Monday, October 17, 2016

Ella Carey & Writer's Block

Please welcome Ella Carey back to the blog today!
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Thank you once again, Jemi for having me here.

I want to write about something a bit different today.  I want to write about it because it’s annoying, but important. If I can give you some techniques to brainstorm in order to overcome this problem that we all might face at one time or another, then I hope that this will help you deal with what can be quite a frustrating thing.

Writers’ block.

So what is it and how can you cure it? I think I’ve found out a way of dealing with it that works for me- it may not work for you. It’s only a suggestion. But, I can honestly say that I’ve had a light bulb moment this week.

I don’t know if you’ve experienced writers’ block. I don’t know whether you believe it exists. Well. Either way, this is how it went down…

I spent five days at my computer. That was normal. But in that time, I wrote one paragraph. That was it. Didn’t get any further. I was stuck. Don’t get me wrong, I kept re-writing the paragraph. But I just couldn’t make it work.

Now, you see, this is extremely odd for me. I’m a 1,000 words per hour sort of person when I’m on a roll, and that is most of the time… I write every day.

And I love my work- in fact it’s not work, it’s just the best thing. The bees knees. I adore it. I am so grateful that I get to do this and earn a living from it. It’s perfect. I’m in my zone.

I’m sure you wouldn’t be reading this blog unless you felt the same way about your writing. If you are fitting writing time into a busy schedule without any anticipation that you are going to be paid to do so, then you are probably a born writer.

But what do you do when the words dry up?

I’ve realized that this has happened to me twice. Twice in the last five years. Which isn’t bad. In fact, it’s a good track record.

But when I just couldn’t get the words out, I had no idea why. And then I realized something. It wasn’t anything to do with my writing. I hadn’t forgotten how to write. It was something else entirely that was bothering me, and until that was resolved, my writing had stopped. That was it.

So, if ever you experience this strange phenomenon, just stop. Take a look at what’s going on with you, and check it out. If you don’t know what the problem is, then maybe brainstorm a list of things that are bothering you and see which ones you can resolve. It never ceases to amaze me how intertwined all the aspects of our lives are… if one thing is troubling you at any level, it could just affect something else… your health… your work. It’s as simple as that.

Of course you can’t go around solving all your problems before you write, but if you do get stuck, maybe try brainstorming what else is going on, work out what’s on your mind and what you’d like to resolve, and try to do so. It’s as if your subconscious is niggling you- you can’t write until you’ve sorted it out.

Thank you Jemi…


Ella xx

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Ella Carey is a writer and Francophile who claims Paris as her second home. She has been studying French since the age of five, and she has degrees in music, majoring in classical piano, and English, majoring in nineteenth century women's fiction and in modern European history. Her debut novel, Paris Time Capsule, has captured global attention and her second novel, The House By The Lake, was released in March 2016, remaining in top 100 of all kindle books in the US for six months. Her third novel is From a Paris Balcony and is releasing in October, 2016. She lives in Australia.

Ella Carey on the web:        Facebook        Twitter        Author Page    Website


From A Paris Balcony

Heartbroken and alone, Boston art curator Sarah West is grieving the recent deaths of her parents and the end of her marriage. Ultrasensible by nature, she’s determined to stay the course to get her life back on track. But fate has something else in mind. While cleaning out her father’s closet, she finds a letter from the famous Parisian courtesan Marthe de Florian, dated 1895. The subject? Sarah’s great-great-aunt Louisa’s death. Legend has it Louisa committed suicide…but this letter implies there’s more to that story.
Determined to learn the truth, Sarah, against her nature, impulsively flies to Paris. There she’s drawn into the world of her flatmate, the brilliant artist Laurent Chartier. As she delves deep into the glittering Belle Époque to unravel the mystery, Sarah finds that her aunt’s story may offer her exactly what she needs to open up to love again.
Following Sarah in the present day and Louisa in the 1890s, this moving novel spans more than a century to tell the stories of two remarkable women.
Buy on:
Amazon Kindle         Amazon Paperback         Book Depository      B&N
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You're very welcome, Ella - always glad to have you visit!

That's such great advice! Life is always crazy busy here and I've definitely been stalled in my writing because I was just too exhausted to be creative. 

How about you? Have things BESIDES the writing stalled you in your writing process?

40 comments:

  1. Everything about us is intertwined. We'll become physically ill from mental stress, so it makes sense that would also spill over into our creativity.
    I'll stall out at the idea phase. But once I have a solid outline and I start writing, nothing stops me.

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    1. So true! Life is us.
      I'm still working to create an outline I don't mess up! :)

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    2. That sounds good Alex! All the best! xx

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  2. When something's bothering us, even deep in our subconscious, we just can't think straight.

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  3. Great post, Ella. Those things working in the background of our lives do come through without us knowing it sometimes.

    Hi Jemi! :)

    Thoughts in Progress
    and MC Book Tours

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    1. Hi! :)
      I agree - we have to be in a good place to be creative!

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    2. They do. Hope it was helpful. I just thought I would write honestly about it. xx

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  4. Smart advice, Ella! It's always so helpful to stop and analyze what creates blocks in life and fiction.

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    1. Yes, sometimes you don't realise it until you stop either. xx

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  5. Yes, these are great tips. And what goes on in your life can affect this, especially if you are going through a challenging time. I write nonfiction and must produce every day. Outlining so I just have to show up and write can help too.

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    1. I'm learning to outline but it's not a natural thing for my brain!

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    2. Yes, outlining can help. It's a funny thing, writing! xx

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  6. Understanding what gets us stuck often is enough to get us unstuck. Great post.

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  7. Awesome advice. I find when I get stuck, there's some kind of stress that's holding me back and I have to alleviate it to continue.

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    1. Yes, and sometimes it's a matter of working out how to manage it if it can't be alleviated, so that it doesn't affect your writing. xx

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    2. Yep - working on managing it is where I'm at! :)

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    3. When you say "working out," I think you hit it on the head. Physical exertion always breaks the tension for me.

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  8. Thanks Ella, for the advice. I can say I have never suffered from writer's block, but then I don't write every day, just most days, which gives my brain a little rest. Reading often inspires me to get back to it, and reading From a Paris Balcony will do it for me. :-)

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    1. Hi there Denise, that's very kind of you. I completely agree that reading can help. I'll remember that tip! Hope all is well with you. xx

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    2. Agreed - reading a great book is a great way to get unstuck!

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  9. Wonderful advice and tips. Congrats on this new release, Ella!

    Hi Jemi!

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  10. That's really great advice. I hadn't thought about it like that before, but it makes a lot of sense!

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    1. It really does. Stress is a very powerful element of our lives!

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  11. I'm taking that advice about brainstorming. I'm stuck and have been for two days! Yikes.

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    1. You'll get there, Lee! It's what you do!

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  12. This is exactly me. When my daughter was overseas, 3 times in the last two year, I was so worried I struggled to write. Now she's home and I'm typing away.

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    1. I bet! Worrying about kids is SUCH a big part of our lives!

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  13. So true. Too many things going on inside your hear, fighting for attention, makes it difficult to hear your characters.

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    1. Exactly! Our brains need to have a little peace and quiet to let our characters in! :)

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  14. I like this from Ella: brainstorm a list of things that are bothering you and see which ones you can resolve ... This can be applied to anything in life!

    Thanks for stopping by, Jemi, and commenting on my I'm Back to Blogger post. You say you prefer reading eBooks. Isn't it wonderful that we have so many options these days?

    I'm glad to be back to Blogger .... it seems more "cozy" ... to keep in touch with you and other "old" friends. Take care... Ann

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    1. Ann - yes! We really do need to find the cases of our stress!

      I love having the options for reading - especially at school where different kids have different needs!

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  15. I don't think I've ever suffered from writer's block, although it's not uncommon for me to stare at the page and wonder what the heck I'm doing.

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  16. I agree that we can underestimate the crimp that stress and outside influences put in our writing.

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