Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Writing Frustrations

It has been far too long between posts here. Upon graduating with my Bachelor's Degree, I was supposed to have tons more time to write. (Yeah, right!) I have found myself spending all of my spare time catching up on all of the things I neglected while I was in school. "What needs to be fixed? The screen door? Oh, well, I have homework. I'll do it after the semester is over." I have a to-do list twelve miles long thanks to "I'll do it after the semester is over."

My to-do list also seems to be infringing upon my creativity. I sit down to write something, and I get...nothing. I stare at the page just waiting for something to happen. I have not been able to get out and people-watch for ideas. Nor have I been able to go somewhere that will inspire. The stress of playing catch-up is severely hindering my creative process. I find myself feeling as though a pillow is covering and smothering my creativity.

So, what am I to do about this? The first thing I MUST do is get a handle on my to-do list. Sometimes stress seems to create a cloud that blocks out the creativity. I have to force myself to take a step back and relax. I need some "me time" that I can devote to inspiration. The life changes I am facing now are taking a toll on me as well, but "this too shall pass." I do often talk to God, and this does help. (No judgement here if you believe differently than I do of course.) As a writer, one of the worst challenges (for me) is writer's block. I am used to inspiration striking me and the words flowing out onto the page in a frenzy. Well the flow of words has hit a dam. I am trying to work through this so that I may get back on track.

What do you guys do when writer's block hits? What do you do to gain new inspiration?

Copyright (c) Emily D. Wood
Photo Credit: Photl

Monday, June 4, 2012

Writing from Pictures

Sometimes I find myself in situations where I am at a loss for inspiration. Luckily, there are tons of writing prompts out there to peruse through. I am finding the photo prompts to be incredibly interesting. Using pictures in order to create a story can open up so many ideas. I have noticed that a few of my blog friends have also used this exercise, and some have shared their stories. I have read suggestions about using this type of prompt ranging from flipping a magazine open to a random page, picking a picture, and writing about it to getting a random picture from a friend.

I am currently reading a book by Ransom Riggs called Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children in which he has taken collections of old photographs and created an entire story using them. The pictures are including within the story and incorporated in a unique way. The novel almost makes me want to go out and start hunting down old black and white pictures! The story is not what you expect it to be (in a good way), but Riggs has taken the pictures and used them in a way that makes the story seem real.

Writing from pictures gave me another idea as well. I love to "people watch." I find the adversity in the human race to be fascinating. I cannot always capture unique moments in photos, but I can capture them in my mind. If I can write from a picture, I can write from a memory. I suppose you could try to sneak pictures of people and situations, but getting caught could have soem adverse effects I'm sure. I try to carry a small notebook around with me to record my observations. I also take notes on my phone.

I think some really interesting stories can come from looking at pictures and real life observances. I am going to start seeing what kind of pictures and situations from which I can gain inspiration. I would also like to see what would happen if several people take the exact same picture and write a short story about it. I bet if you took five people, you would get five uniquely fun stories.

Have you ever used pictures as inspiration? What kind of stories have you been able to write from them?

Happy writing!

Copyright (c) Emily D. Wood
Photo Credit: Photl