Monday, 6 June 2011

Blank Screen Syndrome

You may have noticed that I've been quieter here and elsewhere, but then again, maybe you haven't. Reason: A demon stole my words.

I don't know what he/she looked like. There was no particular smell attached to them. They stole in while I was trying to compete in Short Story Month, gave me a nasty case of the Blahs and left me with Blank Screen Syndrome. Every day, I'd open my idea file and couldn't figure what the hell I was supposed to do with it. I mean... How do you start writing? It was like a totally alien concept. Even twittering inane things seemed like hard work and yet inane is supposed to be part of my make-up. And I've lost count of the amount of blog posts I read but didn't comment on.

I have never had writer's block like it. I'm not even certain I've had writer's block before. Freaky.

Anyhow, I've managed to steal a few words back. I started a new short story yesterday (Glimpses of Beauty through Bleached Bone) and I'm writing it in disjointed scenes rather than stressing about joining A to B to C and I'll patch it all together when it's done. And hopefully the other is done too.

If you're suffering Blank Screen Syndrome too, trust me, you'll find your way back to completing sentences and paragraphs, it's just a case of riding the wave. At the moment, I'm at dipping my toe in the sea stage and trying to remember how to float (I never could swim).

15 comments:

Deborah Walker said...

Ah, poor Cate. Writers' block is a horrible thing. All I can do is hope that you've ridden the wave.

Nasty, irrational thing.

Cate Gardner said...

Yes, woe is me :D I'm on a surfboard as I type.

Kelly Hashway said...

I've become a big planner. I outline or write chapter summaries. I've found it cuts down on the writer's block when I plan upfront like this.

I hope your typing away again before you know it.

Katey said...

Sometimes we just need to stop and refill the tank, man. I'm glad you're out of it, for selfish reasons, though!

Michael Stone said...

I've read your post but...I can't think of anything to say. :P

Alan W. Davidson said...

Thanks for the encouraging words, Cate. I can't seem to shake that Blank Screen Syndrome (catchy phrase). Have two short stories due by the end of the month and can't seem to come up with ideas...

Aaron Polson said...

Watch out--sharks think those surfboards look a lot like food. ;)

Good luck conquering the blank screen.

Milo James Fowler said...

Sounds like you've got a good strategy going. For me, writing microfiction and haiku helps + streaming LOTS of Netflix crap; creating disjointed scenes works, too. Just get them words down. Sort 'em out later.

Katie L. Carroll (KT) said...

Glad you found some words, Cate. I've been squeezing out a painful few at a time lately. Writing is such an up-and-down roller coaster, but I still love the journey.

Natalie L. Sin said...

Writers block can suck ass.

Cate Gardner said...

I'm trying to plan at the moment, Kelly. If nothing else it should cut out some of the nonsensical.

Me too, Katey (and I took days off :O)

Ha! Mike :D

It's no fun, is it, Alan? I hope you find your words soon.

Thanks, Aaron

If I attempt haiku the world might implode, Milo. :D

Thanks, Katie

Indeed, Natalie.

Simon said...

Thought you'd been a bit quiet. Glad it wasn't something I said ;-)

The Block truly sucks. Kelly's right about planning- I've even extended some of that to short fiction now and it's paid dividends.

Maybe you pushed yourself too hard in Short Fiction Month, tried to do too many pieces without a break. It happens.

Here's to riding the wave:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AepyGm9Me6w

PS My word verification is 'cation'. Seriously! What's goin' on...?

Cate Gardner said...

Well now you mention it, I think it was your fault. yes, that sounds right.

I think I'm haunting verification words.

Simon Kewin said...

Yes, not good. I generally do a bit of light editing and wait for the old muse to get back off holiday.

Danielle Ferries said...

Sending good vibes your way for the words to return.