What’s Up Wednesday: Writer’s Cramp

What's up? Wednesday, that's what's up.

It’s Wednesday! Time for what’s up. This is gonna be a shorty and a not so goody because it’s already 11pm. Whoops.

Hey, cut me some slack here. Busy news day falling on an actual sick day makes Nicole a tardy girl. (Even more so than usual.)

So, this past week. I’ve been suffering from something writer’s block adjacent. Let’s call it writer’s cramps. It’s where I feel fine and I’m chugging along on a writing sprint and then all of a sudden, CRAMP. Everything seizes up and I get mentally constipated. It sucks. It eventually passes, but that fleeting feeling of WHAT AM I DOING OH GODS MY MUSE HAS FORSAKEN ME I’LL NEVER WRITE AGAIN…well, it’s not a good look for me. I do a lot of panicked tugging of the bangs.

Shit, this should probably be in the What I’m Writing section. I’m terrible at this.

WHATEVER. This is my blog and I’ll do what I want, you’re not my real dad!

Ahem.

Let’s just get into What’s Up, shall we?

WHAT I’M READING

I’m nearly finished with Neil Gaiman’s Smoke & Mirrors…just in time for the release of his new novel, The Ocean at the End of the Lane! But I’m going to try to exercise a modicum of restraint and NOT jump right into it, not when I have so little time as it is.

So instead I’m sticking to my darling (and easily consumed) medium of comic books. If you’re not reading the Young Avengers, Hawkeye, Saga, and All New X-Men, YOU ARE MISSING OUT. Seriously. “Non comic book fans” (boo hiss, I hate even writing that phrase), don’t despair: Hawkeye and Saga are both noob-friendly. You don’t need to know anything about anything to appreciate the witty, gripping storytelling. And if you ARE a comics aficionado and you’re not reading YA or ANXM, you’re dead to me. Fix it now.

WHAT I’M WRITING

writers-block-inspiration-girl-paper

I’m not. Well, I mean, clearly I’m writing right now, but I’ve kind of stalled out on my damn WIP again.  I just can’t figure out where to start. I’ve written and rewritten the first few chapters too many times. My plan for this week is to charge ahead to the “where it gets good” point.

Why? One reason: I’m rubbish at exposition. Setting up a story without giving everything away is a major weakness of mine, so I’m just going to come back to that instead of using it as an excuse not to write. Know thyself and yadda yadda yadda.

My goal for this week? To write at least three new chapters. I don’t care if they’re the next three chapters, the last three chapters, or randomly scattered pieces of the story. I just need to start creating that content. Once it’s there, I can hack it down to what I want it to be eventually, but I’ve got to get the story on paper.

-beating-writers-block-inspiration

Didn’t hit my word count goal from last week (came in at 3000 words with a 5000 word goal, ouch), so I’m going to try a more “abstract” goal. Honestly, I have no idea what the word count will end up being if I can manage to hit this week’s 3Ch goal, but maybe that’s the kind of wiggle room I need to make progress without feeling like a schmuck for not hitting my goals.

In the meantime this past week, I’ve been sticking to my short stories. I started a new one during a #ReadySetWrite Twitter party this week, and I like where it’s going. It’s the first thing I’ve written in third person in a long time, and it’s whimsical and silly and I kind of love it so far. Letting it simmer now, maybe I can tackle some of it for next week’s goal. Who knows?

WHAT INSPIRES ME RIGHT NOW

I’m big on quotes. Always have been, always will be. I don’t know what it is about me, maybe I’m just easily swayed by words (I think it’s an INFP thing). Anyway, I ran across this slice of fried gold and it was one of those GET UP OFF YOUR ASS moments for me:

You just do it. You force yourself to get up. You force yourself to put one foot before the other, and God damn it, you refuse to let it get to you. You fight. You cry. You curse. Then you go about the business of living. That’s how I’ve done it. There’s no other way.   – ELIZABETH TAYLOR

This one really hit home. Lately it’s been hard to put one foot in front of the other, as Liz says. It’s hard juggling mental and physical issues, ya dig? I’m both emotionally and physically compromised…I’m a sick Spock, so to speak. (NERD ALERT.) But this quote reminds me that it’s not an option to sit around feeling sorry for myself. There’s nothing to do except keep at it until maybe it doesn’t take as much effort to be a functional human being.

Wah wah waaaah. I swear, I’m doing better. But being ill doesn’t do a body or a brain good, and today kinda stunk. But hey. ONWARD.

WHAT ELSE I’VE BEEN UP TO

When not being the crampiest, weakest, fever-dreamiest girl in town, I’ve been semi-productive…ish. Going for walk-jogs (when I can), trying to get out and visit family and friends (when I can), and planning ahead for when I feel better. Cases in points: we booked our trip to Hawaii (yay!), I’ve been planning my trip to (and coverage of) Comic Con (YAY!!!), and I’ve been plotting and scheming with my families to throw my sister’s two going away parties before she leaves to teach abroad for a year in American Samoa (NO YAY BOO BOO BOO I AM CRY). See? I’m keeping busy (when I can…today the only thing I got up to was napping, watching HGTV, and mustering up the energy to work from home when a major story broke…hey, news is 24/7).

Oh, also: I tried dyeing my hair with henna for the first time this weekend. It was a WHOLE THING. Don’t worry, I took lots of pictures, because this madness warrants its own post. Stay tuned.

Welp, that about wraps it up. This “shorty but not so goody” is already over 1000 words (why can’t I write creatively this easily?! Ugh! Scumbag Brain.), AND it’s 11:50, so I’m barely making it in, but barely still counts. SUCK IT WEDNESDAY, victory is mine!

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18 thoughts on “What’s Up Wednesday: Writer’s Cramp

  1. Alison Miller

    First, LOVE writer’s cramp as opposed to writer’s block (although I did love the cartoon). I get that often. Sometimes it results in a thirty-minute escape to twitter. Other times I just force myself to work through it (the latter is so much more productive but doesn’t happen as often) I do love the Liz Taylor quote and it’s VERY inspirational. I think I shall post it on my laptop.

    Just keep writing! And I hope you have a very productive and fun week!

    1. Nicole Mojan Pirshafiey

      I love your solutions…except my “thirty-minute escape to Twitter” usually ends up lasting about waaaay longer than it should. Willpower? What is this witchcraft you speak of?

      I’m glad you liked the Liz Taylor quote, I don’t know why it spoke to me so much, but it spoke LOUDLY.

      Thanks for the encouragement, I definitely need it this week…more writing, less whining! THERE’S NO CRYING IN READYSETWRITE. (Just kidding. There’s probably a ton of crying in ReadySetWrite.)

  2. I love the Liz Taylor quote. It sounds like you’re doing fine with your writing goals, especially considering you’re ill. 3000 words is great. I am also a person who skips around a bit when writing. Writing the part that’s really itching to get out at that moment really works for me. The writing police will not arrest you for writing chapters out of order. :0) I hope you feel better soon!

    1. Nicole Mojan Pirshafiey

      If the Writing Police come after me, I’m totally calling you to bail me out. 😉 Thanks so much for the encouragement! I’m glad I’m not the only one playing with skipping around…I think it may be easier to just write whatever pops in my head rather than sit and have a staring contest with the particular chapter I’m on. Here goes nothing!

  3. OH MY GOODNESS IT’S NOT WEDNESDAY NOW?!?!

    Sigh. I owe myself a What’s Up Wednesday post.

    I get the writer’s cramps, too. I’ll be crankin’ the words out like a crazy person and then HALT. Nada.

    You will get past it. (And if you need to bounce craziness to clear your head, you know where to find me.)

    1. Nicole Mojan Pirshafiey

      This was the Wednesday everyone forgot about…I legit had to clamber out of bed and trudge down the hallway to get this posted on time. Oops. But don’t feel bad, I know at least two other people forgot it was Wednesday! I’ll forge your mom’s signature excuse your absence, it’ll be fine.

      Also, I’m going to worddump all over you soon. INCOMING!!!

  4. I think I understand this writer’s cramp thing. I’ve been writing, getting words on the page, but then I just don’t feel motivated anymore. Like it just vanishes. And the getting my butt in the chair thing has been rough too. Though, 3000 words is nothing to feel bad about. That’s pretty darn good, in my opinion. Here’s to another week of meeting our goals! 🙂

    1. Nicole Mojan Pirshafiey

      Ugh, solidarity sister! Part of me is glad it’s not just me, and part of me feels like a guilty jerk for being glad it’s not just me. 😉

      But yes, onward ho! Here’s to a week of cramp-free writing. Maybe if we stretch we won’t get mental charlie horses this time around!

  5. Henna hair-dying? You are so much braver than I. I’ve really wanted to, but knowing my propensity to do terrible things with my hair, I just can’t do it. 😛
    And I hear ya on the beginnings. I finally nailed down where I wanted to begin this week, but only after half a dozen different openings. I managed to find one I liked before I got too frustrated. Starting wherever you want sounds like a good idea, though. I hope you’re able to meet your goals this week!

    1. Nicole Mojan Pirshafiey

      OMG, okay, henna talk: it was SUCH a production. I felt so feral smashing this weird-smelling mud-textured homemade paste all over my head. BUT! Totally worth it. My hair is shinier and healthier than ever, and it covered all the white hairs that have been popping out to torment me lately. Apparently the color lasts for 8 weeks? We’ll see about that. I went with Lush’s Brun color (it’s the third darkest out of four colors)…not as much red as I expected, just a really warm dark chocolately brown!

      Also: “Half a Dozen Different Openings” could seriously be the title of my memoirs at this point. So many false starts! I’m glad you found one that worked before you threw in the towel…toss a little of that inspiration my way, will ya? 😉

  6. Bev

    Funny you mentioned liking quotations; I saw this one about half an hour after reading your blog this morning. Fairly certain this message was meant for you: “Only mediocrity can be trusted to be always at its best. Genius must always have lapses proportionate to its triumphs.”–Max Beerbohm

    1. Nicole Mojan Pirshafiey

      That spoke to me on a deeply moving and narcissistic level. Also, applying this as a universal axiom to most people I know, I have to say I agree. YAY TROUBLED GENIUS.

  7. Pingback: What’s Up Wednesday – And Something Special!

  8. Work really kicked in this last week. I was in the edit trying to finish Derek, doing press for An Idiot Abroad 3, getting together the set for my little Scandanavian arena tour, starting a new movie script, and annoying fundamentalists on Twitter. The last one is more of a hobby, but very time consuming. Haha. It’s also shopping time. Jane’s birthday in December starts the ball rolling then Christmas takes over. To make it easier, last year we initiated “the list”. We have to do a long list of things we want and the other person buys some of them so you’re still not sure what you’re getting. It really helps. This was the list I made of presents I wanted… Jane looked at it, laughed, and said, “Now do a proper one.” Maybe she was just trying to throw me off the scent. I pretended to fall for it. I am going to call my monkey butler Ernest by the way, and I will train it to carry stuff for me.

  9. Pingback: Samoa Cookies Are Dead To Me, AKA I Miss My Sister Already | The Big English Blog

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