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Hello and help

edited October 2016 in - Writing Problems
I'm another returnee to the fold, to participate in Talkback's new format Although I may not be posting very often, I do like to give my two pennyworth now and again.

The fact is, I need help. I just can't seem to get myself going with my writing these days. It isn't only because of a house move and all the attendant problems that I've had to deal with, although they interfered a bit. It's just that I've made several false starts but soon come to a grinding halt. I'm not the sort of writer who can make things up as they go along: I need to have things sorted out in my mind first.

I refuse to believe that, after five novels and three novellas, I've got nothing left in me. Although my work might end up being found in the loft after I've shuffled off this mortal coil and taken to a publisher who snaps it up, too late for me, I'd still love to get going again. Writing won't leave me alone.

It's good to be with you again. Any rut-escaping advice would be appreciated.


  • Hello Iceni, welcome back.

    Moving house is extremely stressful, so I'm not surprised it's caused your writing upset.

    Is it that you've lost the enthusiasm to write generally, or to write a particular project?
  • Hi Iceni.

    I agree with Carol about the moving house.

    How about doing something short, such as a letter to the editor, six word story or the TB one word challenge, or a daft limerick. Finishing something like that might help you out of the cycle of starting things and not being able to complete them.
  • Welcome back, Iceni.

    To come up with a book-length idea is daunting! You've probably got one in there, but it will need a bit of gentle coercing.

    PM makes a good point, Why not get back into the swing of things by tackling small pieces? If you can't get inspired by thought alone, have a look at a few writing competition prompts; you need not enter, but it may give you a theme to get the creative juices flowing again. The more you do, the more readily your imagination will start coming up with ideas. Use it or lose it!!
  • Yeah, get some shorts done. It works wonders for me when I'm in a creative rut! Also they are slightly easier to place, and having some more published work out there might be just the boost you need :)
  • And the good things with shorts is you can often find a home for them, or extend them to something longer later on.
  • Try using writing prompts, either words or pictures. I write 100 word stories to a photo prompt - see the blog updates thread. The Friday Fictioneers group welcomes new writers.
  • Iceni, it may be that you are still in a period of adjustment to your change in circumstances, and that trying to be creative is pushing yourself when you're not ready. Hard to care about what's happening to the people inside your head when you have a whole lot of more immediate stuff going on in there.

    You have got words, and worlds, left in you; but they say that moving house takes 10 years off your life, you know. True or not, it is a mark of how stressful it is - not just the packing and unpacking, but the settling down again afterwards. Learning to be in another place is difficult.

    Read through some of your false starts: you may begin to see the next step in the tale, or you may start to think of other possible plots and characters. Just accept that you are human, and humans take time out to cope with life from time to time.
  • Do some free writing every day for a week. See if it purges your pipes.
  • I've tried clicking on "thanks" but nothing seems to happen - but thank you to all of you for your suggestions!

    To be strictly true, I had a flat-to-house move but there were certainly a lot of problems connected with selling and buying. Mrs B has probably hit the nail on the head when she refers to other things going on in my mind.

    Starting with shorts may be a good idea. I normally can't write them - I tend to write on a broader canvas - although I did try some not long ago: updates of certain old traditional stories, the idea being to put them in a setting and turn them into a full length book but I haven't managed the second part. I will re-visit my false starts and see what I can do now.

    Once again, thank you - and, if anyone else can add anything, I'd be grateful.
  • Hi Icene! Welcome back.
  • Who were you?
  • Who were you?
    That's what I was just wondering!
  • All right, then. I was Lah-tay. I'm already acting on the advice but no great progress yet.
  • Small steps eventually lead to big steps, Iceni. :)
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