Author Topic: I'm running dry on ideas  (Read 829 times)

Daniel Botha

  • Yes, I have four faces.
  • Global Moderator
  • *****
  • Posts: 292
  • Karma: +17/-0
I'm running dry on ideas
« on: June 08, 2013, 03:34:31 PM »
The heading of this thread is easily one of the things that, as a writer, I fear more than anything else. Some may argue that it's all a part of the writing process and your growth as a writer... In my opinion, it's an issue that forces a writer to question their ability to come up with decent ideas and to question whether they really are doing the write thing (pun intended, as crappy as it may be).

Folks, I have writer's block and I haven't got the faintest idea of how to get out.

The weird thing is, my writer's block doesn't come down to the fact that I've run out of ideas altogether. I actually come up with ideas all the time... I just don't get the feeling that any of them are good... Correction... I know none of them are good.

I've always been a writer who lets ideas hit me suddenly, rather than going looking for any. Inspiration eventually comes, sometimes in ridiculous situations. However, having run dry for a few months, do I need to start looking, or do I continue to wait for ideas to hit me?

Those who have gone through writer's block, how does this damn thing work?

Dan

Writer Arena

  • Administrator
  • *****
  • Posts: 799
  • Karma: +21/-0
Re: I'm running dry on ideas
« Reply #1 on: June 08, 2013, 03:41:26 PM »
Write down all your ideas, crazy or not.  Keep it in a file.  Next time you run dry, go through the file.  Some of those bad ideas may not seem so bad at a later look and they may even stir up some new ideas.   

Alex

  • SubAdmin
  • *****
  • Posts: 858
  • Karma: +18/-0
  • One Stressed Pussy
    • Alex Sarris - Screenwriter
Re: I'm running dry on ideas
« Reply #2 on: June 08, 2013, 05:17:32 PM »
Write down all your ideas, crazy or not.  Keep it in a file.  Next time you run dry, go through the file.  Some of those bad ideas may not seem so bad at a later look and they may even stir up some new ideas.   

Michael, have to say with today's technology, the record apps on the iPhone replaces any file as well as being able to carry it with you anywhere.


Dan. It seems whenever I select a topic the ideas usually flow fast and thick an I have never ever been short on ideas, only time to implement t ideas.

Life experience is great to draw inspiration from though that usually comes with age (and I have a lot of age) Hee Hee.
----------------------------------------------------
It takes 15 years to be an "Overnight Success"

CLICK HERE FOR MORE DETAILS ABOUT ME.
----------------------------------------------------
It takes 15 years to be an "Overnight Success"

CLICK HERE FOR MORE DETAILS ABOUT ME.

Writer Arena

  • Administrator
  • *****
  • Posts: 799
  • Karma: +21/-0
Re: I'm running dry on ideas
« Reply #3 on: June 08, 2013, 07:35:07 PM »
Alex, by file, I meant a computer file.

Daniel Botha

  • Yes, I have four faces.
  • Global Moderator
  • *****
  • Posts: 292
  • Karma: +17/-0
Re: I'm running dry on ideas
« Reply #4 on: June 08, 2013, 08:26:45 PM »
Alex, by file, I meant a computer file.

i'd rather keep it in a regular file anyway. I'm a fan of keeping handwritten copies of stuff. Thanks for the suggestion, Michael.

Dave Troop

  • Clause
  • ***
  • Posts: 235
  • Karma: +12/-0
Re: I'm running dry on ideas
« Reply #5 on: June 08, 2013, 09:49:18 PM »
99% of the time an idea will hit me out of the blue.  It may not be a great idea at first, but it might turn into something better after I start writing.  However, sometimes an idea I thought as brilliant turns into a dud after I examine it.

I usually don't have to seek out ideas for contests on MP or here because they give you a suggestion or starting point and I just take it from there. 

The file idea is good when you have too many ideas to work on.  You can always search through your folder when the ideas aren't as fluent and maybe you'll find one that triggers something. 

Also, Alex is correct about life experiences.  Certainly, a writer who is 16 cannot have the same life experiences to draw on as a writer in his 50s. 

All I can say is stick with it, my young friend.  It is only temporary.  A writer as intelligent and talented as you will find ways to break through the wall.  Watch some movies, read some screenplays, go out and observe people. 

I went through a period when I wrote nothing for years... I dropped out and just lived my life. 
Then I just picked it up again after joining MP a few years ago.  It was literally like a light switch turned on in the creative side of my brain, and so far it hasn't switched off.

Be patient. 

Reef Dreamer

  • Global Moderator
  • *****
  • Posts: 312
  • Karma: +16/-0
Re: I'm running dry on ideas
« Reply #6 on: June 09, 2013, 12:18:09 AM »
I find it harder to come up with an idea in a vacuum, ie no question or challenge posed, compared to having to being forced to think about a resolution. It's a bit like trying to remember jokes. if some says out of the blue, tell me a joke, i just cant remember any. If i have time....i still cant....but i feel better, kind of.

Asking questions is also a good way to prod the brian into thought. ideas lurk inside, we just need to give them a nudge.

Take a normal situation and ask;

what could go wrong - in general, to the characters etc

What would they do, now reverse it - is they dont do it, or react strangely - why? Eg gunman runs into a shop, the only customer a granny. she doesnt hide, she reaches inside he purse, but what for?

I do this with MP challenges. Eg this months holding your breath. When would you do this? what emotions are do you attach to someone holding their breath and using those emotions, where could this happen...which is different.

All the best


Pia

  • Global Moderator
  • *****
  • Posts: 265
  • Karma: +6/-0
Re: I'm running dry on ideas
« Reply #7 on: June 09, 2013, 07:19:49 AM »
I had writer's block for 5 months trying to write a sequel. I usually have too many ideas than I know what to do with, but in that particular case, I was just too boxed in. After I told the filmmakers that I couldn't do the job and they said it was okay, the flood gates opened and I wrote two features in three months.  If you are stuck, just forget about it for a little while and go do something completely different so you get it out of your system. When you're ready to tackle it again, you'll do it with gusto.

Good Luck!!!

Pia  :)

Khamanna

  • Word
  • **
  • Posts: 140
  • Karma: +8/-0
  • Be nice to me, I'm new here.
Re: I'm running dry on ideas
« Reply #8 on: June 19, 2013, 05:40:55 AM »
I always thought that's a good sign - you're becoming really selective which means you can differentiate between ideas. Something I can't do. Yet.