Why is it so damn difficult?!!


Whew!!

I’m nearly a third through the first draft of the lead novel of my post-apocalyptic series; writing “with the door closed” as they say.  Everything is going great. The words are flying off my fingers, ideas flowing smoothly and best of all, I’m meeting my daily quota (most days).  I’m pretty pleased with myself and then…

BAM!!!

Everything comes to a screeching halt. No words flying, no ideas flowing…it all seizes up!

Just like that…

That was two days ago. I think I may have burned myself out a bit.  The story’s still clear in my head and the ideas still fresh. I just can’t get them onto the screen.

I’m not panicking.

In fact, I’ve decided to take a little break and work on a short story for a change of pace. God knows, I’ve no shortage of ideas bubbling around in my head.

I just have one question. It’s a question I’ve asked myself ever since I started creating art or writing stories. WHY IS IT SO DAMN DIFFICULT?! Everything seems to go smoothly and then you hit a wall. I know I’m not alone in this. I’ve spoken to enough creative people to realize it happens to us all at one time or another. My solution for now is to work on something else…something totally different to stir the creative soup a bit.

I figure I’ll work on the short story for a week or so and then return to my post-apocalypse. After all, you can’t keep the end of the world on hold forever.

I’m interested to hear from other artists and writers. What do you do when you hit that creative brick wall?

Feel free to leave a comment and share your thoughts!!

Best Regards,

Eric

 

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12 thoughts on “Why is it so damn difficult?!!

  1. Yes writer’s block can be frustrating at times, especially when you have all the ideas but it just won’t flow or get out the way you want it on screen/paper…but am glad it went great so far 🙂 Hope you find the rhythm back soon… have a good long weekend!

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    • Thank you, Neha. I’m sure I’ll be back on track soon enough.

      By a stroke of luck, I have the entire weekend off from work (usually I have to work on Saturdays). I might take a long walk through on of the nature reserves near my home to clear my mind. In fact, that sounds nice!!

      Regards,
      Eric

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  2. Eric I experience this all the time! I want you to know though that there are several things to remember when you hit that wall

    1. There are so many others who understand what you’re going through – this collective empathy emanating out at you like a giant hug will help to buoy you up.

    2. You have become too self-conscious. You are reflecting on yourself too much, this is not productive. As a remedy you need to stop focusing on your work and your thought processes behind it. Instead focus on nature, art or anything that is completely removed from your own art for a while. Try and kill the self-critic or the voice inside of you that is disruptive by being ”in the world and of the world”.

    3. Realise it’s only temporary and that it results from overwork, stress. Your little creative brain is being hammered and it’s natures way of saying to chill out.

    4. Don’t worry that you’ve lost ”it”, it’s still there, it just doesn’t need demands put on ”it”.

    I hope that helps.

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    • Thank you for your words of encouragement, Athena. You’ve been very helpful and your comments have raised my spirits in what has been a very difficult few weeks here. We’ve had two serious illnesses in the family, one has resolved itself positively but the other situation will be ongoing.

      On top of that I’m missing my Mother who passed last November. Easter was always an important day for her. We were very close. I know she’s with me in spirit. I think she was looking over my shoulder and kept me writing when all this chaos started.

      Now, as you suggest, it’s all caught up with me.

      My wife and daughter have encouraged me to take a break. The novel’s not going anywhere and it will still be on my computer when I’m ready to return.

      I’ve started reading the marvelous Allan Quartermain stories by H. Rider Haggard. I read a few of them many years ago including “King Solomon’s Mines”. I would recommend the Quartermain stories to anyone who likes fast paced adventure that sometimes includes a touch of the supernatural.

      I’ve also resolved to re-learn Mandelbulber, a 3D fractal software that I was using a lot between 2008 and 2011. I stopped using it when I was unemployed and had to sell my quad-core computer. Now that I’ve got a new six-core computer it’s time to give Mandelbulber another go. The program has changed drastically since I last used it so I’m excited about learning it all over again.

      I know the creative block is temporary and I can feel the ideas for my novel series working in my brain…finding new directions…new possibilities…

      Again, thank you for all of your support!!

      Best Regards,
      Eric

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      • You’re in my thoughts and I hope that you feel revived and refreshed from your sojourn from writing. Can I make some more suggestions?

        Be in nature

        Read profusely and sometimes just read pulpy bad things that will make you feel good. Seems like you’re already into the reading so that’s good. I will check out this writer you mention above.

        Play with your kids or simply play and be and exist without any expectations put on you by yourself ( we are always our own worst self-critics as writers aren’t we). This is really nourishing for your soul and creativity and also when you’re going through a rough patch. I believe humans aren’t designed for business-as-usual or stiff upper lip, they are designed to play and experiment and be random, especially when things get hard.

        I am really sorry to hear about your mum. She is no doubt a special lady. Big hugs and support from me, always here if you want to talk about it or anything else about writing or life, email me.

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        • Many thanks, Athena. Your comments are a great boost for me.

          It was raining here today and yesterday so I couldn’t walk the nature reserve but will do so when the weather clears.

          It’s funny that you should mention reading “pulpy” stories. One of my “guilty pleasures” is that I’m addicted to the old pulp magazine adventures from the 1940s and 1950s. I LOVE to read Doc Savage by Kenneth Robeson, The Shadow by Maxwell Grant, The Spider by Grant Stockbridge and anything by Robert E. Howard (the creator of Conan the Barbarian and Solomon Kane). I’ve read these novels over and over again because they are the best that pulp adventure can offer…pure escapism!!

          I’ve recently discovered The Scarecrow novels by Russell Thorndike (also known as Dr. Syn) and The Scarlet Pimpernel novels by Baroness Orczy(btw-there are over 20 novels of this character. In the U.S. we are only familiar with the 4th novel titled “The Scarlet Pimpernel”). So I have plenty of stuff to read after I finish the Allan Quartermain stories.

          As I said before I’m re-learning the Mandelbulber 3D fractal software. I found out yesterday that the latest version doesn’t work well under Windows 8 but an earlier version seems to work without problems. I may post my new results (and maybe some early renders) very soon on my blog.

          I believe all of this is good therapy for me and I’m sure I’ll be writing again soon.

          I hope you had a happy Easter weekend. I spent the weekend enjoying the company of my wife, daughter and my daughter’s fiancée. It was great fun and very relaxing.

          Thanks again for your inspiring words of encouragement.

          Best regards,
          Eric

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          • Any time Eric! Love to be any help I can. You’ve given me a lot of pulp titles and serious titles here to investigate 🙂 It is so great just to watch stupid things on TV too haha. I am a great fan of Game of Thrones and True Blood other such junk, it is the perfect creative escape!

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            • If you’re into wild and unusual TV try the supernatural sci-fi series “Fringe”(great fun from beginning to end). If you like comedy there’s “Raising Hope” and the cartoon series “Bob’s Burgers”.

              Another favorite of mine is the cartoon series “Archer”. It’s a clever spoof of spy thrillers and if you don’t mind vulgar language and outlandish (sometimes sexually oriented) humor this show will make you laugh until your sides ache. It’s in its fifth season now and it constantly surprises me with its creativity and utter lack of shame.
              I don’t normally go for this type of humor but “Archer” is the exception and I look forward to each episode.

              Then there’s any British comedy TV series. “Faulty Towers”, “Are You Being Served?”, “Rising Damp” and “Keeping Up Appearances” are my favorites. Oh, let’s not forget “Monty Python’s Flying Circus”.

              OK, so now you know how wacky my taste in television is. Hope I didn’t scare you.

              Best Regards,
              Eric

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  3. Hello Eric, Thanks for stopping by my blog… 🙂

    When I hit the wall, I relax a bit… Do something else for a while… Read others creations… Then try to find the core of the next art from things happening around me…

    -BS

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