Hello internet folks and pesky swarm of spam-bots!
For his 3rd community question, the awesome Well-Red Mage couldn’t have asked a better thing at a better time: How do you overcome Writer’s Block?
Yep, not gonna lie, that cranky block is in my head again. For another great example, I’m honored to be a part of the big Final Fantasy community project (run by the Well-Red Mage and Overthinker Y), but “Lightning” freaking Ellen is struggling to write a freaking article about the freaking Final Fantasy XIII trilogy, of all freaking things (one whole paragraph so far!). As many of you are aware, I babble about Lightning and her games a lot (also look at the theme of my website), but my stubborn brain just doesn’t want to function for this. I think it’s a combination of I’m not the FFXIII expert I may appear to be, it’s been a few years since I played the games, I have so many feelz about the trilogy, and there are so many talented writers on the project that make me feel, well, inadequate.
This latest writing block isn’t the first one, and certainly won’t be the last, I’ve had to deal with. Pardon the horrible analogy, but I like to think that my path to becoming a writer is littered with Thwomps – a bunch of blocks waiting to crash down on me when things seem to be going well. Instead of letting them obliterate my writing aspirations like this:
I need to chill and remember that writing is just a fun hobby for me. I’ll never be paid to do this so why put so much pressure on myself? I’ll keep babbling about the games I love, while being grateful for the few awesome friends who do follow me here. I also can’t get any better if I just quit. Each word I type is another XP point toward my overall Wannabe Writer Level.
They always say that writing about not being able to write helps you actually write, so here are some things that have always helped me battle the block. You should definitely check out the Mage Man’s post for better advice!
Try new things and play nice with other writers
Sometimes something new and exciting can launch you out of a writing rut. I was in a slump when Adventure Rules started the epic Blogger Blitz competition this year. I can easily say that was the most fun and terrifying blogging experience, ever. Not only was it was the first time I had a group of judgey little punks critique my writing, but it was also very scary to post things I knew an audience would actually be, you know, reading. Overall, I learned so much from it and gained a lot of needed confidence.
I’ve also started joining in on the Later Levels QoTM game and did a writing prompt given by Luna in October. Those are all new things that spiced up the writing thing for me. If you’re looking for some collaboration opportunities on WordPress, here are a few I am aware of:
- Adventure Rules has started another Charming and Open event. Once I think of a damn question, I’m so there.
- TriformTrinity started a segment called Gaming Gripes where he discusses topics with other bloggers. If you ask nicely, he’ll probably talk about stuff with you too.
- Later Levels is cooking up some Christmas-y collab things (so watch for that) and another blog party happening there December 11th. That’s always a great way to meet other people who write.
- Those blogger-chain-letter-post-tag thingys are good for a laugh if you need something to blog about. I’m currently working on a rather, um, interesting one I was tagged in recently… tee hee!
Sometimes you need to take a step back
Just taking a break from writing and not brooding like a Final Fantasy protagonist over how much I suck at it helps. This is my state of mind now. I’m not running a professional site that needs to talk about the latest greatest games to drive up traffic numbers (if you are, this example may not help). Yes, I want to write a novel worth of stuff on my Dragon Age journey thus far, and I have a half finished Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice review I wanna complete before I forget most of the game, but I just don’t have the drive to do any of that now. Instead, I’m just playing the damn video games and not worrying about it. The words will come when they want to, or not at all.
Let others inspire you, not crush your dreams
My biggest writing problem is comparing myself to other people, and then feeling like my work sucks in comparison. Fact: There are a billion and one writers online who also dream of writing things for a living. Almost all of those people are much better than me. Instead of feeling sorry for myself, why not get all inspired instead? Sure, I’m definitely not an Athena, a Shameful Narcissist, or a Professional Moron, but I find their articles, reviews, stories, and other random stuff incredibly awesome. I certainly look up to those three brilliant writers, but Ellen just needs to have fun writing in her own sarcastic, smartass style.
Ultimately, everyone writes words that form sentences differently and has different goals. If you’re stuck in a rut, always ask yourself WHY you’re writing. If you’ve been crushed by a Thwomp and are trying to find the will to continue on, you need to remember why you started the whole journey in the first place. Or maybe just find a Green Mushroom somewhere… whoa, dude.
Wannabe Writer’s Notes:
– Before I retreat to go play moar Dragon Age II (then I’ll work on my FFXIII article… I promise), I just want to thank everyone who has supported this little ol’ blog of mine over the 2+-ish years I’ve been here. So many awesome people have always encouraged me when I’m in one of my many “OMG I suck at writing” moods. This internet community rocks!
⚡Thanks for reading!⚡