August 02, 2010

Writing through Writer's Block

Most writers know that one way to work through "writer's block" is to write down anything and everything that comes to mind. Basically, rambling on paper (or on the computer). You're not trying to tell a story, or write an article about anything specific, just whatever passes through your mind. Although the content that is written may have no purpose, the exercise itself has a greater purpose - to nudge, to inspire, to motivate the writer. With that explanation, here goes some random writing . . . this could be more interesting that Willy Wonka's journey through the psychadelic tunnel.

So all I can think of right now is fish. Specifically, the fish header that one of my friends has on her blog. It has a bunch of little fish (fishes, fishies) swimming around and I sometimes get very distracted looking at it. Which makes me think of the piece of flair I saw on facebook. It depicted a line of ants marching towards a bookstore, with one ant in the middle somewhere breaking formation to look at something shiny. Kind of like having ADDDDEFGHIJK . . . I only joke about it because I'm sure I've got a bit of that in me.

Speaking of ADD (or ADHD), I know that can be a very controversial subject. It does indeed seem to be over-diagnosed all too frequently. I believe that many of the children who are "diagnosed" with an attention deficit disorder just need a good whack on the rear end and a big dose of discipline. On the other hand, I'm sure there are some people who truly have something hinky going on in their brains that really does constitute a physical (or mental) problem. These cases should by all means be treated with proper medication (although strict - and enforced - discipline would be helpful there too).

That's the problem with so many of these "psychological disorders" or "mental illnesses" that we promote today. How many people live with a "label" that pretends to excuse their behavior? How many of them have nothing more complex than a spiritual issue (true, that spiritual issue could be complex in itself)? The point is, a lot of these "disorders" or more like character illnesses rather than physical illnesses. I don't disagree that some people brains really have problems, that some of them really don't work the way everybody else's brains do. I believe there may indeed be problems such as bipolar, depression, or adhd that truly are medical issues that must be addressed and treated by doctors. But I also firmly believe that these labels are thrown on people to excuse weak character and undisciplined living.

I know I don't have a degree in the medical field which would qualify me to make definitive statements about these things; I'm just someone who enjoys reading about cognitive science. But it makes sense, doesn't it? Anyway, I suppose I should get off my soapbox. Speaking of soapboxes . . . is it "soap box" or "soapbox" or "soap-box"? My computer's auto-spellchecker didn't put a squiggly little line under "soapbox" so I guess that's right, but I'm too lazy (yeah I know, a lack of discipline) to look it up in the dictionary. Actually it's not really laziness; more like, I want to keep writing while I have the stuff in my head to write about. You know, do something while you have the inspiration to do it?

Of course, now that I said that I can't really think of anything else to write about. I don't know whether it helped my writer's block or not . . . and I have no illusions that any of you will really be interested enough in what I'm writing here to actually get to this point of my post. If you do, would you be so kind as to comment on it (haha)?

Speaking of commenting, can I just put out a big request for people to give me feedback here on the blog (kind of goes for my other blog too)? Just as actors need an audience and teachers need a class, writers need readers - and especially readers who will give feedback. How do I know whether people enjoy what I write if nobody tells me? How do I know if they hate or get confused by it if they don't let me know? I need feedback! I need to know what people like or dislike, what they think I could do better (descriptions, endings, storylines, word choices).

Since most of you who read this blog also read my other one (Dog Fur & Dandelions), could I request the same thing there? I know I share those posts on facebook, and sometimes people comment there, but I would LOVE to have some feedback on my blog that I could back and read later on (it's too hard to find it through older posts on my facebook page). If something I write is encouraging to you, let me know! If you think I should have made a point more clearly, or you disagree with something I said, let me know! Not getting feedback is like making a speech to a room full of blank faces; on the other hand, getting feedback is like chicken soup for the writer's soul (to use an overused cliche).

Well, that's two soapboxes now. Maybe I ought to stop while I'm in between thoughts. Guess the coffee is kicking in finally. Oh, speaking of coffee, let me tell you something else . . .

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