Do you know that feeling? There is something trying to come out of you, a word, an idea, a concept. If it should be a word, perhaps a special term or a name, you will obsessively think on it until you get distracted. And two days or three weeks later it will come to you when you least expect it.
Should it be an idea or a concept and should you happen to be an artist, you will find that you are in trouble. Nothing that comes out of you, be it by the stroke of a brush on canvas, a pencil on paper, a note on the piano, whatever tool serves your art, will feel quite right.
None of the ideas translate the way you imagine them. It is painfully frustrating any way you turn.
So you sit on them, try something else, work on another project you got stuck on or start something new entirely.
I find that this happens to me all the time. For the one story I make progress on and eventually publish, there are a dozen unfinished ones. Most blogs I write go through the same process. Often I end up posting something that is quite different to what I intended.
Take this blog right here. I am writing it, because my other ideas have failed to take the desired shape. I’ve not abandoned them, but I’ve been unable to take them where I want them.
Some consider this writer’s block. Clearly I am writing, so I am not blocked.
The mistake many make when they are stuck on one thing, is to just sit and wait for it to pass or inspiration to return. It doesn’t work that way. Go and do something else instead. Something that will yield the desired result and may just give you the push you needed to continue with your problem case.
No artist has a guarantee for success. Statistically the opposite is more likely. But artist are generally not interested in statistics or probabilities. We leave those to mathematicians.
One more thought. On seeking help (or perhaps inspiration). The internet is full of people who write, bloggers of every interest and aspiring or professional writers.
The difference is that people who like to write probably have a blog that they post on regularly on whatever subject appeals to them most. And writers are people, who will probably have a blog too, but will write mostly offline and write because they love it and cannot imagine making their livelihood in any other way.
Bloggers are luckier insofar as they probably manage to pursue a successful career outside of writing.
Before I digress too much, here is what I wanted to say: it’s tempting for anyone, who is stuck on their writing (amateur, professional, or wanna-be), to go online and ask Google for help.
You’ll get millions of hits and end up reading a dozen blogs about how to run a successful blog, which mistakes to avoid or how to become the writer you want to be. Sometimes the advice is free, often the secrets will only be unveiled, if you subscribe here or buy the eBook there.
The feeling you’re walking away with is this: you’re doing it all wrong.
I know. I’ve been there. Especially in the last few days.
The problem with all those blogs and articles you just read is simple enough: you’re not necessarily their target audience. So don’t take it too hard. Or personal.
Figure out, if what you just read had any value for you. Are you the kind of writer they are aiming their blog at? Do you want to market your writing, become a brand, make lots of profits?
Here is where I found myself this week: stuck on several ideas and reading the advice of others, which left me even more frustrated.
None of the blogging advice I read helped me in any way. The advice of other writers on their rules of writing was much more interesting.
In the end I believe that those ideas that get stuck at the tip of your tongue will come out eventually. And if they don’t, they probably wouldn’t have worked anyway.