Bad Advice with Chico Martinez | 4 Ways to Beat Writer’s Block

19th_century_knowledge_mechanisms_homemade_concrete_block_mold_partsHola! It’s your old pal Chico here. Do you ever get blocked up in your writing? Do your words run away when you need them most? Do sentences and paragraphs disappear like, um, something that disappears when you look for it? Well, fear not. Chico has four ideas to help you get out of that writing slump!

  1. Plagiarise! The good things are probably all written anyway, right? Why not just put your name to someone’s work and claim it as your own?
  2. Don’t call it writer’s block; call it research. Go to the library and look up obscure details about whatever it is you are supposed to be writing about. Or better yet, just sit in your house and use the internet! And when you are tired of researching your topic, take a break with some well-earned game/television time. You’ve earned it!
  3. Um, hmm.

I guess I didn’t have as many ideas as I thought. Lo siento! Anyway, back to playing games and plagiarizing for Chico!

I am a writer.

Writers write.I am a writer.

If you are a writer and you haven’t said these words out loud, say them now. As you know, there is power in words. Saying them, writing them down, they make something true. Words can never be unsaid.

It was a couple of months after I joined my writers’ group, The Weaklings, before I said those words out loud. I had been writing for a while, but had never claimed the title. I remember having a conversation with another member of the group about whether or not I should be telling anyone about my writing.

It isn’t that I was ashamed of it. It was more that I was afraid of it. To say it would make it true, and what if it wasn’t true? What if I was just a man with a hobby?

My friend assured me that he felt the same way, but we were still writers all the same.

“Writers write,” he said to me. “That’s the definition of being a writer.”

This definition has haunted me. There have been times since I first claimed the title that I have not written. I still attended writers’ group meetings, still read the right magazines, still made notes for my different projects, but when I had the chance to put pen to paper, I’d choose something else.

Why? I scorned writing for many reasons. Some were valid, like grief and taking the time to be a husband and father. Some were not, like video games, television, and laziness. Some were not, but seemed to be, like research, reading, and making notes. But whatever the case, in those times when I was not writing, I was failing the basic test of being a writer. Writers write.

So here I am, saying it once again, hoping that my will and creativity will meet my goal of putting pen to paper and I will finish the works that I have started. I want to make it real.

I am a writer.

 

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Congratulations to Tim Vine on winning the LOTR set!

Do you want to win stuff like Tim? Stay tuned for more chances coming up!

Report Cards, Writing, Blogging, and Hidden Messages, Oh My!

Here we are. It’s been an eventful week on the blog. I had my most hits to date on Monday (65 for those of you who like to know that sort of thing). I introduced the main character from my WIP, and posted a review of a book within the same genre. And, I started my first book giveaway (you can still enter to win until Monday morning when I pull the winner).

How I did this week. Also, fun links!As far as a grade for my writing report card goes, I’ll give myself a B. In taking time for blogging (which is totally worthwhile in its own right), I’ve not taken as much time to work on my novel.

Perhaps I’ll do better this next week.

Perhaps I won’t. But I’ll try.

You should visit me again to find out.

But I digress, let’s get on to the week’s top links!

In first place, I’d like to share another link to my writer friend Bob. He and I made a gentleman’s challenge this past week to see who could get a certain amount of hits on a given day. I’m new at this, and Bob has been blogging for a while, so it was an ambitious challenge for me to make. Anyway, I’m convinced that Bob is cheating, because he did a post this week that was pure quality. If you are a writer or have ever encounter’s writer’s block, check out this link.

Right up there with Bob’s post is this post from a blog called “Writing is Hard Work”. Truer words were never spoken (or written, as it were). The post linked here gives 6 ways to begin a novel. So if the reason that you haven’t experienced writer’s block yet is because you haven’t started a novel, here are some good ways to get started.

Then, for other bloggers out there, I came across this post on blogging mistakes that is quite good. I got permission to link to it here because I found it helpful as a guy just wading into this murk we call blogging.

Here’s one for all of my non-writer, non-blogger friends. Jessie Clemence and her husband Eric were one of the first people to befriend me when I got to Western Michigan University. After only one year of getting to know them, they graduated and I didn’t expect to see them again, but after a year or so, they moved to Grand Rapids and we reconnected. As it happened, in one of the summers between school years, I had two jobs. I worked in a dirty warehouse in the morning, then moonlighted as a waiter at Big Boy at night. My own house was too far away to be able to go home and clean up between shifts, so Eric and Jessie let me come over and use their shower. They are truly some of the nicest people out there. Anyway, check out Jessie’s blog. It’s filled with spiritual inspiration for people in general and families in specific.

Dare I forget to mention my contest again? If you just stumbled upon my blog, I’ve got a contest going, the prize for which is a shiny used set of The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings. Maybe you’ve read it, maybe you own it, but wouldn’t you like to tell everyone you know that this contest is going on? Come on, please?

And that’s pretty much it. If this week’s contest goes over well, I’ll do another one. I work at a bookstore and have access to lots of great books that I can use to giveaway. I’ve already got some good responses and suggestions for my blog, so I hope to continually improve it as I go. Thanks for stopping by!

Yowsa! (Did you catch the hidden message in today’s post? If you did, pass it on to my brother here.)