A Light Bulb Going Off

Writers block is a terrible thing that all writers have to deal with at one point or another. If someone who claims to be a writer tells you they’ve never had writers block then please send them in my direction because I would love to know their secrets! I have had a lot of writers block in my life and I’ve heard a million different ways of dealing with it.

The most frequent advice I have been given is to take a step back and go do something else while letting yourself think about it. Or, you know, not think about it because that might be better. Either way its usually advice saying that you need to step away from the problem and give myself time to let my thoughts figure themselves out.

Honestly this never really seems to work for me and I usually just get myself more confused and more blocked. It just never seemed to work for me and I just didn’t understand why. I thought I had to be doing it wrong or that I had to be mixing it up somehow because if everyone said it then it had to work, right? After all no one would be giving out advice if it didn’t work for them or work for someone, right?

Well I think its because it certainly works for some but not for everyone and I’m just not one of those people it works for. That really hit home today when I was googling random writing related quotes and found this one. I think I’m one of those people who needs to write through my thinking block and not think through my writing block. I think I’ve been looking at it wrong all this time because its not really writing block for me so much as its a thinking block. My brain is getting in the way of the story and I need to let it get all its words out of the way so it can get back on track.

So, here is my contribution for today and to all those other writers out there who aren’t finding the “just think through it” advice for writing block helpful. Hopefully you’ll find this advice as helpful as I have found it.

Yeah… I’ve Got Nothing

So I’ve spent most of today trying to figure out what to post about today…. and, like the title says, I’ve got nothing. I’ve wracked my brain over and over again but I keep coming back to a big old blank page. To me blank pages are a little daunting and most certainly intimidating so I think I’ll talk about that.

One of my biggest challenges in writing is honestly just getting started. Those first few words that I put down on an otherwise blank page seem impossibly difficult to pick out from all the words in the English language. I feel like they carry so much weight and thus must be the perfect words to start a new story or a new whatever its going to be. I feel like everything that I think of to put down just isn’t good enough. Even starting this I wasn’t sure about what words to use and kept second (third, and even forth) guessing myself.

I feel like I frequently forget that I can go back and change the start if I don’t think its up to grabbing people’s attention. Just because I’ve put words down doesn’t mean they have to stay there in that particular order forever. This is a medium that can be changed and altered at any time when inspiration or thought hits home and provides you with exactly the words you think are best. And of course your opinion on what exactly is best can change as well. One day you might think you have hit on the very best idea out there and the next day you go back and wonder what the hell you could possibly have been thinking the day before.

Frankly I find a page with words on it much preferable to a completely blank page. Once I’ve gotten started and have something down its easier to continue from there and keep going. I feel like the words somehow get together and birth more words in my brain but its that first spark of black on a white page that is so very hard to come by. In the end, however, every great novel has (at one pointed) been born from a blank page. The words needed the space to move, breath, expand, and become the great work of words it was meant to be. And even then it only does that after you’ve gone back a time or two and allowed yourself to edit the words on what had at one point been nothing more then a blank page.

So maybe I shouldn’t fear the blank page but embrace it as a chance to create something new that, in the end, may or may not be all that great. But without that first creation on a blank page I’ll never find all the words to write a novel worth reading.

Awkward Small Talk – First Draft

Eulalia had purposefully picked a table in the corner that allowed her to face the rest of the room while having two walls behind her. No one could come up behind her and startle her and she could easily see anyone heading her way and attempt to avoid conversation by ducking behind her computer and pretending she was busy. It was a good coping mechanism with not wanting to talk to most people or at least that was Eulalia’s opinion on the matter.

She’d finally gotten herself engrossed with the show she was catching up on when she reached out to pick up her chai tea and realized it was empty. That was enough to bring her attention out of the show and back to reality. She let out a little annoyed sigh and stood, jerking her headphones out of her ears with a wince as she did so. She looked around, her cheeks already flushing with embarrassment, to see if anyone had noticed. A few people were looking at her and she quickly averted her gaze, hastily trying to get her headphones coiled on top of her laptop. After a few moments of struggle she just left them where they were and made her way back into line at the counter. The little cafe was busy but mostly with people just grabbing their order and going so she didn’t feel too worried about leaving her stuff. Not to mention it was within her line of sight the entire time anyway.

She was focusing on the board trying to memorize her order so she wouldn’t stutter over it and get it wrong again when she heard her name called from behind her. The sound practically caused her to jump out of her skin as she turned with wide eyes to look behind her. She could already feel her heart both sinking and galloping a mile a minute, neither of which was an enjoyable feeling. The voice was masculine and slightly familiar but the face, when she saw it, brought a blank to her mind.

“Ah yes?” The words came out more as a question then she meant it to, which made her cringe. She was still groping for a name and bringing up nothing. She knew this guy was a friend of her brother’s that she’d been introduced to one or maybe two times before but that was all she was getting.

“It’s good to see you again!” Mister Nameless came up towards her with arms outstretched. If Eulalia could have she’d have stepped back up she was frozen to the spot and wound up giving the guy an awkward one armed hugged.

“Oh, um, you too?” Oh god there she went again speaking in questions instead of sentences, she really needed to stop doing that. At least she hadn’t stuttered just yet! That was a blessing from whatever god was watching over her right then.

“How have you been?” Mister Nameless was beaming at her as if nothing was wrong and somehow that made it worse. Could he tell she didn’t recognize him and was gloating about it? Was he going to tell her brother about how awkward she was later? Her brain was certainly working perfectly if in a negative spiral of anxiety even if her mouth seemed almost glued shut.

“Oh, you know good.” Ah, that time she managed to make it a statement and not a question. She paused and god was she pausing too long? Before she realized it was probably polite to ask in return even though she wanted to turn away instead. “So, how about you?” And wasn’t that just the worst having to come up with a way to ask the same question that wasn’t just a parroted repeat of the way the other had asked it first? If it wasn’t then she didn’t know what possibly could be.

“Well I’ve been out of the state for the last few weeks visiting with family, you know how it goes.” Mister Nameless started prattling on and Eulalia could feel her palms growing sweaty. He was still talking but Eulalia had accidentally tuned him out and, with a guilty start, dragged her brain back to focusing just in time for the next dreaded question. “How has school been going?”

She gulped and for a moment forgot what her major even was much less how class had been going. “Oh, school?” Why had she said that? She sounded like an idiot. “It’s, uh, been good. I’m almost done. You?” Why did she just ask you with no context? That had to be confusing and she dropped her gaze quickly to avoid the strange look she knew Mister Nameless had to be giving her.

And now he was laughing and she had to physically stop herself from cringing because that couldn’t be good, right? He had to be laughing at her and what she’d said. She barely managed to peek up at his face before her eyes riveted themselves to the floor again. “If you mean how school is going for me,” Mister Nameless said, and was that a mocking tone in his voice or just condescending? “Well I graduated a year ago so I’ve been out of that loop for a while. Finals getting to your brain Eulalia?”

“Ah, yes… that must be it,” she mumbled, inching forward in line. She was almost desperate now to get to give her order and scurry back to the safety of her table. “So, um, how was the weather for your trip?” That was an appropriate question to ask someone who’d just recently been on a trip, right? Or was she supposed to ask about what he’d done? She never could rightly remember.

“Good, good.” Mister Nameless waved a hand to indicate that the last person in front of them in line had already moved off. “Why don’t you let me treat you and we can chat a bit more?” He gave her a bright smile and again her brain told her that he had to be relishing in her awkwardness to be smiling at her because what other reason could there be?

“S-sure.” She managed to mumble out even though she desperately wanted to shout the word no and make a break for it. She turned to the barista and managed to mumble out her order after a few tries. She stepped back while Mister Nameless ordered and paid, dreading when he’d turn around.

Oh god, was this ever going to end?

Story Start – 2

“By the time I was born there were no more trees.”

This was a sentence that I started with a while ago and have since developed into a story. I really wrote it when I was feeling particularly upset about the way we (as in humanity) were treating rain forests and forests in general. We’ve made some great leaps and bounds recently and seem to be coming around to realizing we have to protect and preserve these areas if we want to have a bright future but we still have a lot of work to go. Still, I really just liked the idea of writing a post apocalyptic story that involved a lack of trees instead of all the ones that seem to take place in forests or cities being retaken by forests.

Anyway, here’s the first two paragraphs of the story as it stands right now:

“By the time I was born there were no more trees. How do I know there were no more trees? Because I’ve seen paintings of trees hanging in the Hall of History but I’ve never seen a single one arching beautifully into the pale blue sky. Though, for that matter, the sky is hardly ever pale blue here as it is in those paintings. Instead it tends to be varying shades of gray depending upon what the weather is that day. On what one could call a nice day the sky is a light gray with sunlight filtering through a layer of smog thick enough to choke on if you go to high and on the bad days the gray is so dark one could understandably mistake it for being black instead. On days like that I used to sneak into the Hall of History and stare up at the paintings of things I knew I would never see.

The Hall of History held more than just paintings of trees of course. It also held paintings of animals of all kinds that no longer existed as well as plants and even a couple people. There were forms of art there that we couldn’t replicate and to me they were the most precious and beautiful thing left to us. It was those paintings that showed us what the Others had taken from us. The Others were all those that had taken of the world without giving back until they’d choked it into near death and left us and it to rot away. They were the ones who, through money and power, had managed to flee to what had been classified as Earth Two.”

Mind Fog

Some days I swear it feels like I’m walking around with fog stuck inside my head. Its not that thine wispy stuff that probably would actually make for some interesting and possibly spooky ideas but rather the stuff everyone keeps referring to as pea soup fog. Its extremely thick and yet somehow seems to get into even the smallest of spaces, covering everything in a gray mist were thoughts come so close to the surface I can almost see them before sinking away again.

Its a really irritating thing because, for once, I have a lot of motivation to get stuff done right now but no energy or ideas to work from. My mind is just all wrapped up in that thick fog and it makes me want to curl up in layer upon layer of blanket despite the mostly warm weather we’ve been having. I was really glad today when it was overcast and gloomy by the time I had to get ready to go out. It meant I could leave the house in long pants and a hoodie without looking like an idiot for walking around like that in hot weather. It just felt right for the way my brain felt to be all bundled up in warm and soft clothing.

I’m hoping this fog lifts soon because, like I said, I have motivation and I’d love to be using it. I keep running across things that I feel would be interesting but then my energy levels drop and I just sort of give up on the idea for another time. I’ve probably horded away more ideas then I’ll ever really use but we’ll see. I suppose its something others deal with too and I wonder if any of you have suggestions of ways to get over it? Well if you do let me know because I’d really like to be done with this.

Gardening

Hey guys! So I’ve been a little busy lately and neglectful of posting on here though I’ve been trying to be more active on some of my social media sites at least! You can always find me posting pictures on instagram, reblogging on tumblr, or trying to twitter without really knowing how to do that.

However! I wanted to share here about my gardening because now that I have an actual house with a yard I’ve been working on making it beautiful! The biggest thing was this patch in the front by the driveway. It was basically just weeds when he first moved in because very little had been done with it and so it had just grown whatever. Well we ripped up the garden fabric that had been there and got rid of a mound of dirt that had somehow formed right by the blush at the end there. And then we sort of got super busy with our lives and just left it so it didn’t look great.

Well we finally got around to going down to Home Depot to get the wood we needed to build the barrier for more (and better) dirt. Well the boys did all that work and got it set up in no time flat! They even borrowed a trailer from one of their father’s and got the dirt and shoveled it all in. That left the actual planting of things to me and my other roommate. Over this last weekend (on Mother’s Day no less) we decided to finally do something about it!

The first step was actually soaking it with water which turned it into more of a mud pit then we were expecting. Then we had to figure out what we wanted to plant in the front. In the end we planted some of what we already had growing including a plants for pollinators packet, snap dragons, and milkweed (as well as a singular merigold I believe). We also planted the Columbine seeds down at the end nearest to the bush (apparently you need to germinate these in the fridge where its cold if you don’t plant them before winter because, being native to Colorado mountains, they need the cold to properly germinate!). Then we added in two different pea plants where both of the polls are sticking up and finally we took the two snapdragon seed mixes we had and scattered them all over the ground.

I wish we’d taken a picture of the mud shoes that the two of us got from walking around in there but we didn’t think to before cleaning them off. It got really bad at one point and it really felt like I had an actual heavy work shoe on my foot! But it was really fun despite all the dirt.

I took this picture after I had finished watering it all again so that’s why the water is pooling on there and all that. We were having a really hard time getting the water to soak down past the first level and really soak into the dirt all the way so we drenched it pretty good. I’ll post up pictures again later once the plants start growing more but for now I’m just so excited about having an actual garden! Now if I can just get the back yard into what I really want it to be that would be amazing (and probably a bit pricey with what I want to do with it)!

Sometimes This Is Too Accurate

I found this image on the internet recently and I felt like it way to easily described my life and my brain. There are days when I feel like I have a million tiny thoughts that are all jumbled together and connected but also entirely apart from each other. And every time I try to track one down in particular it gets lost in the jumble of everything else. This always winds up being the days when I am extremely easily distracted and also just randomly make comments when people tell me things. This lack of filter always leads to interesting situations and I am simply grateful for the fact that my friends understand this and don’t take anything I say too seriously on such days.

I’ve been finding that doodling on such days seems productive and interesting. I will admit I never doodle objects or things because I’m pretty bad at drawing in general but I do doodle lines and shapes all connecting to each other and spinning off into space. Those bits of art are some of my favorite things to look back on because each one is so different and unique. I’ll probably try to take some pictures at some point and put them up either here or on my instagram so you all can see them!

Either way this has basically been my brain for the last few days which is why I haven’t really had much to post. Maybe tomorrow I’ll just dump write and put down all my thoughts into one thing and post that so you all can see just how garbled my thought process can get at times! It might be a fun exercise for a day or two… or three.