Writing my way out of writers block


Husker ikke passordet til Medium-kontoen min så mellomlagrer en tekst fra 2015 her.
Forøvrig er bloggen under total redesign, så den vil være like rotete som den pleier å være fremover...


(This is actually part of that exercise)

I´ve tried for years to write a novel. Actually many novels, for many years.

It usually starts like this:At times I read more books and magazines than I do anything else, except sleeping and eating perhaps. Then, when I read a very inspiring book or essay, I get the urge to write myself.  The notion that there is a novel "in me". But let me start somewhere else;

I have my own blog, of course. I started it in 2005 and it was meant as a digital time capsule that me and my family could enjoy. Even if it started out as a kind of scrapbook it also gave me the means to write some long post,  small essays actually. I would write about how to make the best caffe latte, or how and when to prune your appletrees, why I preferred tubular wheels over clinchers, listening to movies instead of watching them and so on. A lot of topics.
This was so enjoyable that I did a lot such writing. For a while.
Then I started to repeat myself, or I started on a post and never ended it. Suddenly most of my posts ended with “more to come…”. But it never, er, came.

Then I began to post pictures I´d taken, or some pictures of great designstuff. Then for a while, I posted quotes, small snippets of sound or some poems. (Poems by William Blake over and over). My own writing just kind of stopped. So instead I used a lot of time deciding wich fonts to use, buying distraction free writing apps and I used a lot of time tweking the CSS to get the right look on the blog. But still very little writing occurred.

(All this time I spent in front of my iMac or the Macbook Pro probably gave me a slight tinnitus beacuse of the way I sat in my chair).

Then something happened. I got this idea that all I needed to do was to just pour it out. Write, write, write. Just start and don´t end. I call it free-associations-writing: Just start out and try to write down your exact thoughts at the moment. For any aspiring writer this may work. Essays, novels, articles or blogposts. Try it out.

There will be a lot of seemingly distractions; checking e-mail, the online newspapers, putting on music, making tea or coffe and what not. That´s ok. Just keep writing. Always go back the keyboard and get it out.

I started this little post telling you how many times I had started on a novel. I will write more about that later…

More to come…

(edit 2018: Oh, the irony on that last line)


Om å skrive


Jeg har skrevet en del både på bloggen og som spede forsøk på roman eller noveller. Ingenting blir fullført og jeg prøver å finne ut hvorfor.

Jeg følger en del forskjellige blogger som Daring Fireball, Shawn Blanc og Subtraction. Her er det  folk som ikke bare skriver om det de kan noe om, men de skriver bra om det de kan noe om.

Jeg har lyst til å prøve meg på artikler for magasiner. Ganske lavterskel egentlig, tekster om ting jeg kan litt om og interesserer meg for. Når jeg så sitter der foran Macen med blank skjerm går det nesten i stå. Jeg kommer liksom ikke i gang. Kanskje små innledninger, men ikke mer. Så begynner jeg gjerne å se på teksten og begynne å pusse på den, om det så bare er en kort ingress. Så stopper jeg og legger det vekk. Og sirkelen er sluttet igjen.

Shawn Blanc har skrevet en bra post om dette, (typisk nok holdt jeg nå på å begynne å fikse på denne teksten du leser nå, og som nesten ikke har begynt), han skriver om at når han sitter der med blanke ark eller en blank skjerm så er eneste medisin å nettopp skrive. Skriving er å skrive tekst, gjerne masse, og så kommer redigeringa etterpå. Det kan ta vel så mye tid som å skrive selve teksten. 

Jeg har lest for mye på nett om å skrive, men dette fra Shawn Blanc er kanskje det som kan hjelpe meg mest:

To pull the curtain back just a little, oftentimes the thing which most keeps me from writing is a fear of putting my own narcissism out on display for all to see. So often my first draft is little more than my own self-centered view of the world — a world where I sit at the center. This is not the world I am trying to build up, but when writing, how can any of us write about anything else but what we know and what we have heard? We write about what we know and what we feel. We write from our own soul and our own heart and we share what we’ve seen through our own eyes and what we’ve heard through our own ears. We write from the inside out.

Here is how I deal with my own fear, doubt, worry. When writing that first draft, it’s allowed to be as horrible and ugly and awkward and egocentric as it needs to be.

This first draft is the personal draft. It’s the crappy draft. Nothing is off limits. I can write whatever I want and say it however I want. Everything is fair game so long as it keeps the cursor moving.

When the first draft is done, then the work of editing begins. It’s time to edit not just for flow and grammar and clarity, but edit for the reader. It is time to take this story that was once built with the author at the center and to instead put the reader at the center.

When you are writing, write however you must. Don’t let fear or timidity keep you from being honest and exciting. And when you are editing, improve your words so they serve the reader. Write for yourself, but edit for your reader.