Good day dear readers and welcome to this, a rare sight! A new blog post on Shoot the Rookie! I know I’ve kept you all waiting far too long for this but there is now some light at the end of the tunnel. Before I get back to posting my regular nonsense about video games and anime I wanted to write about the reasons for my silence and how this awesome community of bloggers has helped me to get over it.
Yes, I am of course talking about writer’s block.
This is something I’ve seen come up in other people’s writing quite frequently and although I have suffered from it myself on occasion, this is officially the longest I’ve ever gone without publishing a new post. My last piece – Tales of the Backlog – came out on FEBRUARY SEVENTH. Oh my god that is a long time ago guys! In January I introduced a new series for the blog called My Favourite Series, but guess what? I have only published one of the planned twelve so far and it is nearly the end of March.
Sure, I’ve never been a particularly frequent poster and have never had a schedule as such, but this total lack of publishing worried me. So why do I think it’s happened? Well I think it is a combination of reasons. If you follow me on Twitter (that’s @pix1001 if you don’t!), then you will know that I’ve been busy with various in-real-life things since the start of the year. I got a new job, which is excellent in many ways but starting new things is always tiring and means I have less time for writing. This is going to continue going forward as my new job doesn’t afford me the same flexibility that my old one did, but I’m still determined to keep on writing!
This in itself isn’t really writer’s block, just a lack of time and energy, but when I have had a chance to sit down and write I still haven’t been able to put anything together. So does that mean there is something else going on?
Well yes, I think it does. I currently have three posts that I’m working on. Two are (spoilers) My Favourite Series posts and the other is a piece about an anime which I thought I would hate but grew to love. Lunchtime comes around, I open one of them up, stare at the shapes that the already-written paragraphs make on the page for 20 minutes and then close it again as it is time to get back to work. It’s like suddenly finding yourself unable to speak, or worse, unable to even fathom language. It feels like having a tight band wrapped around your brain that just does not allow you to think creatively or form proper sentences, let alone convey ideas and emotions.
However, exasperated by this feeling, I reached out to the wonderful blogging community over on Twitter and discovered that help was at hand!
I felt really lucky to receive so many supportive thoughts and messages after this and I was taken aback by the number of different types of advice I received!
For one thing, it was a relief to find out that I’m not alone as a writer in experiencing this. Many, many thanks to the awesome Gaming Diaries, Pico from Grimoire of the Rainbow Mage, Games Hubb and Skylar-Mei of GamerGal.Exe, for sharing their own experiences with me – we can get through this together guys!
Other writers gave me a sense of hope by letting me know that they have suffered this kind of rut but managed to get out the other side! Thank you to the awesome Brandon from That Green Dude and the wonderful Fitzy from Game Time for giving me hope and believing in me!
Others suggested possible ways to cure it, including this ingenious idea from Matt at Normal Happenings, which is basically to force yourself to write something by having a tight time limit. It usually takes me seven days rather than seven minutes to complete a post, but this method certainly removes some of the other restrictions to writing that you may have and I’d definitely recommend giving it a go…
…or you could try this from Gary, previously of the Art of Redress. I think Gary may be taking it to quite an extreme here, but just sitting down and writing to see what happens is definitely a way to get your brain going…
…and then there was this gem from Luke, who is responsible for the awesome blog Hundstrasse:
In case you’re wondering, this one worked a treat. Whilst we may not have created a blog post as such we did come up with the world’s best ever procedural document:
Dinosaurs always require bespoke training when the paleontologist attempts to befriend them
I was pretty pleased with that, even if I do say so myself, and it was an excellent way to pass the time whilst unable to blog! I would encourage others to attempt this as a cure for writer’s block, if only to see what other dinosaur based procedures you can come up with!
The final words of encouragement I received from this awesome community was a call to action of the best possible sort…
Yes, the fashion-tastic Chris from OverthinkerY came to my aid with the mind-blowing suggestion that we should bring back the all-singing all-dancing video game fashion show – High Score Haute Couture. This was a pretty mind blowing proposal, but if there is one thing I like writing about then it is video game fashion! If you have no idea what I’m talking about right now I highly recommend checking out the winning entry in last years show from Chris himself, where Samus stole the crown of ‘most fashionable video game character’ from under the nose of my woof-tastic representative, Repede!
Crazy right? I must clarify that this hasn’t really been confirmed yet, but watch this space fashionistas!
So, in summary, basically, you guys are the best and I hope to have more posts coming at you soon.
In the meantime why not let me know if you have been afflicted with writer’s block? Do you have any specific strategies in place to cope? Let me know in comments below and make sure you check out each and every one of those fantastic bloggers who answered my cry for help!
Thanks for reading,