amazingrobots's picture
amazingrobots from Savannah, GA is reading When You Are Engulfed In Flames October 11, 2011 - 8:12am

Do you get filled with ideas, inspiration, effort, but something happens to dry up the well? Is there anything that can keep you off of writing for a few days? Something that interrupts a good flow? Distractions?

For me, if I stop in the middle of writing to save the file, I lose all motivation to continue, and I don't know why. It gets increasingly more difficult to come back to it each day. Saving something on the laptop has a finality for me that I can't really explain.

I also like to write outside, but I like much more to just be outside. It's lovely to write out there, but I'm missing the actual... outdoors-iness of it. It's all so pretty.

What about you?

wickedvoodoo's picture
wickedvoodoo from Mansfield, England is reading stuff. October 11, 2011 - 8:27am


Anything and everything. I like to write in sessions where I know I'm not going to be disturbed. Anything can throw me off track. If a friend comes over unexpected, or I end up on the phone, things like that can kill my flow stone dead.

Also - sunlight. Hate natural light when I'm writing and the curtains must be closed even if it's mid-afternoon. Have no logical explaination as to why this is the case.

Stuff like this is why it takes me so long to write. I am easliy distracted. Used to be exactly the same with essays for university. I get there in the end, I just need to be allowed to work on my terms.

Daft, eh?

Chorlie's picture
Chorlie from Philadelphia, PA is reading The Rules of the Tunnel October 11, 2011 - 8:27am

Exhaustion. Life catches up to you quickly.

Alex Kane's picture
Alex Kane from west-central Illinois is reading Dark Orbit October 11, 2011 - 9:28am

Anxiety and exhaustion brought on by schoolwork, in the broad sense. More recently, it's that I've got four or five different stories I'm dying to write, but can't decide which one to focus on first. And on top of that, I'm trying to decide which stories/characters I want to develop into a novel.

I need to just commit and get running, but I'm thinking I'll probably get all my current ideas down in short-story form so that the novel decision will be easier.

Jay.SJ's picture
Jay.SJ from London is reading Warmed and Bound October 11, 2011 - 9:36am

I work nights and feel like shit during the day and sleep. Also I'm a class A procrastinater.

Raelyn's picture
Raelyn from California is reading The Liars' Club October 11, 2011 - 9:42am

The internet.  I'll realize that I'm convincing myself that "funny cat videos" is research, so I'll leave my house and go write somewhere that has no internet access.  Once I do that I can get down to business... until a part in the story comes up where I need to do actual research and I go back home, only to repeat the process. 

I find that I work well under pressure.  If I know I have a real dead-line (because self-imposed ones can be easily delayed) then I will get it done, regardless.  

Charles's picture
Charles from Portland is reading Mongrels by Stephen Graham Jones October 11, 2011 - 9:53am


i have a fear of failure that, due to the way my thirty years have unravelled is more likely now also a fear of success.

Raelyn's picture
Raelyn from California is reading The Liars' Club October 11, 2011 - 9:58am

@Charles - That reminds me of a TV special on gambling addiction.  Supposedly when they actually win, they get frustrated because it interrupts their playing.

Charles's picture
Charles from Portland is reading Mongrels by Stephen Graham Jones October 11, 2011 - 10:00am

wow, then i guess i didnt have a gambling problem after all, because i only touch cards when i want money.

Raelyn's picture
Raelyn from California is reading The Liars' Club October 11, 2011 - 10:01am

That's called money addiction.  I believe everyone has that.

PROleary's picture
PROleary from central NJ is reading anything and everything October 11, 2011 - 10:07am

I could be writing now but instead distracting myself and posting this.

.'s picture
. October 11, 2011 - 1:29pm

Distractions - porn, netflix, books, music videos, alcohol.

Mike Mckay's picture
Mike Mckay is reading God's Ashtray October 11, 2011 - 2:08pm

@Jack we should go bowling sometime

Stress is a big turn off but not as much as my cherished badluck. I'll be working normally (it only happens when im actually doing work) than my badluck clocks in and I'm severly sidetracked in some way shape or form and it's not for a quick second or five minutes it's goes to six hours to coming home at 11pm at night so i completely forgot what i was writing about earlier and lose absoulutely all motivation to work on anything.

.'s picture
. October 11, 2011 - 2:32pm

@1 3 3 While we drink white russians? 

Mike Mckay's picture
Mike Mckay is reading God's Ashtray October 11, 2011 - 4:02pm

@Jack I wouldn't have it any other way.

Danielle Marie Tobias's picture
Danielle Marie ... from New York is reading House Infernal by Edward Lee October 11, 2011 - 5:54pm

I usually stop writing after I find I can no longer read my own work objectively. Once I've over familiarized myself with what's already been put down, reread, overthought again and again... I almost literally can't read what I've written any more. I can barely skim sentences because I know the words that are coming next, I know what happens next, and I can no longer see what it actually is. My imagination is literally reading in between the lines, filling in gaps that I haven't put on paper... Then I just assume I've done it all wrong but can't see why, and chalk it up to just another crap unfinished novel. 

lynx_child's picture
lynx_child from Seattle is reading The Dresden Files series October 11, 2011 - 7:00pm

Exhaustion. Life catches up to you quickly.


Also I have trouble moving past the beginning if I don't like it, even if it's the first draft.  I have to rewrite it until I get something solid enough to feel comfortable moving on.  I don't tend to care if later chapters are terrible and need major reworking, just the beginning...

Renfield's picture
Renfield from Hell is reading 20th Century Ghosts October 11, 2011 - 7:20pm

The thought of writing. People keep going on about how "real writers" do it because they love writing, but fuck, there is nothing more painstaking and miserable to me than sitting still and plucking away at a keyboard. And then I got to sit there and listen to myself go on, and I can't fucking stand that guy.