ROAD BLOCK:: Here Are 7 Tips to Get You Back In The Groove

It happens to every writer: writer’s block. It may appear to be unavoidable or at the very least, insurmountable. I’m going to share with you, 7 tips on how to get back to work, but more importantly make it work for you.

  1. Blog. Write for an audience of any size. Nothing will make you feel invigorated like writing for someone other than yourself. Write about anything. All it takes is a taste of recognition. All else fails, you’ll have a blog to work with. Just don’t give up on writing. It has too many mediums to do such a heinous thing
  2. Watch videos of your favorite author, speaking about writing. Hearing the person who has inspired you talk about writing will kick those dusty gears into action!
  3. Think of why the world needs your writing. Dissect what makes your style unique, and then correlate it to the demands of the public. If you think it’s dry, then think of ways to spice it up. Make lists, form ideas, think hard. Many people think writer’s block applies only to actual novel ideas. In reality, it stands as an obstruction of anything writerly. Think of writing as a whole, then get the ball rolling with side-projects.
  4. Go for a walk around town. Studies have shown that taking walks– long or short– arouses creativity. While on this walk, listen to music that inspires you. Think of writing. Envision fictitious events that take place in the area you’re in. Similar to when you were a kid in the backseat, imagining a man doing parkour over the buildings you were speeding by. You’re in the city, listening to dramatic, orchestral music? Look around and take advantage of the landscape. Then go home and write about it.
  5. Take a break. Yes, you read that right. This is a last resort option, however. Indeed, when you can’t think of something to write about, it’s best not to reach for straws. The best works of fiction simply popped in the author’s head. Same here with both of my books. If nothing good is coming to you, give it time. It’s more difficult to connect to a story if it’s not written with your whole heart. Your brain just needs time to catch up and find the perfect inspiration. Just please, please make sure the intermission doesn’t go on for too long. If it seems unending, search everywhere for inspiration.
  6. If taking a break doesn’t work out for you, take time to write short stories or poems. Don’t starve your creativity. You don’t even have to love what you write… just make sure you’re writing. Taking the pen to the page will entice you and your mind. It will make you sharper and more prepared for a big idea.
  7. This is a preemptive strategy. It should be practiced when your writing is flowing. If it’s too late, I’m sorry for your loss. Just try the above-listed tips. Here’s what to do: Listen to a playlist of good songs. They will get old and you’ll change playlists often. But, personally, the nostalgia comes back in waves when I hear certain songs related to a specific time. Always keep your playlists! When you have lost inspiration or oomph to write, listen to them again. The memories will come back and you’ll want to do nothing but write. If you don’t listen to music when you write, then find something else that you can relate to at a later time. For me, autumn spurs creativity as well as music.

In the end, have faith that you will find an idea, that inspiration will arise, that you will be the best damn writer. After Surviving Lemon Lane, my first novel, I couldn’t find an idea if it were fluorescent in a dark room. Then it struck me in the form of a simple idea while driving around on my lunch hour. That was a year ago and I’m a little bit over halfway done. Mind you, I wrote dozens of pages of notes. Then I began writing. Currently, I have lost some motivation to write. I haven’t hit any walls or anything, no snags. I think I’m just overwhelmed with it. I’m also spending much more time with my girlfriend now that we work together. Beforehand, I would come home and she’d be in bed and I wouldn’t need to sleep till a few hours after. I would fill the time writing. Distraught by all this (and yet joyous that I’m seeing my girlfriend even a tiny bit more) I’ve more recently began writing blogs. The good news is that it’s slowly getting me back into the groove. I just wish I could reclaim the white-heat vigor I had when the nights were lonelier. It’s funny, the way inspiration comes in droves when the mind is solitary. In the end, writer’s block happens to the best of us, bare that in mind.

Follow these tips and my blog, and you won’t miss a beat or a bout. Now go write!

::Matthew::

Wouldn’t it be nice?

Give a man a brain and he will think. Give a man a heart and he will overthink. Give him both, and he will dream. Add a soul to give him grounding. Sauté them all together with an individualized personality and the soup of life boils.

The whole kettle, man. That’s what we all want, isn’t it? We want not to simmer, we want to have a steady rolling boil. Constant, contained vigor, that’s the life. Those who settle for the mundane will be dreamers. Those who want more from everything, every time, will succeed… but it will never be enough. Wouldn’t it be nice if we got what we wanted just by applying any amount of effort and it was always enough. We could go above the standards if we wished, but it was never an unsaid requirement. Our souls were happy as they were when they were born.

Wouldn’t it be nice if we could be what we want to be– what we really desire–  just by the flick of the wand? It’s been said over and over, but of course that would be too easy. Like I said in my last post, it’s the failure that adds taste to the soup. It adds texture to it, and it all becomes so much more tender. Life giving you lemons only seasons it. It allows combat with the other flavors; but these opposing tastes must correspond to some specific degree. Making lemonade with your life won’t be shit unless you throw in a few cups of sugar. Carbs, baby… it makes you curvy. And don’t we all like a little thickness in our lives?

Wouldn’t it be nice if the chain of events began with open eyes, ran through with willful mindsets, and finished with a crescendo composed of edited retrospect? To simplify: Life was work, it was based in a malleable psyche, it took SWEAT, and lots of it. Then we look back at it, not seeing the effort (because we don’t remember pain, only the effect it had on us), and relishing in the dessert. If you do remember the pain, the sad truth is that you’ve never left it. Keep working, keep grinding, keep it up… you’ll get that trophy. Be like a gear. Get the job done until you rust or your teeth crumble. Vivid imagery, I know… but it’s true, no?

Wouldn’t it be nice if what we earned correlated with our past ambitions plus the amount of time those dreams were not yet laurels? An author’s only work being published and praised at eighty years of age following sixty years of agent rejections is great, obviously; however, he has much less time to write. Much less time to put all his youthful effort into his craft. All that literary imagination that dwindled with each rejection has all been long-since forgotten. He forgot great hooks, amazing (jaw-dropping) plot-twists. Subplots became muddled with the abundant self-loathing. Book titles that should have been, never will be. Tragic, though it may seem, it’s all part of a plan, divine or otherwise. Perhaps his whole life was centered around this one book. He could’ve written all that crossed his mind. He could’ve poured some of his creativity into thousands of different novellas… or he could’ve dedicated it all– every ounce of it– to that one novel. In the end, I think he would’ve reached the same amount of respect and praise. I believe in balance. It pertains well-enough to weights on a scale, so why not the events in the mystical? We all have a purpose. We should take it one step at a time (work like a gear). We ought to look at determination as inspiration (and vice-versa), and thank it in the present, always turning into the future. We must understand that effort tossed into a melting pot is subjective, relating to the other items in this pot. Focus on a specific niche, whether obscure or not, and do NOT appease to its minimal requirements. Make that genre your own. Apply all of yourself, cram every iota of your spirit into this boiling kettle, and push the craft to something newer and unique. In doing so, you’ll not only give yourself a name. You’ll give inspiration to others to do the same.

Wouldn’t it be nice if we all saw our careers, or our hobbies, even maybe our life not as an end-goal, but enjoy the ride there. Take a minute from writing or painting or hunting or living and just bask in the lacking of responsibility. It’s the times that we resent most that are the slowest; then it becomes the times we reminisce. We crave the fast-pace of fame or success or money (they’re all the same thing anyway) until it comes true. Wouldn’t it be nice if we all slowed down?

But what if we are working towards something (and I mean putting everything we have into this project) without knowing of any outcome, positive or negative? It’s a question most asked in any form of artistry, but we’re all here, where the answer is the most emboldened. We don’t know. That’s the magic. We’re so devoted to this thing that makes us happy… maybe it’s not about the end goal at all; but rather the well-masked joy it brings us. After all, the person most difficult to impress is ourselves. So let’s not worry about impressing anyone else. Let’s first write the best novel, let’s paint the best modern piece, lets sing the best song, let’s do it for us. Everyone else can be considered proud to be in the aftershock.

As always, give me your thoughts! I value literally any opinion and will reply!

::Matthew::

 

Get my book here!

Is it just me?

Entering the world was an involuntary move. I did not will it, but I did not regret it. Entering the world of fiction was a move I found intriguing. I did not will it, nor did I regret it. But perhaps I should have.

There’s something about draining the words from my blood and making not only stories with them, but worlds. There are those success stories, making the craft seem magical and all the more enticing. There are those failure stories, much more abundant, making the craft seem daunting. But I run with the torment. In one hand, I have my failure baby. The one published on Amazon (not that there is anything wrong with that… I have just always preferred traditional publishing). The one many people told me was amazing. The one that never landed an agent. The one I, hopeful with my youth, wrote at seventeen.

We all become inspired, and with this inspiration, we turn it into something. Whether it be writing, painting, so on and on. I found inspiration in the dark of the night– when I should have been sleeping. I found it in stirring autumn leaves outside my college. I found it everywhere. I knew I wanted to be a writer, and I knew I was stupid for entering the race. I thought my youth would attract agents. But alas, my writing nor this aspect never hooked them as much as it did me. Some rejections were optimistic, while the majority of others were automatic responses. I remained pessimistically persistent. Right now, writing this, I know I won’t get a single view on this; and I could say I’m doing this because I must write… but I’m doing this to explain myself to myself.

Surviving Lemon Lane, my first and technically only complete novel, took a year to be written and edited. I’d submitted to several agents; too many to remember clearly. I settled to do something with it. And so, I’ve made a little money off of it through Amazon. But it’s there, for the entire world to access it should they be compelled. I’m sure it’s trash. But that didn’t stop me.

I’m writing another novel, mystery, like my first one. I feel that the entire premise is more adult and detailed and malevolent. Love, hatred, betrayal, noir, intelligent and the great ole American twist. When I write, I go all out on it. This, though, should be customary. I’m feeling good about it. I’d like to think I’ve got chops in the writing department, so I think, here goes nothing.

As it pertains to the title of this little post, am I the only one who feels the need to burrow deep within the tissue of failure? I have that eternal thought bouncing around in my head: It won’t get published. You know why? You are not, nor will you ever be good enough. I take it with a grain of salt, unnoticed because the perspiration to make my dream come true is already salty and slick on my forehead. I write. I write. I write. I will get published, and it will be amazing. If not the experience, then the journey there. Whether fail or success– or something delicately in between– I will enjoy the tranquil pace with which I write my masterpiece.

Failure is always there, for everyone. Those who have succeeded have endured the most failure. We know this, and it’s been far overstated. I’m not here to say that I have failed, therefore I will succeed. I’m here to say that I write. I write because my eyes are clouded by determination, fast fingers, and a love for failure. I will be shocked if ever my writing career takes off. I always envision getting that dratted email in my inbox, saying that my work is not good enough for their tastes. I always understand, and I always gain more and more and more determination. Rejection sucks, but who’s with me, cheering that chant: failure builds more character than success.

Now let’s relish in our disappointments.

What are some of yours? Writing or not. I really want to know. Get it out of your head so you can work your craft without anything weighing you down. But never– NEVER– forget how much the weights toned your strength and honed your artistry.

 

::Matthew::

 

Get my book here!

 

 

Writing is My Therapy


Hello all and welcome to my humble blog; where every aspect of a writer’s vividly colored imagination is thoroughly discussed and thrown back and forth. I, myself, am a writer- or so I see myself. The only reason I feel that I am separated from being a writer is simply because I am not published. With this being said, I feel as though I have provided a shield against any comments stressing what I have just mulled over. You haven’t been published; therefore, you are not a writer. There is a fallacy with this comment and it only enforces the triviality of my so-called worry. I write. It’s what I do. I feel like the profession of writing is very loosely bound with frayed examples. Yes, writers as defined by occupation standards are those who efficiently get their word out into the world. Writers, as a defined by general standards, are those who sit down for hours on end with some form of caffeine to thrust those fingers against whatever key necessary. Personally, I have- many, many times- sat down in front of my MacBook (typical writer, I know…) and wrote multiple chapters for hours and hours on end. It would be one thing if I were on break, but I was not! I’d finish writing a discussion posting for my English Literature Since 1800 class, and crave the addictive feeling of wringing out my imagination. I’d write and write and write and write until the energy in my wrung mind was used-up. I’d want to write more, but I could not. I am a college kid, after all- and keeping that 4.0 GPA is pretty important to me, so I needn’t use up all of my energy and time, writing till five in the morning. But it’s summer break now and I am writing this at 9:32 PM. I’ve carved out plenty of time to sleep in; therefore, who am I to deny my schedule the accuracy it so rightly deserves?

Not only will this blog be an outlet for my writing tips, tricks, and steam, but I will be documenting my life as it comes at me full force. I am taking a vacation to Panama City Beach on August the second, so you’ll be included in that, my readers. We haven’t got a lot of money (we aren’t broke… I have a MacBook, remember?), so we aren’t able to go to Hawaii (though I would KILL to go for a month) or China or London (Only in my dreams, I suppose). Ah, the struggles of being in the middle-class. But I won’t delve too far into politics or social-structure because both: I’m not educated enough in those subjects to throw my hat into the pin, and the world doesn’t need any more extremely biased opinions on stuff like that. No, I’ll stick with fake people (who I really want to be real) and their stories, which will be unfolded with disastrous bookmarks.

If ever my book gets published and gains any level of success or popularity, you all will find out how twisted I can really be. But hey, isn’t a writer’s job to appeal to pathos, logos, and ethos? Yes, my good sir or madam, it is.

The job of a writer is never really spent because the mind is ever elastic.