Thursday, February 28, 2019

Adventure versus Advice // A Rebellious Ramble from a Writer

I find it ironic that I'm offering some advice about advice. 

As most of you know, I've been dealing with some pretty crippling writer's block. It shoved aside a WIP Ethereal, and it's drained a good bit of inspiration. For a while there, I was scraping the sides of the jar, licking the spoon, and using a microscope to find the cake crumbs.

Gifer

So I do what all suffocating writers do. I visit Pinterest, scroll Instagram, complain on Twitter and hope my post goes viral. But I've found those things leave me 

so


                        empty 

                                                                  when   

                                                                                                             they're


                                                                   done


                                    showing


                                                                    me     

      
                                                                          
                                                                                   what's



                                                       impressive............

I can't stand feeling so empty afterwards. It's this feeling like oh well I'll never be able to write like that, or yeah don't forget to include THIS and THAT and THESE ARE THE MOST IMPORTANT ELEMENTS OF A STORY and INCLUDE THIS OR YOUR STORY WONT BE GOOD. < no one can take all that into account on the first draft.

Mainly out of habit, you take one look at your story and go:

Gifer

Well, true to the Snapper name I got fed up with it.  Exactly why is writer's block so much worse now than when I was a young writer who knew nothing about writing?

Because it's all in the adventure. 



I love adventures. Recently, my family went on a trip into the essential wilderness and I had more fun with that than I had in a while. Adventures have defined my first few stories, the ones where I was wild and free.

And come to think of it, life is an adventure. By definition, an adventure is a journey without knowing what's ahead. I don't know what's going to come tomorrow, or the day after that, or the day after that. I just can't know. 

All I know is summed up by Loki: 

Imgur

I wouldn't call it a burden, Mr. Frodo, but I know God has a plan for my life. If that's the case, why am I letting my glorious purpose be bogged down by all this advice and opinion? Think about it. 

There's a ton of advice out there. Endless articles and searches, and they all have mixed messages. On instagram, people show you the pretty books and their way of doing things. It's hard for me because I'm not a fan of reading in general and I like to do what I want to do. If I try to live like the instagrammers, then I'm taking their map and layering it over my way of doing things.

Let me tell you they're not compatible.

On Pinterest, there are thousands of plot bunnies, each a little parasite waiting to take over your obsession. But there's advice too. Advice aplenty for the startup writer, the mediocre writer, the professional writer. Or just the people who want to make art. They give you a step by step instruction manual on life. 

Boring and draining. 

Another map. I don't want these maps. I want to find it out on my own. The thing about the internet is it so easily sucks the adventure out of what we're doing.

Pinterest

Remember writing when you had no idea what you were doing but because you didn't know about writer's block or the five elements that a villain must have or else, it was fun still. Now, we have everything at our fingertips, but if you ask me, we've stuffed those into our sleeves a bit too much.

This isn't a science. This isn't a piece by piece product. Writing is not mathematical. Writing is an art, yet people try to give you instructions and guidelines how to express yourself. 

At the moment, I'm running from advice like:

Giphy

A theory I have is that one of the biggest causes of writer's block is me. And I don't mean oh it myself, herself, himself and themselves, I mean Danielle. It can be me. It can be the blog next door. It can be the article down the street. The site from the state next door. The thing is, they're all vying for your attention, all trying to offer you different pieces of inspiration when maybe... 

Maybe finding it on our own is more important. They offer so much advice that it stifles you when you have to describe it on your own. This is an adventure. Try loosening the reigns, turning off regulations and lists of things you MUST include. 

Do it your way. 

I've been having fun with it, and maybe I'm rebelling against the internet, but like I said, this is my book, and I'm going to write it my way. Ways I've made writing my own lately, getting out of the rut, is simply by doing it the Danielle way.

Giphy

I've been writing in a sketchbook. I've been using green pens. And I've been terribly sporadic in which notebook I've been using. I write the opposite way of the lines sometimes. I don't set a wordcount right now (mainly because I'm plotting). And I've been keeping my distance from Pinterest's countless pieces of advice. 

I guess what I'm saying it that we have to make this our own. Writing must become your own adventure, completely different from everyone else. You can't let someone else figure it out for you, because THIS IS YOU, not them. 

Are they telling you that the best way to get out of writer's block is to peruse Pinterest, to dump all your thoughts on paper, or to take a walk? Cool. That might work. But when all else fails try taking an adventure. Go out on a limb, do something new. 

No one defines your writing except you. I think you'll find it freeing.

Tumblr
All right. I said it. I do apologize if that came off as a ramble. But I've felt suppressed in my writing and there are too many standards out there. So I decided to make my own standards and that was the most freeing thing I could have done. 

*Disclaimer: I'm not trying to beat up social media either, I just think we can take it too seriously sometimes. Use these things as tools in your adventure, not as a detriment. 

**Disclaimer: I don't know who the blog next door is, so apologies to them whoever they are. I don't mean that you are the sole cause of writer's block; just an expression.

Also, it is not wrong to take writing advice and tips, but do try to figure a bit of it on your own. <<< advice on advice *headdesk* 

What are your thoughts on this? I'm curious to hear, so go right ahead and let me know! 


> This post is largely inspired by this song <




22 comments:

  1. Interesting analysis! I think I agree. Writing advice has frustrated me so much even as it's helped me come to where I am. I love Go Teen Writers and Stephen King's On Writing... but most of what I hear in writer's groups is either plain trash or doesn't apply to me. Especially when it comes to writer's block. My way of dealing with this is by saying it doesn't exist. If I can't write it's because of several things:

    I need to get something figured out in my story.
    I need to get something figured out in my life.
    I need more sleep.
    I need more water.
    I need fresh air.
    I need exercise.
    I need a break to just read.
    I need to remember why I love my story.

    So, yeah, by knowing I need these things I try to make sure I regularly get them so that writer's block rarely has a chance with me.

    Of course ... there has been times where I couldn't write because of some really hurtful things someone told me. Those times I had to rediscover my confidence.

    Writing is hard, and being inspired is hard. I hope you're finding your words again! Because it's even harder not being able to write ;0

    keturahskorner.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sleep is imperative. And fresh air. Those are the writing essentials for realz. :)

      Thank you, Keturah! It’s both an adventure and a quest to find the words, but I’ll find my way soon!! <333

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  2. YES!!! Great advice on advice, Danielle!

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  3. *stares haggardly into the distance*

    Preach it, sister.

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  4. Wow, this is so encouraging! Great advice, Danielle! I know I keep trying to do things other peoples' way, instead of mine. That should probably change.....

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    Replies
    1. Thanks, Nicole!

      Yeah, I do it sometimes too. It helps sometimes, and the there are times where I have to remember that in writing processes, it can be anything I want!! 😁 <333

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  5. I love this post, this was so encouraging and inspiring!!

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  6. I saw httyd gifs and never clicked so fast. XD XD You're right. We need to do what is best for us. <3 I pray you continue to grow your path and lean into Jesus. <3

    Also, Matthew Parker is AWESOME!

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    Replies
    1. Ahhh yessss httyd!!!

      I pray the same for you, Ivie. He will always direct our path. <3

      YESSS his songs are great!!

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  7. That first paragraph....I can relate. So much....

    I quite agree that writing is an adventure - maybe that's why I leave my writing when the going get's boring.

    Heeehee, my post for RW that is coming out tomorrow has a similar vein to this - ditching conventional advice. So forgive me if we wind up sounding similar!

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    Replies
    1. Yeah, I can’t stand writing when it gets boring. One problem with Ethereal was that I had over planned, and I had no way of making something new for myself.

      Hey, no problem! I’m glad to see that I’m not the only one who’s doing this! XD

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  8. What an interesting post! This is not a perspective a see a lot (?), but I TOTALLY agree with it! Let's go back to when writing was an ADVENTURE rather than a chore or a list of word-count goals. :P

    And I love how that song inspired you. <3

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    Replies
    1. Thank you, Lila!! Sometimes we just need to explore.

      I love it. <3

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  9. I love this so much! I think your doing all the right things, carve your own path!

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  10. Oh my word... another Loki gif. He has been haunting my dreams, even though I haven't even see any of The Avengers movies!! XDD

    Also, great post. ;)

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    Replies
    1. Lol! That's scary and hilarious at the same time. XD

      Thanks Kendra!!

      Delete

Say what you want to say, but keep it on the nice side of things. If your comment randomly disappears due to unkind words, then I'm not saying it's aliens ... but it's aliens.