Figures, the HubChallenge hits, I had tons of ideas swarming in my head about what to write, I sit down to write, and I go blank! It's annoying and it sucks. What do you all do to help you stimulate your writing or unblock your writer's block?
I beat myself severely with a stick. Then make myself feel a lot better by eating some of the cool pastries I keep finding in the café below me. Chug some coffee. I'm good to go. Again.
And that's probably really unhelpful, belief, but I'm a frog, therefore impractical.
Still, if you want any help with subject matter, feel free to email me. I'm sure I can come up with some practical help.
That's exactly like a frog.
Now for you belief713, Stay chill, do not think too much. It keeps happening to me. In fact there are times when I go blank the moment my computer starts and so I just start doing all those things that is not even remotely related to Hubpages and bingo! After sometime I come back to my senses
Whenever I have an idea, I write it down. Whether it be on a scrap of paper, my Palm or straight onto the computer.
I save the documents in an Ideas folder. I've since divided up that folder into sub-folders, depending on the idea. But if the idea is for an article I have a folder just for that, sitting on my desktop.
I put own any and all thoughts I have about that idea. If feeling suitably inspired and time on my hands, I may even complete it in one sitting. Otherwise I just leave it there. Sometimes I may have the idea again, and it's been a while since I originally had it, so I write a few points down, vaguely remember my previous similar thought, and go find that text document. And add the new stuff.
Sometimes I find information about that idea, like a news item, I'll copy and paste the URL into that doc. Or there may be a photo I find. Or there's a circumstance that comes along where I can take a complementary photo. Or I meet a person who knows about the subject matter and they give me more information.
I have thousands of files in this articles folder. So if I'm ever feeling stuck on something I'm working on, feeling uninspired or unmotivated, I'll go for a trawl through this folder, and open the ones that grab my attention (I've named them by subject keywords). And I'll edit the information, add to it, organise it... arrange it much as it would look published in a hub. And then I might have to go do something, or go out somewhere, I'll leave that. And when I sit back on the computer I'll go back to the previous thing I had been working on. With my mind focused again.
So what that means is, when something like this hubchallenge pops up, I've got a lot of ideas. Some already outlined. Once you throw yourself into it you just have to ask yourself 'what does the reader need to know?' and from that you can just go with the flow.
I carry a notebook (often several notebooks) but if I have nothing to write about I just add something to my existing hubs.
I also use astrology symbolism to get me started, every day is slightly different in terms of astrological transits and these can spark ideas for creative projects.
I lie back in bed and have a few drinks then tap the keys of my laptop.
Do you know what's causing your mind to go blank during these times, belief713? I've found that I get writer's block when my insecurities about my writing rear their ugly heads. It's a psychological battle for me.
I am being lazy about writing at the moment, but am reading so much on here, and enjoying it....
There are thousands of topics written on here from all over the world, and sparks fly all the time, I have a notebook with them all written in.
I read about a persons holiday abroad, the first day someones child started school health issues, favourite singers, etc etc..
hope that helps..... then like frogdropping I consume lots of coffee, or maybe wine if it is in the evening.... I have a notebook full of ideas now...
@ frog - thanks a lot for the offer. I have a bunch of ideas, that's not my problem, I wish it was. I just can't get all my ideas finished/on a hub. What I do is start Hubs and then never finish them and I go back to edit them/complete them and my train of thought is gone. Maybe I phrased it wrong - it may not actually be writer's block.
@packer - I do think too much. My brain drives me crazy, I wish it would give me a break. I can't get my ideas down fast enough! I also sit down with plans of writing, can't remember what I wanted to say and somehow end up in the forum or on other Hubs
@ darkside - unfortunatley, I broke my PDA
(no insurance & no budget right now for a new one), so that's out the window for now, although ideal for any location/time. Good idea of creating an ideas folder, I have a lot of stuff written down in notebooks right now. I just never thought to write down all my ideas on the subject, I usually just write down minimal info. That's where I run into the brain freeze. Usually, if I'm at the computer and the idea comes to me, I start the Hub. I choose url, start loading with capsules, some text - and then 90% of the time someone in my family interupts me, which is the hardest part. Then I come back and my great ideas are gone with the moment! I currently have 121 Hubs in the 'my account' section, but only 50 something published! I'm trying to get them all published with the HubChallenge.
@ DennisBarker - not sure what you mean by astrology symbolism...
@ CabinGirl - I wish it was that easy
@ Susan - Usually the case is that I have to walk away from my work while I'm doing it and return to it. And it's usually because of a family member needing my help/attention. Then once I have things under control, I return to work on my hub and the ideas are lost in space. I think it also may be somewhat psychological because I also want to make sure I am delivering good content when I publish my hubs - trying to appeal to my readers/searchers.
@ Brenda - I also get tons of ideas as I read different hubs - I just don't have enough time in a day to write everything I want (which I've noticed I'm not the only hubber with this problem). And because I am doing this to try to make money (which so far, is working) I try to focus on my keywords and all that jazz, which I think sometimes ends up over complicating the process and causes me to go blank.
Thanks all for your tips! Any ideas on how to get the creative juices re-flowing? (besides coffee and wine)
I agree with darkside -- write your ideas down the moment you have one.
Free-write. Just sit down and start writing, no stopping to fix anything, just write whatever comes to mind. You can set a timer, or like I did this morning, write until the thing that is stuck becomes unstuck. I needed the next step to happen in a murder mystery. Darn if she didn't find a clue!
Yeah, I'm with darkside - write down your ideas as soon as you have them.
As for potential hubs - if you know what you want a hub to be about, why not start one - you don't have to publish it. And there's a new feature now which enables you to use the same layout as an existing hub - so if you have a previous hub that you really like the look of - just select that lay out. Whatever text you've typed already - just copy/paste into a couple of capsules of the hub - it works for me, i've got about 8 embryonic hubs started and when I feel a concentration dip, or a bloc, or a touch of procrastination creeping up on me - I switch from whatever I'm doing to make notes in another hub - it refreshens my thought processes ....
Failing that I take the dogs for a walk and blame their bladders for my lack of writing !
This is actually more of my problem than anything else. I do write my ideas down (usually) as soon as I get them or start a hub with the ideas. I have started over 50 hubs that I've never finished! And I go back in to finish them, have a few hundred words already started, but I can't seem to pick up where I left off.
Also, if you have an idea. Look at some youtube video to expand your idea.
Absolutely YES on the writing your ideas down the moment you have them. I have notepads in my truck, by my bed, at my desk (work and home) ... plus electronic outlines of stuff.
Another trick I use is freewriting. I just start writing and don't let myself stop to think... if you let a freewrite go long enough, you'll get an idea. Mine really start like... I'll do one right now just to bore you LOL...:
So, I have nothing to say but I'm going to say something which is nothing but ... dude I have nothing this sucks. Why can't I think of anything to write. I swear I must have brain damage or something or or or like stood too close to the microwave, which reminds me I should have some popcorn right now except we don't have any which is fine. What is popcorn anyway? It can't actually be real corn can it...
And see, I just free wrote myself to an idea about how popcorn is made or something. (Ok, maybe a boring article, or one that's been done...) but if you just do it, within twenty minutes far end, you'll have an idea, or many ideas. That popcorn thing is the work of about a minute.
Darkside and Shadesbreath...wonderful tips..have copied and pasted it to my desktop so that I can read and read and let it really sink in!:)Thanks!
When you get the writer's block take a break and than come back to resume your writing, at least that the route I take
I try to have several projects going at once, that way when I get hung up on one, I can move on to something else. Helps with frustration and boredom, too.
I never really stopped in to read the forums before but as fate would have it i just published a hub this morning called - Ask for hubber topics - which is how i find subject matter and motivation..
Do something that clears your mind, and then everything will rush into it at once. Whatever that "thing" may be, it may be going for a walk, or wink wink, or going for a car ride, to the beach... just getting out of your zone mentally (and sometimes physically).
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