Tuesday, July 13

No Words


Ok, mid-morning pushing noon.

I have been up for a couple of hours, and don't have much to do today.

I had planned to write on the new ms.

But I don't have any words. Not a single one. I've been sitting here, staring at this blank screen for more than an hour, trying to come up with something interesting to say. Some inspiring or funny or helpful words. But I got nothing.

I haven't even opened the ms. I thought I knew what I wanted to do with it, but today in the light, it doesn't seem that interesting. Or good.

It's not writer's block...it's writer's blah.

Just don't have the drive today. My hands hurt, too. So does my head.

I need a day off.

Why not?

Another day among the unpubbed.

20,000 days so far...what's another one?

Okay, so maybe I'll dig deep and find a sentence or two....


  1. Girl, you can do this. step one open the manuscript. Ok look at where you left off. Maybe a few minute of tweaking or re reading might jump start the story. Write down the last sentence you wrote on a posty note. Then get up. STRESS can shut you down as well. So put that sticky where you are cleaning. Just read it and go do your chores, you might be surprised what falls into your mind and spirits your fingers to write.

  2. D'Ann, I know that feeling. When it strikes, and I'm thinking that all I'll ever get from this crazy writing business is a headache, I tell myself that's better than the heartache of looking back and never knowing what might have happened if I'd kept plugging away. Sometimes you do need time off to clear your head, but don't let the gremlins of self-doubt get you down. A lot easier said than done, I know.

  3. Sounds like you need a break. I have days where I don't write at all. I know I sort of try to push myself to do 500 words a day at least but, sometimes there's no drive. So I take days like that and read some of my fav authors or go into town and just watch people. You have to take a break from everything sometimes.


  4. Some days are thinking days, some days are writing days. Obe had a great idea with the posty note. Many times I'll re-read what I wrote last (up to a chapter)if no words come, I'll jot down on another piece of paper or in notebook, what that chapter was about, then say WHAT IF? IS THERE SOMETHING HERE I COULD EXPAND ON IN ANOTHER CHAPTER? if still no words, I don't push it. Hales makes sense: sometimes I'm walking the dogs and an idea or solution comes to me. Sometimes you have to distance yourself to see. And let's face it, you haven't been feeling well. . .

  5. Any words yet? I agree with Obe. First step is opening the manuscript. I try to write at least 100 words every day. It's not a lot, but when I'm on a roll I keep going. Sometimes the 100 words is like pulling teeth. But at least I get something down every day. When I get stuck I pick a completely different scene from the book to write. Or I go to a writing prompt site and do what it says - a letter arrives, what does it say, how does your character feel? Etc. Can't remember where that prompt comes from but there's a website full of them.

    One day off will lead to two days off, will lead to three days off...

  6. D'Ann, I'm going through the same thing with my Wip. Hope we both come out with some new words.

  7. Deni Cary PhillipsJuly 13, 2010 at 3:24 PM

    Here's what I like to do: take a lie down. Pick a character to take to bed with you and just lazily visualize him or her. Don't force it. Just pull up that picture in your mind, then let the setting they're in come into focus. Really relax into your nice soft, warm or cool surrounding, let the silence rock you down with just that little hint of purpose. Chances are the character will begin to do something, or think something, or morph into someone else. It's like a shortcut to the muse. Naps are very valuable tools! I'm going for mine now! Let me know how it works. Deni

  8. Aww I was like that last week but you know what I'm on a loop that is called 100 x 100. You write 100 words per day for 100 days, the catch is if you miss a day you just start at day 1 again. Last week was rough I managed to write everyday even with my husband in the hospital. Then Thursday I was like I really don't want to write tonight BUT I have to make my 100 words and I'm already at day 82 this time. I really don't want to go back to day 1 from here. So I wrote and before I knew it I had 190 words, then Friday was worse I had no interest at all. But again I used teh push of day 83 come on try for 100 and I wrote 376. I mark on a spread sheet the page and last word. I hit find after go to page and then skim over yesterday's words and go from there.

  9. Wow, D'Ann, can I ever sympathize.

    There are absolutely days when nothing is working and everything I've done before sounds like schlock. But if I can get a minimum 100 words a day down, at least something is there, even if I have to go back later and change it. Sometimes all I can do is edit, but that helps, too, by keeping me in the story. I belong to a 100 word a day loop, as well, and it's enormously helpful. It may be the same one as Kathy, as a matter of fact.

    Hope tomorrow is better! It will come.

  10. My advice: don't push it! Get away from the computer and go out for a walk, preferably with a friend or lover. You'll return with a fresh perspective.

  11. I'm with Deni. There's something about lying down and letting your mind just wander. Some of my best scenes have come form that. It's remarkable what your mind will come up with when you turn off the pressure.

  12. Welcome to my world. The good news? You can get out. You're a great writer. I have never read anything from you that hasn't kept my interest. Get your butt in the chair, put your fingers on the keys and start typing. So what if the first couple of sentences or even paragraphs suck. You can fix that. Try fixing a blank page. Let's make a deal. I'm in a rutt right now. If you type a page, so will I.

  13. I know how you feel, D'Ann. I mucked about for over a month after I finished my last WIP with only a scene here or there, no real plot. Then, since last Sunday (7/6), I've written like 17k words. So it will come. It really will.

  14. just finished a double shift....hope you've been motivated by now! keep on a-typing!

  15. Thanks for coming by, everyone. Shawn, your challenge helped. I got 1 pg rewritten, which technically wasn't new work, but it was new words.

  16. Obe,
    Stress is what's keeping me down. I'm trying not to let it get me, but it's hard.
    Thanks for coming by!

  17. Thanks, Jennie.
    I appreciate the kick. I needed it!

  18. Thanks, Hales.
    It's the health issues, mostly. And stress. But I can't keep lying around moaning.
    Thanks for your support and friendship!

  19. Thank you, CJ.
    You're such a good friend. I don't feel good, but that's just not a good excuse. I need to shake this blah.

  20. Hi, Cindy.
    Thanks for coming by. Only a few words, but at least I got a few.

  21. Did you find some words, Jerri?
    Hope so!

  22. Deni!
    I'm so glad you found our blog!
    I LOVE that idea, and I'm going to use it.

  23. Kathy,
    I would like to know more about that 100x100 loop.
    I can't beleive you managed to write with your husband ill.
    I hope he is doing better.

  24. Thanks, Liz.
    How is that corner?
    Thanks for the comment, and coming by.
    I appreciate it.

  25. Barb,
    Tell me how to get on this 100 a day loop! Is it private?
    Thank you for your encouragment!

  26. Jaqueline:
    Riding helps me so much. I need to do some.
    Thank you for your support!

  27. J~
    I am going to do that.
    Thank you!

  28. Ditto to you, Shawn.
    Thank you for your challenge tonight. You're the best.

  29. Tory,
    I think RomCOn is what fired you up! YOu go, girl!

  30. Carrie,
    I appreciate you coming by, and looking at Sunny.
    I know you're beat.
    Thank you again.