded middle too, so if I can just get over this hump, then I'm hoping the rest will be easier.

Great advice, Terry. Makes me cringe because reading romances is so much more fun, lol, but I know you're right. :-)

Jeanette Levellie said...

I pray. I do other things not related to writing, like watching a movie with my hus. I read a novel or the Bible. I go on a walk or shopping.

Get your brain away from its rut by giving it something else to do for awhile. I know! Have your DH take you out to a nice restaurant!!!

Tamika: said...

I'm like most of you- I check blogs, read, whine to whoever will listen (mainly hubby).

Then I pray, ask God to work these words out in His way.

Patti Lacy said...

Wow, all of the other ideas are great.
What do I do? Grit my teeth. See red and purple, colors that warm up my blood. STICK TO THE SEAT until blood oozes onto the paper (or computer file)
Then jump up and down and eat chocolate.
Probably not what you wanted...but stubborness can be an ally.

Patti

Diane said...

I'm sorry. Praying for you to get unstuck! A lightning bolt of inspiration sending your way. :O)

Marybeth Poppins said...

I had that problem this past summer. I'd received many rejections, couldn't figure out what to do with the other idea I had in my head and didn't know what to do.

So I read...I read over 20 books.

It helped a ton. I paid much attention to the voice of each book. I enjoyed the books where I'd get so lost in the story that I forgot whether or not the writing was actually any good.

Then I got caught up in the beginning of the school year. Then I started NaNoWriMo and forced myself to write. And here I am an entire book later and feeling SOOOO much better.

It will come to you when you are ready. Maybe you need to start a new project to fuel your mind?

Good luck!

Jessica said...

Thanks Jeanette. I'll give my hubby a little hint. LOL I did complain to him and he told me I was overthinking things. LOL He may be right.

Thanks Tamika! Whining to hubby is fun, right? *grin*

No Patti, I think you're right on, esp. about eating chocolate. LOL But also about sticking to the seat. Maybe what I write will stink, but I don't know until it's written, right?

Thank you Diane! :-)

Jessica said...

MaryBeth, woohoo on all the books! That's great. :-)
I'm afraid to start another project because I want to finish this story. I hate to leave it unfinished, that rankles my perfectionistic nature. Heh.
Thanks for sharing your journey! I hope this nano book turns out awesome!

Yankee Girl said...

When I'm stuck I usually start writing something else. Which can get confusing to have multiple works in progress, but at least it keeps me thinking, and usually helps me break through the rut on the original project.

Eileen Astels Watson said...

I read too, fiction and writing help books, and soak in some movies to spur the creative juices on. Sometimes I think we just need this time to refill, and experience real life for a while, too, in a much higher concentration.

Linda Kage said...

Geesh, where do I start? In procrastination mode, I read too, spend time with my family, fiddle around with other story ideas, watch movies...I could probalby go on!

Irritable Mother said...

My most favorite form of procrastination?
Reading blogs!
Are you trying to convict me this morning, or what???
Just got home from working out, should be showering and getting ready for the day, but here I sit. And you ask.
And I confess.
OK. Logging off.
In a minute. *grin*

Beth said...

I'll watch a favorite movie, read a new book, or sometimes I wander aimlessly through crowds just looking for inspiration. Be careful with that last one, though. Sometimes people think you're crazy :P

Jessica said...

Good idea, Yankee Girl! Definitely valid.

You're probably right Eileen. I like the movie idea. *grin*

LOL Linda!

Jessica said...

Haahaa! Karen, at least you exercised!

LOL Beth! Especially if we get that glazed-over look to our face. Do you ever catch yourself staring off into space when you're in public? Heeheee.

Angie Muresan said...

Reading's not a bad way to pass the stuck stages. I tend to get inspiration when I read.
Oh yeah, and to answer your question on my blog Saxon German and Austrian on my mom's side, Hungarian Romanian on my dad's.

Natalie said...

I've been stuck recently too. I'm going to make myself write today.

Janna Qualman said...

My favorite form of procrastination? EVERYTHING.

It's so good to know others stick, and I'm not alone.

Dara said...

I play video games :P Not anything complicated--stuff that's mind numbingly simple, like Animal Crossing and Harvest Moon :)

I also spend unhealthy amounts of time on YouTube watching videos. It's a bit of an addiction...

Jill Kemerer said...

You are sooo not alone! I sipped Sierra Mist, nibbled on crackers, and checked FB this morning. But, I finally forced myself to write the first words of my new novel. Why is Chapter One so intimidating?? And chapter twelve, and eighteen, and...

Kristen Torres-Toro said...

I check facebook, email, and blogs. If I'm stuck for longer, I usually stop and find something else to do. Waiting really helps me--and when "it" strikes again, the words flow and it kind of evens out. But the waiting part isn't much fun.

Erica Vetsch said...

I have been known to Clean. The. Bathroom. instead of write! Eeek!

Usually when I'm at a very conflicted scene where my hero and heroine are going to be mean to each other.

I have to psych myself up to write it. :)

Kristen Painter said...

I'm never stuck, just lazy or unwilling to deal with a difficult scene. Most often the scene is difficult because I've made a wrong turn somewhere. A lot of the time the scene is in the wrong POV. Try shifting the POV to a different character and rewrite it that way. See what happens.

Jessica said...

Angie, that's so interesting! Thanks for answering. :-)

Good for you Natalie! I need to do that too. *cyber-slapping myself (not too hard though, lol)*

You're definitely not alone, Janna. *groaning*

Lynnette Labelle said...

When I'm stuck, I pop on the internet. Or is that just procrastination? hehehe

Lynnette Labelle
http://lynnettelabelle.blogspot.com

Jessica said...

LOL Dara, those are two forms of procrastination I've never succumbed to. :-) Videos on YouTube, huh? I think hubby has done that before, watching a bunch.

If I knew the answer, Jill, I'd give it away for free. LOL

True, Kristen T. Sometimes I just need to wait too, but this time feels different. The internet is such a wonderful way to procrastinate, right? LOL

Jessica said...

LOL Erica, I'm the opposite! I love writing those mean scenes, and the kissing scenes, but it's the ones in between, you know, the actual plot parts, that I get stuck at. Heh.

Thanks, Kristen! I might try that. I'm a little afraid that my stuckness has to do with me going somewhere wrong in the plot (like you said). But I don't know where. Grrr. I'm sure there's a little bit of laziness mixed into this stuckness too. LOL

Lynette, I don't know. Maybe a little bit of both? Maybe we just pretend we're stuck so we can go online instead??? LOL

ElanaJ said...

Two words: Farmville and Cafeworld. Facebook time suckers. They're my fave!

Julie Dao said...

HA! I so agree with ElanaJ ... Farmville has been killing my writing motivation. You can do it Jessica :) Reading for inspiration is the best thing you can do! I do it when I have writer's block too.

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Hi Jess -

I PRAY - A LOT! Sometimes, I'll also write a devotional, short story, or do research for another project. It does help to leave the manuscript the way an artist backs away from a painting.

Blessings,
Susan :)

T. Anne said...

Yikes, I hate when that happens! I'm so far behind on everything these days. Plus I hurt my index finger on my right hand and it makes hacking away at the keyboard oh so detestible. =(

denise petrovich said...

I have never been stuck as I have never written, alas I do have things to do instead of chores.lol Talk to you girls, read or watch a favorite show. P.s. on your last blog about comic heroes? I don't know if they were heroes but they were my favorites. Scooby doo, bugs bunny and yogi bear. They all got into trouble and were fast talkers. What does that say about my heroes? hahaha love me

denise petrovich said...

I have never been stuck as I have never written, alas I do have things to do instead of chores.lol Talk to you girls, read or watch a favorite show. P.s. on your last blog about comic heroes? I don't know if they were heroes but they were my favorites. Scooby doo, bugs bunny and yogi bear. They all got into trouble and were fast talkers. What does that say about my heroes? hahaha love me

Pen Pen said...

I watch movies in the same genre as my writing and try to pick up a word, emotion, or image that can spark something to write when I'm stuck.

When I'm procrastinating, I usually watch tv. :)

Kara said...

Jessica I love to read too. I also watch the cheesy Halmark movies, and listen to music. All that seems to help move my story along if I'm stuck. Sending good writing thoughts your way to help you move along:)

Warren Baldwin said...

Favorite form of procrastination? Blogging?

Overcoming being stuck? Just write out part of a sentence and try to find creative ways of finishing it; reading.

Patti said...

I should probably read books about writing, but I go to the blogs and read everyones inspirational advice.

Angie Muresan said...

I like to eat chocolate and sip cappuccinos and read my day away.

Jessica said...

Angie, Mmmmmm, I would totally do that! LOL

Patti, I do the same thing. I'm horrible with craft books. :-)

Warren, thanks for the advice. Probably the most important thing is to sit down and write.

Thanks Kara! I haven't seen a Hallmark movie in a long time. Love those!

Jessica said...

Elana, that's why I'm staying away from those games! LOL

Julie, thanks. Advice to read is always taken by me. LOL

Susan, You're SO right. Why didn't I pray? I don't know, but that wasn't very wise of me. Will get on it. :-)

T. Anne, I'm sorry about your finger. :-( Hope it gets better soon.

Hi Mom, You're so funny. :-) I think you've picked up on something there... Heheee.

Penny, same genre movies is a pretty good idea! Thanks.

Weronika Janczuk said...

Oh, Jessica . . . I feel ya!

Take a breather this weekend and go into next week ready to write and hopefully you can get some extra words out.

Wishing you luck!

Deb Shucka said...

Oh, reading for sure. Or cleaning if I'm feeling really guilty - especially drawers to justify procrastination. The good news is that stuff keeps happening inside while I'm avoiding with my actions.

Suzette Saxton said...

Awww.... sorry you are (or were) stuck. I usually check email or blogs as mentioned above. Taking a walk always helps too - especially if there is a sunset involved!

Jessica said...

Thanks ladies, for sharing your tips. :-) I appreciate it!