Blog Roundup: Get the Write Help Now!

It’s always a good idea to look for places on the Internet that could offer some (or, let’s face it, a lot) of writing tips, but sometimes it’s not always easy to know where the good ones are. Not that they’re hidden or are few and far between, but that there are just so many blogs that cater to different writing and writers’ needs, to begin with. This post collects some of the blogs we’ve come across on the Internet, tackling different things from character development to general resources for writers. Hopefully these links will help you on your writing!

  1. The Writing Box – run by author Angeline Trevena, The Writing Box reblogs a lot of diagrams from grammar and vocabulary help, to popular authors’ writing tips for other writers. There’s a lot of writing advice that The Writing Box reblogs (most notably reblogs of posts that give word lists to help writers avoid such words as “very”), and they’re very helpful regardless of what your genre is or what kind of writer you are. Angeline Trevena also has a WordPress blog that caters to writers of speculative fiction, so if you’re a spec fic writer, you can check that out, too.
  2. The Writers Helpers  – The Writers Helpers primarily accepts questions on just about anything in writing, from general questions like plot concerns, to more specific ones like creating descriptions for LGBTQA+ characters. It’s basically a detailed, helpful Q&A for any writer needing help with their writing.
  3. FYCD – FYCD is a blog dedicated to discussing concerns and asking questions about character development and writing. What’s great is that they supply legitimately helpful resources to those who ask about how to write certain kinds of characters, as well as technical details on some topics like medicine, whenever it’s relevant to someone’s question on character development. They reblog stuff too – from world-building to drawing how-to’s, so it’s not all limited to character development. They also have a helpful page directing you to all the discussion threads in their blog, as well as book recommendations on writing characters.
  4. pen > sword – This blog is a wonderful mix of amusing art, quick writing tips and templates, and writing- and literature-related trivia. There are a lot of resources that can be found here, and will give you a smile as much as it will give you help.

That’s all for this round-up! There’s definitely a whole lot more than these four sites, and we’ll be sure to write about them more when we do another round-up, but even with these four sites alone, you’ll hopefully be able to find a world of writing help. Definitely don’t hesitate to ask or drop these sites’ admins if you ever need help.

Know more great websites for writers? Drop us a line!

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The Brutal Writing Process (and Quotes and Tips to Help You Through It)

If you’re a writer, or if you’ve ever tried your hand in writing in any form, you’ll know that the process of writing is a brutal process. Probably not the blood-sweat-and-tears kind of brutal (although there may be cases when one or all three are physically involved), but certainly straining enough: late hours spent staring at your word processor, trying to find the next good line, or maybe empty packs of chips and instant noodles and cups of coffee littering your desk, too busy as you are to cook or go out to get real food. The writing process may sound romantic, but in reality, it is not, any many writers – published or unpublished – are struggling to pin their ideas down neatly on paper, in a piece that people would want to read. There are no definitive lists telling you what the writing process exactly is, or how you’re going to experience it, as it is a personal endeavor. Only you will be able to find out how your own writing process – and in turn, your own habits, strengths, and weaknesses as a writer and as an individual – is.

That said, however, it is always helpful to take a few tips and inspiring quotes from authors who have already published their written work. Here are some tips and quotes from popular authors, on writing:

  • “My writing process often begins with a question. I write down ideas and let them stew for about a year. Then, when I sit down to write, I make a list of characters and try to see how they fit.” – Cynthia Voigt
  • “Never stop when you are stuck. You may not be able to solve the problem, but turn aside and write something else. Do not stop altogether.” – Jeanette Winterson*
  • “The first draft is just you telling yourself the story.” – Terry Pratchett
  • “You don’t start out writing good stuff. You start out writing crap and thinking it’s good stuff, and then gradually you get better at it. That’s why I say one of the most valuable traits is persistence.” – Octavia Butler
  • “Work on a good piece of writing proceeds on three levels: a musical one, where it is composed; an architectural one, where it is constructed; and finally, a textile one, where it is woven.” – Walter Benjamin
  • “Do it every day. Make a habit of putting your observations into words and gradually this will become instinct. This is the most important rule of all and, naturally, I don’t follow it.” – Geoff Dyer*
  • “Find an author you admire (mine was Conrad) and copy their plots and characters in order to tell your own story, just as people learn to draw and paint by copying the masters.” – Michael Moorcock*
  • “For most of the process, nothing but faith, fueled by your own stubbornness, will be pulling you along. The work that you’ve done on the book so far won’t be much comfort, because so much of it will be insufferable crap, until the very last moment, when you figure out how to fix it and everything comes together.” – Kristin Cashore
  • “There are three secrets to writing a novel. Unfortunately nobody knows what they are.” – W. Somerset Maugham
  • “You might not write well every day, but you can always edit a bad page. You can’t edit a blank page.” – Jodi Picoult

Those are just some of the tips and quotes from writers who, like you, have struggled (and certainly) continue to struggle with the writing process. There’s a lot to be said about writing and how to write, but ultimately, how it goes – and how you deal with the bumps and frustrations along the road – is your own personal experience, something that only you can deal with (although something that can be lightened by going out every now and then, and distancing yourself away from your work). The important thing is always to write, to continue writing regardless of how bad you think your first draft is. 

Keep on writing!

*Note: Quotes with an asterisk are from The Guardian’s “Ten Rules for Writing Fiction.” Check it out for more tips on writing!

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Quotes to Help Overcome Creative Frustration

Some of the most frustrating things that people experience stem from creative projects. Artists of all kinds, especially, are never truly satisfied with what they produce. I’ve been told once that a work of art is never finished – just abandoned. And sometimes, it doesn’t matter which of the two you do. Whether you return to the piece or abandon it, you’re throwing yourself off a cliff – endless frustration from the former, and haunting from the latter. Meanwhile, you spend copious amounts of time on your piece, while others watch on and think you’re wasting your time.

These ideas, though, are formed under the impression that creative projects are not worth doing. Not to sound like I’m excluding certain kinds of people, but sometimes we find it true when we say that artists understand each other better than most people.

It is inevitable to feel frustrated, though, and so I step in armed with a few quotes from artists themselves, in the hopes of inspiring.

Here is one from Dilbert creator Scott Adams:

Creativity is allowing yourself to make mistakes. Art is knowing which ones to keep.

Another, this time from American poet Langston Hughes:

An artist must be free to choose what he does, certainly, but he must also never be afraid to do what he might choose.

Japanese author, Haruki Murakami:

For me, writing a novel is like having a dream. Writing a novel lets me intentionally dream while I’m still awake. I can continue yesterday’s dream today, something you can’t normally do in everyday life.

And finally, from English author, Michael Morpurgo:

Encouraging young people to believe in themselves and find their own voice whether it’s through writing, drama or art is so important in giving young people a sense of self-worth.

Going through the quotes, we can get a general idea: art is an expression of the self, filled with mistakes and pitfalls, fueled by passion and pushing yourself further. So, like what the Adams quote says, being creative means making mistakes. Your creative output will be a mistake, not to everyone, certainly, but there will be people who will look at what you’ve done and say that they don’t get it. That they don’t see the value in it. It bears repeating, though, that creative ideas stem from the self, and end with the self, and creative frustration stems from – among other things – attempting to meet your own expectations while attempting to meet the projected expectations of others. Whatever you do, you will get mad, you will arrive at a point where you wouldn’t want to continue. But that’s part of life, and that’s part of the creative process.

It’s an idea that this site has repeated over and over again, in several posts, over the past several weeks, but constant reminder is a wonderful thing. Creative projects exist because you feel that they have to. Creative projects must be done because you have envisioned them. The idea is brilliant, it’s in your head – it’s in the translation that the work becomes arduous, the hours long.

Finally, keep in mind that it’s okay to be frustrated. It’s okay to feel like you want to give up, it’s okay to look at what you’ve written, and say, “I don’t like it.” But always keep the quotes in mind: that you have a choice in your creative output, you have the final say, it is your sandbox, it is your dream. It is the ocean for you, the one that only you can explore – sometimes, you just get stranded in the middle, sometimes you just feel hopeless because you’ve been sailing for hours but cannot see the land.

So feel frustrated, but also work hard to overcome that frustration. Besides, your story won’t write itself.

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Writing Is A Lifelong Commitment

One of my professors in one of my American Literature classes was talking about Emily Dickinson one day. She lamented the fact that Dickinson – a brilliant writer, a poet, to be precise – had died too young and had been discovered too late. This drove me to do a bit of light research on Dickinson’s life, and to pick up on what I remember from reading about her once: that she was one of the most prolific poets, though her work, it seems, had not seen the light of day until her death. But to be dedicated to poetry, to writing, even without getting renown because of it – at least in life – is something that sounds rather remarkable, doesn’t it? Foreign, almost.

We live in a world where publishing is relatively easy now, because online platforms allow one to just type and click the ‘Publish’ button to get “published.” But no doubt, this’ll be lost in a sea of articles, pieces, and poetry of a nature similar to what one has just published. Meanwhile, it becomes a cause of frustration, with the writer who so desperately wants to get published ending up not getting published in the right way, and then one remembers Dickinson, and one gets confused by how Dickinson did it. That is, being patient with not getting published.

Being frustrated is understandable, and of course it’s safe to say that there are hundreds – no, thousands – of writers out there stuck in a rut, unpublished like many others, constantly dreaming. I don’t think there’s an easy way out of that limbo, and certainly at some point there’s a desire to quit writing because it’s not doing you any good.

Which is weird, because maybe you’ll find yourself eventually picking up a pen and some paper – maybe the exact ones you threw across the room in frustration (not that a piece of paper can go that far, being thrown around) and try to write again. Fueled, perhaps, by your need to write, which – if you’ve started taking up writing as a craft long ago, anyway – probably has been something you’ve been dealing with for a while. And so you write, and get frustrated, and write, and get frustrated again. It goes in circles and gets maddening, but the end result is that you get back up and write, refusing to be knocked down.

I suppose even if you’re not fully aware of it, you’ve already been married to writing. You hear of people married to their jobs (I have a professor who’s pretty much like that). Well, even if writing is not exactly a job for most of us, it’s hard to not get married to it. Writing is an expression of the self. Writing is inadequate when you attempt to pin down thoughts, in forms that you either want or are expected to follow. Everyone writes at some point in their life, and everyone, undoubtedly, at some point feels the incredible frustration of writing, and of a feeling of absolute inarticulacy. But some let go of writing and use it as a tool solely for practical purposes. Some don’t have a passion for writing at all.

But if you do, and you keep feeling frustrated about it, just remind yourself that you’ve found a niche, that you’ve found a way to express yourself – effectively, ineffectively, it doesn’t matter much sometimes – and that you’ve found a lifelong partner in writing. Getting published – if you do get published at all – comes long, long after you’ve developed a passion for the craft. Even if you’re unaware of it, you’re committed to it. It’s as much a part of life as anything, and you have to hang on for the ride.

And then:

A Tumblr user asked Neil Gaiman for some writing advice, and here’s what Neil said.

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Too Much of Anything: Why It Pays to Organize Ideas

Creative work, when you’re really driven, can be both exciting and frustrating. Exciting because you have a ton of ideas you want to execute, and you think them all brilliant, and they’re all floating in your head. Frustrating, precisely because of the same reasons.

I’m willing to bet you’ve heard the saying “too much of anything can be bad for you,” or variations thereof, the point being that an excess of anything will do more bad then good, and the moral being that you just have to moderate everything. And it is true, only the idea is associated more often with food, work, and spending money, more than anything else. Eating too much is unhealthy, and overthinking is unhealthy. It’s also true when it comes to creative work – getting too many ideas in your head and trying to execute them all at once will lead to you producing nothing of value, or something of little value. It’s easy to say that you can devote part of your time for this one creative project, and then another part of your time for another, putting everything in compartments and juggling things all at once. That’s something you can try doing, but whether or not it will work is something else entirely.

Having too many ideas will overwhelm you at some point, and it’s inevitable. Trying to tie them up and make something coherent out of them will give you a hard time, and maybe at some point you will give up on all your projects. While I’m still sketchy about giving pieces of advice (and these sometimes contradict each other, I’m aware), what you can do, when you feel overwhelmed is this: empty your mind.

Cut off the ideas that aren’t fully developed yet, the ideas that you’re not completely satisfied with. Ideas that sound okay, ideas that you can explain if someone asks you about them, you stick with. Organize your ideas. Brainstorming is a fun thing, and it likely yields a lot of interesting results, but having too many little things flowing will become to much in the long run. Group ideas and concepts together under general headings, and think of how one is related to another, before jumping in to attempt to execute your ideas. It’s a stretch, certainly, and I’m speaking only in broad terms, but I can’t really be very specific about this. The idea, though, is that a lot of ideas will seem indispensable at the start, and these may even be things you’re proud of or are unwilling to part with. But if your head’s streaming with a lot of ideas, a lot of concepts, sit down and ask yourself: are you really up for everything? Are all the things you’re thinking about things you want to execute, things that make sense, things that you can develop? When you try to group and organize your ideas together, you will realize which ones can be discarded and which ones can be kept. It pays to organize, because it will help you produce a tighter output, something less general, something more interesting, something that makes more sense.

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Real Worlds: World-building

Part of what makes a lot of stories compelling is the world in which the characters live and breathe in. World-building isn’t just confined in literature, because a lot of shows, movies, and video games make use of made-up settings for the narrative, and populate these settings with a lot of different people. It sounds like a really tough job, making a world from scratch, especially if you consider all the work you have to put into it. Countries, cultures, industries, government, a magic system (if applicable, of course) and religions are just some of the things one needs to develop in order to create a convincing, living setting. And sure it’s daunting, and it almost feels like you need to iron out every little detail – down to the kinds of animals that live in the forest – just to make sure everything falls into place. And then you have to check and recheck every detail in order to achieve consistency. And that’s not even putting the story into things.

I’m hardly qualified to tell you about world-building and give tips, as I’ve never been published before and I’m convinced that I haven’t managed to make a good enough world that’s not a carbon copy of some other world that’s already made, or a half-baked, pieced-together Frankenstein’s monster of a world. I have, however, tried to build enough worlds to know that I’ve been doing it with a certain pattern in mind, and here are the things I usually do:

  • Make a map. I love books that have maps, and I love the details put into them. Having a map for a setting makes the world all the more enticing, because maps provide a sense of realness. So you could try – if you haven’t already – making a map for your own setting, putting a good amount of time into details: borders between countries, landform locations, important landmarks, cities, towns, villages, waterforms, names of relevant places – you get the drift. I find making maps a pretty fun activity, and – although I don’t guarantee it – it may give you a better sense of physical distances between locations, which may, in turn, help with generating a sense of authenticity.
  • Give names. Names to important places, events, dates, and institutions, that is. A world needs to have culture. You don’t have to name everything from the start, because that’s overwhelming. What you can do is start small – start with a town, or a city. A country. Detail its culture, its hierarchy, its industries, what people eat, wear, do, and joke about. The daily lives, preoccupations, and worries of the population all add another dimension to your world. And then, of course, once you have names, define them. It doesn’t help if you just have a name for an event that happens during, say, the summer season. Why is that event happening? What brought it about? Why do people celebrate it, if it’s a celebration, for example? Those things don’t have to be extremely detailed – just detailed enough for them to become relevant to the world you’re building.
  • Don’t overwhelm yourself. I’ve mentioned this before, but it bears repeating. It’s tempting to create a world and obsess over every detail, but I’ve found that it’s not very healthy, especially if the world overshadows other equally important things, like the story and the characters. Remember to balance things, and remember to give equal weight to details that have to be pieced together to actually make the story work.

Like I said, I’m hardly qualified to say these things. But this comes from experience, however little. Budding writers jump headlong into creating worlds, only to find themselves stalling and confused in the middle, and I know the feeling. In the end, it still helps to consider the kind of world you’re actually building, and whether or not you like it. Details have to be nice, but easy enough for you to remember. Eventually, and hopefully, your world will come alive.

Professional Opinions:

I’ve given a few “tips” based on experience, but it helps a lot if it comes from the authors and the experts themselves. Here are a few articles on world-building to get you started:

7 Deadly Sins of World-Building / Writing Fantasy: Tools and Techniques (Brent Weeks) / Five Foundations of World Building

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Making Something Out of Nothing

One of the hardest things to get started with is basically to write, especially if you have nothing – or can think of nothing – to write about. I won’t limit this to creative writing, as this is a problem encountered in writing in general. As a college student (a lit major, in fact) with a million deadlines hounding my everyday life, pressuring myself to submit something, anything, is a reality. It’s also really tough to decide whether or not you submit something to please your professors. Or maybe you have to strike the balance. You at least have to somehow like what you’re writing about, anyway.

But I digress.

The challenge is in the attempt. This isn’t writer’s block. I don’t think it is. Because the case, here, is that you have absolutely nothing to start out with, or at least that’s what we are all led to believe. There is a constant wellspring of source material from literally everywhere. It may be assaulting you and you don’t know it. But, like I said, the challenge is in attempting. With a lot of inspiration – if there is any – coming from everywhere, it’s hard to make sense of all of them and make a coherent whole out of half-thought, half-processed bits and pieces, and attempt to make them something that you can call your own. So while there is a lot of things that you can draw from, it will still feel like nothing.

So, to try, at least, to make something out of nothing, an intense brainstorming session has to come. You can make notes. One of my professors told me that making notes are good. Messy notes are even better. Draw diagrams, drink a lot of coffee and isolate yourself while you get into that supposed artistic mood, write names and thoughts popping up in your head, draw parallels from pop culture here and there, and just attempt to pin down on paper every thought that is fleeting. Organization might help, but a lot of the fun coming from brainstorming is that it’s wild, unbridled, and, by nature, highly disorganized.

When you do have notes, and when you have, at least, a semblance of something that has been made out of nothing, the next things you can do are pick up from there and start writing with the base material you’ve synthesized for yourself, or – and especially if you are a college student writing something for one of your classes – take it to someone who is willing (or is being paid) to make sense of what you’ve done and tell you what’s working and what’s not working in your basic skeleton. Putting it also in the context of academia, your professors will only be all too willing to help you out. Aside from the fact that it is their job, they will be satisfied, even happy, to know that you’re actively working on your paper, trying to iron out the creases and strengthen your argument.

In general, though, a wild brainstorming session might be the answer to how you’re supposed to start out when you have absolutely nothing to work with. The idea will come up sooner or later. And if the idea doesn’t come up, you will, at least, have a bunch of other ideas that you can work on for now, or pick up later.

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Why Old is Gold

One thing that many people mistake about creativity is that, because it is associated with originality and modernization, it has to be something that was never done or even attempted ever before. The bigger problem is many have actually come to believe this, which is why new artists who are still struggling to make a name for themselves are finding it hard to break the ice. Most of them are having a hard time when it comes to deciding on how they would go about building a foundation for their talent. They are too cautious, rather fearful, about being called a cliché. I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again; the moment you pay attention to what your critics say, you should either prepare for a meltdown, or worse, the death of your creative career. Although, you really don’t have to lose hope if that should happen because you can always start from scratch once you’re through the whole mourning process. The point is, disregard any negative things people say about your recycled work or concept because if it turns out to be a success, no single criticism will matter. In fact, you can laugh off any defamatory statement said about you or what you’ve created.

 

These days, everyone (not really, but many people I know) always get overly excited about Thursdays and Fridays. Why? It’s because they get to post old photographs of them (or friends and family, sometimes even celebrities they like) to reminisce and somehow celebrate a holiday that’s barely even legit, and use a hashtag (#) on the posts followed by words like ‘throwback’, ‘flashback’, or ‘circa’ plus the year the photo was taken. The photos, although no longer in their best condition, seem to look very artsy, thanks to photo editing apps on tablets or most smartphones, the most popular of which is Instagram. The whole objective of the app is having its users express themselves creatively through photographs. Basically you use old or recently taken pictures then add some filters, frames and other elements so that it comes out looking new, different, unique. The funny thing is, even though they didn’t require much effort, these pictures get a lot of likes and are re-blogged or shared on other sites. I’m actually not one of those people who enjoy doing these things, but I’ve got to admit, some can be pretty creative in their own way. Some of them don’t mind having similar themes or concepts with other users, in fact, they like to keep up with what the rest of the world is doing. And it’s not a cliché, but instead, a trend.

 

Personally, I don’t think having similarities with others in terms of work or expression takes away one’s authenticity. That is something not even the most creative mind, not even geniuses, can escape from. We either have things in common or differences. The classics are timeless. Any attempt on remaking or re-creating them is a form of flattery directed towards the original creators. Whether the remakes do justice to the classics or not, what counts is, it’s good enough that they bring these old masterpieces back to life. The good oldies will always live through time, but that is the work of the present generation to keep the memory of their glory days alive. That is how you as modern day artists can contribute to your respective art forms. It doesn’t have to be within blood ties to be a legacy. You must be brave enough to create what you can in the present, with help from what you’ve learned from the past, to live beyond your time and make it to the future. And in the future, where your creation is considered old, who knows how many people would find it gold?

 

Our admiration of the antique is not admiration of the old, but of the natural.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

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Read. Write. Repeat.

Life is like a battle, but no one is really born a soldier. One has to train, learn how to use various weapons, and of course prepare mentally. You can’t win wars without a good leader who knows how and when the best time to fire is. And if you also don’t safeguard your stacks of ammo, you can get killed just because hiding can only save you for a while, that is if the enemy is not that persistent to exterminate your entire troop. It’s not very different from being a writer. Your knowledge is as good as the material you read, and your wisdom comes from your experiences. When you aim to conquer the world of literature, you must constantly think of ways on how you can make use of what you have learned. Many say that people who go out there and face the realities of life know better than people who only rely on books for facts. I beg to disagree. Before these facts were stated in the books, they were also real-life experiences, if not something the author witnessed himself. Even fiction novels have some essence of truth in them, evident in how they have similar patterns with what really goes on in real life. The only difference is, in fiction, everything is a little more interesting than how things normally are. Whether you write fiction or not, you always need to have some backing. What you need to do is, read as much as possible, and note down the points that you feel can be used for your own writing later on. This is stacking ammo for writers. You will never know for sure if you will be able to use them in the future, but it’s good to have reassurance from yourself that you have something you can count on when you have to.

 

I have been writing for as long as I can remember. I rarely travel (but would most definitely love to if I have time), and I don’t have that many noteworthy experiences to share or use as raw material for my writings. However, I have written many short stories, poems and songs. I owe it all to my reading habit. Perhaps my wide imagination also had something to do with it, but, this also spawned from hearing stories my grandmother would tell me. Oh she was quite the storyteller. When I was a kid, my mom always encouraged me to read. I started with fables then eventually more complex ones. My mother loved reading too. When she was in college, she collected Sidney Sheldon books. When I ran out of books to read, I snuck into her room to steal (okay borrow) one of the books just because I couldn’t sleep, even though she strictly forbid me to at that time because it wasn’t appropriate for my age then. Somehow, after having finished reading a book, I feel like being in a crisis, asking myself ‘now, what am I going to do?’ That’s the thing with reading too. In the beginning, you relate to a character because you have something in common. As you read on, you realize you have nothing in common with the character, but you want to. So when the story ends, you feel like your life ended as well. For me, whenever I feel like I don’t agree with how the author ended the story, I write my version of it. Sometimes, I write a completely different story, but it has some influence from the last book that I have read.

 

A good writer must also be a good reader. Let the authors who came before you pass on what they know. During their time, some were considered as visionaries. Critics here and there say that what their ambition is for the following generations is a joke because they can never be certain of how the future is going to be like. But look at us today, we live in new times, but we still look back into the past for something that can support or strengthen our own ambitions for the generations after ours.

 

Maybe this is why we read, and why in moments of darkness we return to books: to find words for what we already know.” – Alberto Manguel

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Have Fun For Creativity’s Sake

Everyone needs to unwind every once in a while. Earlier today, I suddenly had an idea. I couldn’t exactly say that it is a brilliant one, but I’m just happy that it had entered my thoughts. It is about this short story I’ve always wanted to write when I was in grade school, but, neurotic as I am about completing a task, I always tend to lose the drive in finishing it. This time, however, I have finally pieced together how I want my story to unfold. This time, I thought, I have a better chance of writing the piece and get to its ending. Noon came, and I was running out of things to write. I woke up thinking I could finish the story before the day ends. I thought wrong. It’s turning out to be more challenging than I thought, even though before I started, I had everything mapped out. The harder I pondered, the more resistant my brain became in welcoming ideas. I grew frustrated and gave up. I had my mind made up about never finishing that story at all. I went to my room, turned the fan on, and lay on my bed. I was hoping that being unproductive was just a matter of recharging my batteries, so I took a nap. When I woke up, I haven’t felt more energized. I sat right back in front of my desk and tried my luck on the story again, since I am finally well-rested. It’s almost time for supper and still, I haven’t written a thing. The blank space on my screen never looked more empty.

 

Food. That’s it! I remember having written a post before about the importance of eating right and its significance to the creative process. I joined my family at the dining table. We had quite a satisfying meal, but I unfortunately have to wait until the next good meal to savor satisfaction for a longer time. With just a few more hours before the day ends, I get right back to business and put my game face on, as I am now in front of my laptop for the third time today. I don’t know if the odds are just against me finishing this story or this is some kind of bad karma (although I’m pretty sure I’ve been really nice lately), but this is really bringing me down.

 

When I was still in college, I remember how my friends and I used to blow off steam during finals week (a.k.a. the stress marathon) by playing pool and having a few beers, so that we would feel refreshed and get our minds off of the pressure to pass the exams. I’m not saying it works for everybody, but it did work for us. Whenever we get back to studying after having a good time, the lessons seem to become easier to digest. I have noticed that my grades were better when I have a little fun in between study times, than when I study straight until the exams come. However, this claim is just based on a personal experience. There’s no scientific proof to back this theory, but if it can work for some, there’s no harm in trying it yourself, because it might work for you too.

 

Going back to the problem at hand… I have just realized that reminiscing how I handled an equally frustrating situation from back in the days, I’ve discovered the solution to my present dilemma. Maybe I just needed to play, so that I can regain efficiency at work. I’m not really into the games that most gamers are into these days. I’m kind of old school, I’m addicted to Tetris Battle on Facebook. I know, I know. It’s lame for some, but I enjoy it a lot. It’s practically the reason why I am on Facebook. So I played a few games until I ran out of battle energy for the day. Surprisingly, when I got back to writing, I knew exactly what to write. I was able to finish my short story. Believe it. It sort of felt like finding a cure for a new type of disease. On top of that, I was left with time to spare, so decided to share this with you guys. You should avoid uninterrupted toiling while doing something creative because it’s not meant to enslave you. In fact, creativity sets you free.

 

Combinatory play seems to be the essential feature in productive thought.” – Albert Einstein

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