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help, i have forgotten how to write!

edited November 2010
guys! i can't fake it anymore. i have forgotten how to write. not that i think i was all that good at it before, but something happened in the past year or two that has sucked away my ability to put words to paper. blogging, journalling, even writing grant applications just seems unnecessarily difficult and borderline impossible. has anyone experienced this before? it's almost like i have become overly self-aware and i can't get more than two sentences down before deciding that it's total rubbish. how can i remedy this?


  • edited November 2010
    Have you tried writing prolifically? Maybe start a secret blog you don't care about and do an entry or 2 every day? There's that write a novel in a month thing too. Those kinda things always help me. One of my best pals used to say "It's the 'becoming ok with sucking so you won't anymore' approach."
  • Yes,

    I have totally had that phenomenon.

    C-zone has some good ideas.

    Threaten yourself with cigarette burns if you don't hit a certain word count?
  • I agree with C-zone. Whenever I am in a rut with my dissertation I turn to my blog and just kind of barf out some stuff. Just to get my fingers tippity-tapping. Then I'm like "oh yeah this is how words work."

    I think it really is so mental--and if you can overcome that mental block even in a dumb way it can all just dissolve and be fine again. Like, remember in 8th grade creative writing class how the teacher would say "if you can't think of anything to write, just write 'I can't think of anything to write' over and over again"? I used to think that was dumb but now I kind of think it might help.


    Also remember that writing is a very abstract and weird thing that we do. It is okay if sometimes you get alienated and weirded out by it as a concept.

  • I want to write more better.
  • these are all fine recommendations. something i have been also finding beneficial is getting off the computer and writing with an actual pen and paper. something about typing and word processing encourages me to edit while writing which is never good, plus the whole 'the internet is just a click away' is almost always too great a distraction.

    c-zone, have you really written a novel in a month?? wow, even if it was a 'barf out' of words that is still impressive!!!
  • edited November 2010
    I have not, but I have 2 friends who have done it, and they liked it a lot. I read one of their novels and it was surprisingly readable. ...I don't really write...I guess I do have a secret blog that I fart out thoughts on, and because nobody knows it's there I can just kinda let things fly and read it later to see what ideas I like.

    When I used to be semi-serious about writing music I had a pretty paralyzing self-critical attack. I did a 3 month songaday (with one of the friends who did the nanowrimo actually) and wrote 7 of the best songs I had ever written. Kinda a low ratio, but I definitely worked out some demons, and I had some things to be proud of. Just having some relatively new stuff that I liked and created helped me a lot. Piles and piles of crap I have created can definitely be wiped away (self esteem wise) by a little bit of least for a little while.
  • yeah, one time I hadn't written a song in over a year and then everyone was going to What the Heck and I said "I am not going. I am staying here and if I don't write four songs this weekend I am going to stop calling myself a musician." And so I did! Four pretty good songs.

    Shame and threats works for me but might not work for everyone, I realize
  • i bet u can still write.
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