Momenteum

| 22 Comments

Writer's block is only rarely a block for me.

It's happened, mind. I've had days where I feel physically incapable of writing.

But most of the time, I don't go through writer's block. I go through writer's fatigue. Writer's fatigue is that point where you cannot imagine having the energy to actually produce something worth reading. It's a cousin to inertia, really. You're at rest, creatively. You want to stay at rest, creatively.

That's where a blog like this one comes in handy. It's a pump-primer. It forces the words to start coming out, and once words one, two, three, four and five come out, it's far easier to get to words five-hundred-and-ninty-two, five-hundred-and-ninty-three, and so on.

This is also why so many writer's guides/handbooks/what have you's open with the injunction to write every day. For many people, this is because it's easier to write on Thursday if you already wrote on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday.

For whatever reason, my momentum has been stalled out, and every new attempt to regain it pushes the whole inertia going. And I have a lot of writing to do.

So. You're seeing this post over here. Trying to build up speed. Trying to get some traction. So that somewhere in all this I can write the 8,000 words I really need to.

22 Comments

Yeah - it is only recently that I have truly been able to 'internalize this deep truth', as it were. I've known for a while that more writing is good for, but only recently have I really tested that out and felt its effects first-hand.

For me, it isn't just a matter of momentum, either. My mind is only able to keep up with so many ideas at once. I'll have a story playing through my head, or two, or three; or thoughts on all manner of things. But as long as they are cycling through my head, there is no more room for new things to grow.

So I might see part of a story laid out ahead of me, but can't figure out where it will go from there. Only once I get everything in my head *out* am I able to make room for new stories, new thoughts... and the drive to keep them coming.

I swear, sometimes it's like you're reading my mind, Eric. I'm sitting here staring at a blank screen with 12,000 more words to write by Thursday morning for a paying client, and "writer's fatigue" is just about the perfect description. Mind you, I could probably churn out twice that if the subject was, say, anything I had played even a tiny part in choosing. But such is not the case.

Looks like I picked the wrong week to update daily. Or to quit sniffin' glue.

Maybe it's because I'm primarily a critic, but I always seem to get fatigued when I write too much in a quick span, or when my emotions are relatively subdued.

I'm just fueled by my passion. And it doesn't have to be passion about a subject. If I play my favorite video game of all time, I'm good for at least another few thousand words. Similarly, one bad game can propel me through three different pieces.

Of course, I take inspiration from strange sources. The popping sound in my left wrist is currently inspiring me.

Writer's fatigue I can relate to. Once, after I had to write and proof a thirty thousand word story in nine days, I couldn't write again for nearly six months. My mind was just broken. Something like that always happens after I come off a project. I just get obsessed with one idea, one project, and can't stop until it's done. I focus on it to the exclusion of everything else. It's exhilarating when I am writing but afterwards my mind is just tired and it wants to do nothing.

That's when I put on TLC.

My biggest trigger for writer fatigue? Lack of feedback. It's very unmotivating to spend hours/days on a piece, show it to your designated reader, and hear back "I don't have the time/energy right now, but I'll get to it first thing tomorrow/this weekend."

Yes, I know I'm supposed to write for myself. But it's nice to get some constructive feedback on occasion. :D

(this has been a bugbear of mine for years)

I feel that same way about drawing comics. I feel like, if I keep going with my update schedule, why stop updating? I think there's an element of inertia in everything, which is partly why I've been overweight for most of my life, and also why I keep writing in a journal every single day.

I should get my inertia going on the other project I'm working on...

I find my inspiration to work on something to be inversely proportional to how much I have to work on it.

Go man, go!

Same goes for drawing. I have to do sketches and scribble, limber up my brain, before getting to the work that actually matters. Not only does it build traction, it helps get the day off your back and separate your work from the mood you bring to it.

I find I get the most inspired to write when I'm at work and I simply can't. As soon as I get home I have to struggle to write, because I keep getting seduced by those !@#$% online games...

Hi! New to posting here, long time reader!

I'm new to webcomicking, too, but I'm finding that my best schedule includes two days off a week, just 'cause by the time I'm done coloring and uploading, I'm pretty creatively tired.

Except...since I'm always writing down my scripts/ideas as they come to me...I guess that doesn't count as days off! Darn! ;)

Inertia usually works for me if I set the right pace and try not to do too much. I've noticed however that if I build up too much of a buffer of comics, that I promptly start slowly way down. As the buffer increases I get a sort of creator's friction going on, and eventually I'll crawl to a halt. The buffer then starts depleting quickly and I have to build up the creative momentum again.

Heh. I've been suffering Writer's Fatigue for a while now. (Did I coin that phrase? Can't find it in any of my tangents, but I stopped keeping the "Sorry we're running late" semi-tangents after they started cropping up every single freaking day of the week... *sigh*) It's a bloody nuisance.

And what's more, it's not real. It's just your brain not wanting to do work in that area. I can post a 2,000 word forum post without hesitation no matter how tired my brain is. Well, okay, if I am exhausted physically, then I'll give up and go to bed. But if it's writer's fatigue... I can write anything but what I need to.

I suppose that's why so much of my work lately has been inspirational instead of motivational. I need to feel the spark, the urge to write, before I can get around to it. I need a vacation... and I'm not getting one anytime soon. Besides, my readers deserve tangents. Heck, they deserve them on-time, but one stepping block at a time...

Good luck working through your Writer's Fatigue. And while you're at it, check out Avalon's return to the webcomic scene. We've a whole week of comics out there now. Which is pretty cool considering Josh had quit webcomics for a bit. :)

Take care, and good luck my friend.

Robert A. Howard, Tangents Webcomic Reviews

So, in what dictionary did you find the word "momenteum"? Webster doesn't admit its existence....

Wait... Avalon is back? Josh Phillips has the muse again? And where did that choir of angels come from?

Does lack of feedback hurt some folks? I've literally gone months without it at times, but I keep plugging away. Hit counts usually assuage me a bit.

Momenteum can be found in the Burnsean Tomes, directly between the momanometer and momezmerize section. Honestly, man, do your research.

"Does lack of feedback hurt some folks?"

In my case, I think I just need to know that someone, somewhere, is actually reading the stuff. I'm better than I used to be, tho... getting "Great story! When's the next chapter coming out?" used to send me into fits. :D

Definitely a cousin to Art Fatigue. Which I've had this week. I look at the pretty art, I like the pretty art, I just have no energy to add to it...

Yeah - it is only recently that I have truly been able to 'internalize this deep truth', as it were.

It's deep truth for some people and poison for others. I'm not convinced that there shouldn't be some form of ritual soul-crushing earlier in the process -- it's way too easy for a mediocre writer with too much ego to associate "write every day" with "my work is of value." Paralysis is valuable and necessary in some cases.

Yes, I so absolutely empathize with this feeling. Why just the other day I was suffering from a similar issue, but I worked through it with my usual aplomb and skill, producing yet another wondrous work of art.

Oh wait, I write crap, and only at rare intervals, and I never finish squat.

Never mind. :P

I'm of two minds about writing. I, for instance, beleive that if you can write every day then you should write every day. I also know that I can't. I find myself reading until I'm full up, and it feels as though stuff with start leaking out my ears. I'm much better at internalizing that at externalizing. I also know that every time I've tried to write every day I can't. I simply cannot find the time. I want to, but something always stops me. And mostly, I think it's me stopping me.

I'm going to write more. I know this now. I'm going to do it, not becuase I have anything particularly interesting to say, but because the best way I'm going to understand somethings is going to be to repeat them, and hopefully get corrected, until I understand them.

Perhaps then, I'll be able to write what I really want.

So, in what dictionary did you find the word "momenteum"? Webster doesn't admit its existence....
Probably the same dictionary that has "ninty."

As a college student, I have a similar problem. Whenever I take a breather, I can never seem to get started again, which leads to terrible procrastination, and bad things happen.

So THAT's why I've not been able to work on the story I've been writing in over a month. It all makes sense now. Thanks for clearing that up.

Leave a comment

Logo: Sleeping Snarky

Recent Entries

By the way? The Soonrâ„¢ web services ending in 'r' stop dropping the 'e' before that r, the Bettrâ„¢.
The people who brought us Pirate Bay -- the very best in organized intellectual property theft -- have launched…
Charting a Course: Star Trek Online moving forward
It's been a while, yet again, and this time I have no good reason for it. It's not illness…
I suppose this means the U.S.S. Fort Kent needs to have natural lighting in the light panels
(All pictures are screenshots taken by me while in Star Trek Online. Click on the thumbnails to get full…