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Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Overcoming Writer's Block--and not funk as in funky the good kind...

On Bad Writing Days I feel like this! All bone, no essence. 
I've been in a bit of a writing funk lately. This is an oddity for me. Typically, when I fail to know what to write, my answer is to keep writing. Write whatever comes to mind, as long as I keep writing. The past month that solution has done me zero good. Made me zero productive. Made me feel zero percent like a writer.

It wasn't until tonight that I realized I'm stuck in my own head. Worrying, concerned unnecessarily about characters and the details of their lives, the situations and circumstances that make their days swirl and twirl into a flurry of wanted excitement and curiosity. Not that I don't think it's important to consider my characters as deeply and strongly as I do my own favorite friends or family members, they definitely deserve my full attention, energy and effort. Rather, giving into every single little concern, every single moment of every single day can be dangerous. It can produce restlessness and worse, results that are ineffective and undermining to a natural routine of everyday writing.

So, what's a girl to do in a situation like this? Go back to what she knows...go back to a safe place where creativity flows freely and inspiration can again take hold. I love journaling. I don't share my journaling with anyone and I don't feel bad about being selfish about that. It's my safe place to do what I want, how I see fit, without concern for opinions other than my own.

Realizing the above makes me want to think that the solution to writer's block or a "writing funk" is as simple as journaling. But the longer I live and grapple with this creative monster I think of as writing, the more I realize there is no simple answer. No black or white solution. Just a bunch of parts of different things that will hopefully enable creativity to once again take hold and flourish into a sensible, inspiring, authentic story.

If you're reading this post because you too have found your writing well may be drying up, try a few of the below links to trick your brain into writing when it thinks it doesn't want to anymore:

http://blog.nathanbransford.com

This ^ blog is regularly updated with all sorts of helpful information to inspire and keep you writing or working on publishing goals.

> http://patriciaannmcnair.com/journal-resolution-a-daily-prompt/

This ^ fabulous blog offers journal writing prompts. If you're mind is as empty as the Grand Canyon, worry not, Ms. Patty McNair's prompts will give you something to mentally and creatively sort through and ponder.

http://jetreidliterary.blogspot.com

Literary agent Janet Reid's blog is a great place to distract yourself from the craft of writing and plunge into the business of it. I often find that when I get stuck if I shift my perspective from the immediate task at hand (writing the best chapter ever written in the history of humankind) to something somewhat related [publishing goals] then it alleviates pressure to create from an empty space. It gives me a focal point. Focusing on the outside stimulates the inside.

http://psychcentral.com/blog/archives/2013/11/09/5-creative-cures-for-writers-block/

I love letting my mind steep and brew with all the possibilities that it means to call myself "a writer." Yes, writing is clearly, definitively an important ingredient to mastering this life-long journey. But what of the unlimited possibilities that accompany the more creative mental meanderings surrounding what it means to be a writer? A good psychology site and blog posts that offer insightful, practical solutions on a deeper level is always a welcome distraction that leads to writing. Eventually. If all else fails, write about the blog post you read to avoid writing. Hello! Writing is writing.

> http://www.bookpeople.com/event

When all else fails and you dare leave your house to venture outside yourself and find inspiration once again, head to your local bookstore and attend a writing discussion by published authors. I find it oddly comforting to listen to strangers talk about writing, even when I can't seem to figure out how to do it.

Take heart if you're writing juices are not flowing as heartily as you would like. You are not alone. You are not a freak. You are not a failure. You are quite simply a writer finding your way.


Thursday, April 2, 2015

Can I Get Google Maps Sent to My Inbox Every Day, Please?


It's official: the individuals responsible for maintaining Google Maps are complete and utter geniuses. And they've worked hard this time to prove it.

First things, first. In spite of the fact that the above video makes it sound like this is an April Fool's JOKE, this IS NOT an April Fool's joke. You can really do this. (Didn't want you to be disappointed. I am not mean. Even on a national holiday that allows me to pretend I am. No way, no thank you.)

Gone are my days of griping at my monitor because I can't figure out how for the life of me to navigate ACROSS my map with my touchpad. I swear one day it's a single finger, the next, oh no, use two when I swish and swipe. But I digress, obviously, there's nothing genius about frustrating a busy woman when she's simply trying to get out the door and drive somewhere.

I do not know how, and I do not know why, but if you are a lover of that fabulous 1980's video game, Pac-Man, sit down, or at the least brace yourself against a tall, sturdy table or bookcase, because you are about to have your mind blown.

Play Pac-Man on Google Maps by clicking here.

You heard me correctly, you can now play that ridiculously fun game on your route on the Google Maps site/pages. Not all cities are available but don't fret. There's nothing like racing through Time's Square and eating ghosts in the middle of the night. The page even pops up arrows. That's your sole source for movement around the screen. I swear all I'm missing is my joystick to feel like I'm home again. Cookies to my right, milk to my left, my mom in the kitchen cheering me on in my efforts like she knows what the heck I'm doing, even though her back is turned to the TV. Eyes in the back of her head. I'm absolutely positive it's true and that that is where that phrase comes from.

Check out this Guardian article for a list of optimum cities to conquer on your path to world domination.

Have fun, good luck and remember, don't break your keyboard trying to get those arrows to turn where they don't seem to want to go. You can only push the buttons so hard before they'll pop out, jump up and smack you right in the face.