Lesson 2: Combating Writer’s Block


A beginner can face all kinds of troubles when it comes to writing their first work. In spite of your age, when you are first instilled with the idea to write, the self-confidence that goes along with it is very important for your follow-through. It would become very easy to give up especially after you’ve hit your first writer’s block.

Writer’s block is only a part of the process. The best way to combat this is to write when you are most inspired – this could be at any time of the day including 2 a.m. Gabriel Garcia Marquez said, “One of the most difficult things is the first paragraph. I have spent many months on a first paragraph, and once I get it, the rest just comes out very easily.” The first paragraph is also important in luring the reader into the story.

If you usually sit down to write at 9 p.m. daily after your chores and realize that you’ve hit a block, try writing at a different time of the day – maybe earlier in the morning. Make sure you follow the writing habit closely every day. Keeping a gap will only create disjointedness and make you lose your flow of thought.

The best source of your inspiration is other writers. Therefore, read for inspiration. If you find yourself stuck in terms of language, you can gain inspiration from any piece of good literature. To go a step ahead, read a bit of the classics. The contexts and settings of the Classics always use beautiful language; it may help you think more creatively. However, if you are stuck with regard to concept, you may have to continue doing your research.

Sometimes, you have the idea of your plot, but you reach a roadblock on how to phrase it in the most appealing way possible. In this case, write down your story in its most crude form. When you have a mental map of all the roads and alleys your plot may take, you will be much more ready to begin writing your story.

Set a timer for half-an-hour or fifteen minutes and try to write an essay on a simple topic. Then, grade yourself according to your standards of vocabulary, originality and creativity. This exercise can help you in the long run.

Don’t force yourself to write when you see that the effort is going nowhere. Take a break and immerse yourself in something completely unrelated. Give it time.

The most effective way, if you can access it, is to find a writing mentor. Show them manuscripts and journals so they get an idea about your writing style and can help guide you better.

Take physical care of yourself. Make sure you get enough sleep and drink a lot of water so that you have more than sufficient oxygen flowing through you. Take a walk or jog for a while so you have the blood circulation in your brain gets your creative juices flowing.

Writer’s block can hit the best of us. I’m talking about Coleridge, Fitzgerald, Hemingway, Tolstoy, Woolf and Mansfeld who all faced writer’s block.

“What I try to do is write. I may write for two weeks ‘the cat sat on the mat, that is that, not a rat,’… And it might be just the most boring and awful stuff. But I try. When I’m writing, I write. And then it’s as if the muse is convinced that I’m serious and says, ‘Okay. Okay. I’ll come.’” – Maya Angelou

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Calvin and Hobbes G.R.O.S.S. Club


Calvin: Attention! All Rise! This meeting of G.R.O.S.S. (Get Rid Of Slimy girlS) is now called to order by the great Grandiose Dictator – for – life, the Ruler supreme, the Fearless, the Brave, the Held – High – in – Esteem, Calvin the bold! Yes, stand up and hail his humbleness now! May his wisdom prevail!

Hobbes: Three cheers for first tiger and El Presidente, Hobbes, The delight of all Cognoscenti! He’s savvy! He has a prodigious IQ, and lots of panache, as all tigers do! In his fancy Chapeau (cap), he’s a leader with taste! May his orders be heeded and his views be embraced!

Calvin: You can tell this is a great club by the way we start our meetings!

That’s so cute! Although being a girl myself, i do not support his view that girls are SLIMY!! 😛

Ever wondered what the first Calvin and Hobbes comic strip said?


This was the first Calvin and Hobbes comic strip published.

I think nighttime is dark so you can imagine your fears with less distraction. – Calvin

I’ve got to start listening to those quiet, nagging doubts. – Calvin

As a math atheist, I should be excused from this. – Calvin

Calvin : I’m a simple man, Hobbes.
Hobbes: You?? Yesterday you wanted a nuclear powered car that could turn into a jet with laser-guided heat-seeking missiles!
Calvin: I’m a simple man with complex tastes.

🙂

Writing – A Fundamental way to Express Yourself


(Note :  This is written from an amateur’s point of view and not to be taken significantly)

Writing – be it reviews, essays, dissertations, letters, books – all require quite a lot of ability and also, knowledge on the concerned topic. Extensive researching on a topic takes time which is why it is important to keep oneself informed on significant happenings. Reading is a great head-start – if newspapers are unaccessible, its good to stay updated through the internet (subscribe to an online periodical…). ¶ Here are a few tips to remember while writing anything:

1) Avoid repetitions. When we know only a little about the subject concerned, we tend to repeat a sentence in different ways, while all the time, the same message / meaning is being conveyed. This must largely be avoided in formal English writing where brevity is much appreciated.

2) Clarity in Language. One must find a way to effectively convey a message with simple clear lexicon. Sometimes, we do tend to invite that sudden vibe of writing and academic English – truly irresistible, however, clarity in such a context is much more important. Although, yes, creative writing does appreciate these vibes of irresistible writing.

3) Stick to Word limits. Yes, again, we do get carried away and keep writing paying no heed to word limit obstacles – that is until it’s too late. You suddenly realize you’ve exceeded the word limit and need to start over. It’s important to remember that brevity is very essential. After you’re done, go through your passage and find out the points that are repeating, and points that can be clubbed together as one. It’s always recommended to follow the CODER formula –

Collecting your ideas

Organizing your ideas into an Outline

Draft a rough passage

Edit the passage

Review.

Make short notes of the content on a separate rough sheet, organize these points appropriately and draft your work. However, if you’re pressed for time, you may think that following CODER may be out of the question, true, in such conditions, it is essential to take a minute and organize the important points in your mind before presenting it on paper.

4) Short sentences. No one likes to read long sentences whose meaning suddenly gets out of hand and in the end, you’re all muddled up. In such situations, it is important to fragment the sentence to form two meaningful sentences.

5) Punctuations, Spellings and the related. Definitely, it is extremely important to check your work for mistakes in spellings, grammar, punctuation marks – those verbs and nouns ( For example, the term ‘author’ is widely known as a noun, and there are controversies over its usage as a verb – avoid using such controversial terms such as authored or authoring). So bring out that proof-reader in you and skim your work for such mistakes. Remember: Use capital letters in the appropriate places.

I understand that examples are required, hopefully that will be the next post.

Till then, have a great day… 😀 !

Calvin and Hobbes…!


I Love Calvin from Calvin and Hobbes, it’s amazing the way you can actually relate to him (being  a kid). Like I always say, “Reality continues to ruin my Life”. Now, that’s Calvin’s quote. But, wow anyone who loves Dreamland better than reality, loves Calvin too. Although his Anthropomorphic tiger, Hobbes, is the smarter one, it’s all part of Calvin’s wild imagination (just like mine!).

I love this thought by Calvin the best:

“I let my mind wander and it didn’t come back.”
Want more Calvin & Hobbes quotes? Click here. (Opens in a new tab)
I love wild imagination and Calvin is a great inspiration…