[Alea's Scrapbook] The Couch

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The player scrapbooks forum is literally a place for writers to warm-up, brainstorm, keep little scraps of notes, or just post things to encourage themselves and each other. Each player can feel free to create their own thread - one per account - and use them accordingly.

[Alea's Scrapbook] The Couch

Postby Alea Davenport on July 3rd, 2013, 1:13 am

I am tentatively back! I'm still not taking new threads until next season, but I've been catching up with my old threads, and I feel like I'm now in a place where I can reply to those threads in a more timely manner than...er...months... (so sorry, my poor rp partners!).

I look forward to exciting new plots at the season change, but until then I'll work toward getting myself to a place where I'll have the time, energy, and motivation to make awesome things happen :) (Look forward to a lot more action from my Dhani, Iskessah Kosun!)
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[Alea's Scrapbook] The Couch

Postby Ana Sol Starris on July 13th, 2013, 1:41 pm



Le gasp :ninja:
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[Alea's Scrapbook] The Couch

Postby Shiyami on July 17th, 2013, 12:36 am

Ok, lurking through everythread, seeing how many I could finish reading, and possibly reply to while waiting for responses for my thread(s).

decided to try the personality test.

You have slight preference of Introversion over Extraversion (22%)
You have moderate preference of Intuition over Sensing (38%)
You have moderate preference of Thinking over Feeling (50%)
You have slight preference of Perceiving over Judging (22%)

How am I suppose to...decode(?) this? is a 50% like the between zone? Or is the 22% closer?
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[Alea's Scrapbook] The Couch

Postby Alea Davenport on July 17th, 2013, 2:25 am

Given the wording of "preference", I'd think 0% is in between, so I guess for your question, 22% (the "slight" preference) would be closer to in between than 50% (the "moderate" preference). In math-ier terms, the scale technically goes from -100% to 100%, but instead of describing it as negative it would just switch the order of the words.
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[Alea's Scrapbook] The Couch

Postby Shiyami on July 17th, 2013, 2:10 pm

Ah, so it is more of an integer line with this. Thanks for the info!
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Postby Alea Davenport on August 25th, 2013, 3:07 pm

Writer's Block

And what you can do about it


A common complaint on Mizahar is, "I can't write! I have writer's block! My muse has left me for far-off lands!"
Some of the Mizahar veterans (or any writer, really) might giggle or groan and call this a poor excuse for laziness.
I can't speak for everyone, but I have been all over the map in terms of writing inspiration. I remember first starting out, when I couldn't WAIT to get my words on the page. Then, after a few months, I started to burn out. Every post was a struggle, and there were times I had to take a break altogether. As I threaded I learned a bit about the muse, and writer's block, and I would like to share these things with you now.

First, some thoughts on the "muse": People often say they cannot write because their muse is gone. I understand exactly how this feels, but the thing to realize is, you don't need your muse to write. In fact, it's the other way around, your muse needs YOU to write in order for it to exist! What people call a muse, I interpret as that fuzzy excited feeling where the words are just pouring out of your fingertips, and you can't seem to STOP writing! This is an amazing feeling! The trouble is, a lot of people (new writers especially) think that, when this feeling stops, it means they CAN'T write anymore. The inspiration/energy/desire/drive/muse/whatever has dried up and they're done.

This is the point when many new writers declare "writer's block" and give up. Well, I'm here to take that excuse away, because the hard truth is, inspiration is a rare and precious commodity, and the majority of your writing will feel plainer by comparison. The important thing is, don't let this stop you from writing! A break every once in a (long) while is fine, but if you want to be a writer, you can't let your writing muscle atrophy! If your muse has left you, then you must win it back by proving you deserve its attention. Don't make your muse do all the work of writing. They are fragile things, and will break under the strain.

Before I start rambling too much, let's move on to the main point of this essay. I have noticed that there are two kinds of writer's block.

Type 1
You're stuck. You're at a place in the plot where you simply have no idea how to move forward. Possibly, you're sure you could keep writing freely if only you could get past this one roadblock!

The Solution
Brainstorming! The cure for no ideas is to get all the ideas! Grab a friend (or, really, anyone who'll listen), possibly even your threading partner if you have one. Explain that you're stuck. Start explaining the situation that has you stuck. Discuss why you're stuck, what precise aspect of the situation has you at a loss for how to move forward. An outside perspective, even one with a limited understanding of the situation, can come up with ideas that you might be too burned out to conjure. You're still allowed to reject ideas that won't work, but the mere act of discussing it can get the creative juices going, and put you back in the world of the story. You might even come up with ideas you never knew you had!

Type 2
You have ideas. You know exactly what to write about, what you want your character to do next, but you just don't feel like it. Churning out words is too hard, you're not in the mood. Something on the internet is just too distracting.

The Solution
This one is less fun. The short answer is, you just have to suck it up and write. You have to DECIDE to write. Find a way to get yourself in a headspace where writing is the THING you have chosen to do. Decide that all those internet distractions can stand to wait a few hours at least. Probably get out of Chat (or at least out of Public). I notice sometimes when I have trouble with this type of writer's block, it's because my head is not really in Mizahar-land, so if it helps, talk to a friend about Mizahar (possibly about the very thread you're stuck on. Heck, tell them your ideas for it), just to get your head back in the game. (This is one reason why keeping chat on the subject of Mizahar is so important.)
One more strategy that works for me is: outlining. So you have all the ideas for what to do next, but you want to put them all on the page at once and you don't know which to write first? And you don't want to get into one, because you might forget about the others? Make an outline! An extremely rough, bare notes sort of outline with no formal structure, just whatever words loosely describe what you want to happen, in roughly the order you want it to happen. If each item can be spun into a few sentences or a paragraph, you might find yourself writing longer posts than you ever dreamed. There will be so much stuff you just want to get done in a post that you'll be apologizing to your threading partners for how long it is before you know it!

Other factors to consider
One more thing that affects writing ability is actual physical health. Make sure you're getting enough sleep, and food! For me, hunger severely affects my ability to focus on writing :) Exercise probably helps too. If you're stuck, go for a walk. (Leave your cell phones and other devices behind, or at least off.) Let the fresh air and distraction-less setting refresh your brain.

In Conclusion
There it is, my 2 cents on writer's block. I hope it didn't come off too preachy. I just hope this can help people who suffer from writer's block to find a way out of it and keep writing, for the enjoyment of all :)
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[Alea's Scrapbook] The Couch

Postby Gossamer on August 25th, 2013, 5:28 pm

I liked reading this scrap.

I don't believe in writer's block at all. Never experienced it. Too tired to write? Yes, frequently. To busy to write? Absolutely. That happens a lot. Too many projects to do and can't decide which to start on first and complete? Yup, this particularly drives me crazy. Check. Check. Been there and done that. But writer's block? Nope. Never. I think its an excuse.

But I do agree wholeheartedly with what you said about your muse needs you to write to exist. No finer words have been spoken in regards to it!
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[Alea's Scrapbook] The Couch

Postby Alea Davenport on August 25th, 2013, 5:43 pm

Writer's block might not "exist" in the strictest sense, but just because you've never experienced something doesn't mean no one has. Everyone is different :)

I personally have experienced everything I discussed in that scrap :)
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[Alea's Scrapbook] The Couch

Postby Alori Sai on August 25th, 2013, 5:49 pm

Awwww, do you still have writer's block? Too bad, guess I am the better Aela. "Skips off to Wind Reach."
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[Alea's Scrapbook] The Couch

Postby Alea Davenport on August 25th, 2013, 6:10 pm

You misunderstand Alori. I have CURED writer's block. I merely put this here to help future generations who still struggle with it :P

It may not look like it because you're only seeing Alea (who is still grounded), but I have been posting like crazy on Iskessah and Scorn lately :P
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