Beating the Writer’s Block #Writing #Author #Advice

Hi Jim,

I saw your posts inviting people to ask for advice, so I thought I’d ask… How do you deal with writer’s block? Right now, I’m having issues with it. I had a great idea, I’ve gotten about half way into writing my story, but now I’ve just run out of steam. I can’t even get myself behind the keyboard to type because I’m dreading it. I don’t want to type page after page of filler, but I don’t know how else to deal with this. Please help! I have a deadline coming up that I need to reach.

Thanks,
Jeff!


Hi Jeff,

Thanks for the email! Writer’s block is a nuisance that has plagued us all at one point or another, and, like the hiccups, we all have different ways of getting rid of it. Realistically, there is no right or wrong way. It’s all about what works for you. I hate to say this, but writers block in some cases has been known to last people years. It’s an unfortunate fact.

Since you mentioned that you’re on a deadline, I’ll give you a few tips…

  1. Rediscover what gave you your initial inspiration. Go play a game, read a book, see a movie, whatever it was, go back down that original path again.
  2. Star over. No, I’m not kidding. If you’ve hit a roadblock, start over and try taking it from a different direction. Keep the original in case you want to go back to it, but start over and try taking your characters down another path. It’s better than sitting there staring blankly at the screen.
  3. Take a break… Don’t think about writing, put it out of your head for a few days and give yourself time to reflect.

If all else fails, I’d say that your best bet is to talk to your publisher/agent and see if the due date can be renegotiated. I’ve found there to be some wiggle room in the past.

Hope this helps,

I’ll open it up to my readers as well, maybe they’ll have some insight here. What does everyone think? Do you have any tips for Jeff to break his writers block?



Readers,

Do you have a question about writing, publishing, my stories, etc? Please feel free to post a comment or email me.

jimthewritingwizard@gmail.com

I’ll use those comments to select my next blog post.

I have been writing for several years, have multiple published works, experience with publishing and independent work, so I can hopefully be of assistance.

Please note, I only do one of these a day and will do my best to respond to everyone, but it may take some time.

Also, feel free to check out my works of Fantasy and Historical Fiction, Available on Amazon and where ever books are sold. See the link below:

http://www.amazon.com/James-Harrington/e/B00P7FBXTU

Note:
If you have read my books, PLEASE log into Amazon and post a review. I really love to hear everyone’s thoughts and constructive criticisms. Reviews help get my book attention and word of mouth is everything in this business!

Thanks friends!

Catch you on the flip side!

-Jim

Editorial vs. Factual

“…In terms of fictional writing I think it doesn’t really matter who the author is or what they believe in as it wouldn’t affect my view of their work in either a negative or positive way. I would happily read, for example, something by L. Ron Hubbard without caring for or knowing anything about scientology – knowing his beliefs make no difference to me as a reader. But what about non fiction? What about authors of propaganda presented as fact? Or even research papers paid for by specific interest groups (oil companies, religious groups etc.) – if you knew that the authors of a book about evolution were evangelical Christians (for example) would it make you question their research?”

lucindablogs
In response to my post “Drawing a Line in the Sand.”


 

Hi Lucinda,

Hooo boy… yeah non-fiction is a whole other boat. Even there, I would argue that the writer should not be obligated to make their political leanings known. There are a couple of reasons for this…

  1. The author’s political biases are probably already known. Take the movie The Reagans for example. President Reagan himself was played by the husband of known left-wing activist, Barbara Streisand… so it really should be looked at with some skepticism.
  2. Sources. Non-fiction writers are supposed to cite sources and make a reference page at the end of the book, this is for all to see.

So let’s say that someone didn’t cite sources… then likely their book would be looked at as a work of fiction.

Now, let’s go off on the odd chance that someone wrote a propaganda piece and passed it off as fact in a non-fiction work and they have no political history or other works… then honestly, it’s the responsibility of the reader to know the difference.

The first thing I would do is check the source material. Check to see if the cited sources are scholarly works, text books, and so on… or are they blogs, editorial pieces, pieces from media news, or the rantings of some random idiot…

12319286_1022237901172753_846091618_nSigh… yeah… Needless to say, there is a huge difference there.

If a reader catches one of these people in the act, I’d say it’s not only their right, it is there responsibility to call that person out on it. This is why I take virtually nothing that people like Anita Sarkeesian say seriously. Be wary of them when they close down comment sections on YouTube or block twitter followers who dare to challenge them. That’s usually a tell-tale sign that what they’re pushing as literal fact is in fact bogus.

Most of the mainstream media is guilty of this, which is why their mediums are dying quickly. With the exception mostly of CSPAN, every single news outlet out there puts a spin on almost everything they report.These days, almost 100% of the news we watch are editorials, not fact and unfortunately, these editorials are pushed as actual literal fact, at which point intentionally or otherwise they become LIES. This is important, because when people are printing opinion as fact, that becomes a very serious ethical problem.

The important thing is to know the difference between editorial and fact:

Editorial: a newspaper article written by or on behalf of an editor that gives an opinion on a topical issue.

Fact: A thing that is indisputably the case.

There’s the difference and this is why I say it is the READERS responsibility to know the difference. Unscrupulous propaganda machines rarely admit they’re wrong unless significantly called out on it.

This is why I would never EVER write a non-fiction piece. Unlike the mainstream media, I have a moral and ethical compass. I’ve been a political activist in one way or another for many years up until recently. I know that there is no way that I could ever write something without putting my own bias and personal feelings into it. So I don’t try to. Any time I write about events that actually happen, I openly admit that it’s my own take on them and actually encourage people to come forward and point out where they think I’m wrong so that I can correct it. Don’t take what I say as fact. Use it and other opinions to help you form your own. I never write anything with the intention of misleading anyone. I just want to get my own thoughts out.

So to answer your question, if someone doesn’t want their political leanings known, fiction or non-fiction, they’re under no obligation to. Sorry to say it, but it’s true. However if you catch someone printing lies, call them out on it. Make it known that what they’re doing is wrong. I honestly believe that its not only your right, it’s your responsability. Just as it is everyone elses.

I sincerely hope this helps clear that up!

However, I will open this up to the comments section as well. What do you think, people? Should those writing fact have to devulge their political leanings? Should the readers be responsible for fact-finding when it comes to editorial writing, or descerning the difference? Let me know!




Readers,

Do you have a question about writing, publishing, my stories, etc? Please feel free to post a comment or email me.
jimthewritingwizard@gmail.com
I’ll use those comments to select my next blog post.

I have been writing for several years, have 4 published works, experience with publishing and independent work, so I can hopefully be of assistance.
Please note, I only do one of these a day and will do my best to respond to everyone, but it may take some time.

Also, feel free to check out my works of Fantasy and Historical Fiction, Available on Amazon and where ever books are sold. See the link below:

http://www.amazon.com/James-Harrington/e/B00P7FBXTU

Thanks friends!
Catch you on the flip side!

-Jim

Beating the Writer’s Block

Hi Jim,

I saw your posts inviting people to ask for advice, so I thought I’d ask… How do you deal with writer’s block? Right now, I’m having issues with it. I had a great idea, I’ve gotten about half way into writing my story, but now I’ve just run out of steam. I can’t even get myself behind the keyboard to type because I’m dreading it. I don’t want to type page after page of filler, but I don’t know how else to deal with this. Please help! I have a deadline coming up that I need to reach.

Thanks,
Jeff!


Hi Jeff,

Thanks for the email! Writer’s block is a nuisance that has plagued us all at one point or another, and, like the hiccups, we all have different ways of getting rid of it. Realistically, there is no right or wrong way. It’s all about what works for you. I hate to say this, but writers block in some cases has been known to last people years. It’s an unfortunate fact.

Since you mentioned that you’re on a deadline, I’ll give you a few tips…

  1. Rediscover what gave you your initial inspiration. Go play a game, read a book, see a movie, whatever it was, go back down that original path again.
  2. Star over. No, I’m not kidding. If you’ve hit a roadblock, start over and try taking it from a different direction. Keep the original in case you want to go back to it, but start over and try taking your characters down another path. It’s better than sitting there staring blankly at the screen.
  3. Take a break… Don’t think about writing, put it out of your head for a few days and give yourself time to reflect.

If all else fails, I’d say that your best bet is to talk to your publisher/agent and see if the due date can be renegotiated. I’ve found there to be some wiggle room in the past.

Hope this helps,

I’ll open it up to my readers as well, maybe they’ll have some insight here. What does everyone think? Do you have any tips for Jeff to break his writers block?



Readers,

Do you have a question about writing, publishing, my stories, etc? Please feel free to post a comment or email me.
jimthewritingwizard@gmail.com
I’ll use those comments to select my next blog post.

I have been writing for several years, have 4 published works, experience with publishing and independent work, so I can hopefully be of assistance.
Please note, I only do one of these a day and will do my best to respond to everyone, but it may take some time.

Also, feel free to check out my works of Fantasy and Historical Fiction, Available on Amazon and where ever books are sold. See the link below:

http://www.amazon.com/James-Harrington/e/B00P7FBXTU

Thanks friends!
Catch you on the flip side!

-Jim

Author’s Advice Pt. 16

If you’re good at something, don’t do it for free!

Okay, let me start off by saying that I’m aware a lot of people are going to disagree with me on this, and I am aware that there are exceptions to this rule. If you want to donate copies of your book to a local shelter, library, or even just throw a few sample copies in public places to get the word out, that’s fine. I do that every now and again.

My issue comes when I see people posting professional writing on here or when you publish on nook or kindle for free. Even if it’s just a hobby, you put in a lot of time and energy into that work that could have been donated to other endeavors. You deserve to be compensated for that even if said compensation isn’t much (your writing, it won’t be). If you think putting your book out for free is a good way to get your name out there and give yourself exposure, while giving the writers an idea of what your write, then post a chapter, or a direct quote from your book, but the entire thing?

I know a lot of authors who have tried to justify that by giving away a book, readers will buy a copy later or will buy the next book that comes out. Admittedly, I haven’t been in the writing circle that long, but I have been here long enough to know that this rarely works unless you have the devil’s own luck. People in this day and age like to cling to their money as if their lives depend on it. Why would they pay for a book when they can get another for free? They wouldn’t. Unless you somehow managed to develop a die-hard fan base, in most cases, they’ll just move on to the next freebie.

“Well it’s not about the money.”

That’s fine, I understand it’s not about the money, it’s not about the money for me either… I’d find a different talent if it was.
But what are you doing by giving it away? You’re devaluing your work for one. In writing circles, it often comes across as you don’t think you’re writing is good enough unless your giving it away. I’ve actually spoken to people about it and they actually believe that no one would read their work UNLESS it’s free. So now we’ve basically given writers an inferiority complex. If you don’t want the money, then put it to good use in some way other than profiting.

Think about it, do you see businesses giving away their products for free? Maybe one or two as a promotional gimmick in a contest, or as a bonus when you buy something else, but never just give it away. You’ll never go into a store and have someone hand you a full product for free. They may give you a sample, or offer you a discount, or even free with the purchase of (insert product), but they’ll never just hand it over to you.

Anyway, that’s all for this round, feel free to post a comment below if you disagree, I would actually like to hear differing opinions on this one and maybe even some success stories.


Readers,

Do you have a question about writing, publishing, my stories, etc? Please feel free to post a comment or email me.
jimthewritingwizard@gmail.com
I’ll use those comments to select my next blog post.

I have been writing for several years, have 4 published works, experience with publishing and independent work, so I can hopefully be of assistance.
Please note, I only do one of these a day and will do my best to respond to everyone, but it may take some time.

Thanks friends!
Catch you on the flip side!