Monday, December 5, 2011

Just Let Your Suck Flow

Wow, that title is supposed to be a play on "just let your love flow," but it sounds way dirtier than I mean it to.

Oh well. Anyhow, what I'm getting at is this: writer's block.

Whether you're a panster or a plotter, it happens to the best of us. Sometimes it comes in the form of staring blankly at the computer screen as your characters give you the silent treatment. 

Other times, you've written quite a bit - you just think everything you've written couldn't possibly suck any harder.

In the first instance, I find it helps to seek out inspiration. Listen to songs that remind me of my characters and the situations I've thrown them into, look at pictures from the locales of my novel. Or even just going out and getting some fresh air - i.e. getting away from my computer, because I'm at my most creative when I'm in no position to act on it.

In the other instance, I've found that it's not a bad idea to - you guessed it - let the suck flow. Nine times out of ten, when I've written something I think is god-awful, I'll go back to it later and have one of two reactions:
a) Wow, this really IS crap. But I think I can salvage at least some of it and make it better
b) Hey, this isn't so bad. Just a few tweaks and I should be golden.

In my case, writing something, anything, is usually more productive than writing nothing at all, even if I'm not 100% satisfied with what I've written. Chances are, I can either use it as a base for what I REALLY want to say when my brain is not mush, or it's actually nowhere near as horrendous as I thought it was.

How about you, peeps? How do you deal with writer's block? Do you benefit from letting your suck flow?


  1. I have several things on the go at once - that way when I need to walk away from one of the stubborn ones, there is another one with it's hand up going "Ooh! Pick me! Pick me!"

  2. First, I cry, and feel sorry for myself, and swear that I'm going to quit writing.

    Then, I berate myself for being such a whiny good-for-nothing and just get to work. Like you said, let the suck flow.

    I think it's hard to be a creative type. We do our best when we're inspired and passionate, and often those things come in fits and starts. It sucks, but it means when we get going? We SERIOUSLY bring it.

    (and for what it's worth, I have literally NEVER read something of yours and thought, "man, this sucks." NEVER.)

  3. I don't usually get writers block in the middle of a project. It happens quite often though, right as I'm starting a new project. I honestly have to wait until i'm 'ready' emotionally, physically and mentally to get into a new book. If not, I pretty much belly flop smack into writer's block after the first paragraph. Instead of letting my suck flow, I usually keep it bottled in for awhile, setting up sucky scenario after sucky scenario in my head until something useful or inspiring comes along. I also read a lot, critique other's work, or watch alot of online streaming television.

  4. I don't usually get writer's block. I just have to go for a run or have a shower, and the answers comes quite quickly. :D

  5. I've found that writing exercises help. 250 words of something else gets my focus back in the game. Sometimes a little variety does wonders for my brain.

  6. "In my case, writing something, anything, is usually more productive than writing nothing at all, even if I'm not 100% satisfied with what I've written." GENIUS! lol. Well said. Now if only I could listen to that regularly....

  7. Wonderful advice! I definitely give myself a break and come back to the writing later. And hopefully find that it wasn't so bad!

  8. I take a time out and come back to the computer screen. When I take a break, I find I have a clearer picture of what I want to write.

    But I do like the idea of letting your suck flow. Great advice.

  9. Awesome post, G. Thanks for sending me the link!