is a captivating new epic fantasy book series for adults. Not recommended for the most sensitive readers because of the explicit content, though! But if you don’t mind severed heads and intimate scenes, keep reading.
I’m trying to get along with my old laptop. It’s not going too well. As she’s all I’ve got for a computer right now, I have no choice but to tolerate her slowness in performing whatever small task I ask of her. She’s not utterly useless, though. She has kept my old files safe.
I was supposed to work with the second book of BC, so, obviously, I did anything but. I made some drafts of the cover for the paperback version of Runecursed -which is actually more important atm than writing the sequel. I went outside and wandered aimlessly about the garden, smiling at the budding cherry trees and first liverleaves that grace the forest floor where our yard morphs into a wood. The spring takes her time this year, but every day, she paints more green upon the shades of dun and speckles it with timid hues of blue and yellow.
As I came back inside, I eyed through the texts I produced when I returned to writing a few years ago. I call them Tomatos for the technique I used to get over the massive writer’s block I suffered back then. Most of them seem like scribblings of a stranger today. I don’t recognize myself in them. Some are decent, however, and I thought why not sharing those with you. The keywords for this first text were historical fiction, prose, arty, and third person (male voice), and the time was 45 minutes. Enjoy! (Or just feel vicarious embarassment as I did toward myself when reading some of the texts.)
Today I thought to write a “few” words about how I crawled up from a writing slump. Though nowadays writing comes almost as easily as breathing to me, it hasn’t always been so.
When I was young (meaning the time when I was still in school, a long time ago…), I spent all my spare time writing and reading. After graduating from the university of applied sciences, the everyday life of an adult hit me full in the face, and I pretty much lost my interest in reading books and writing stories. I did read but not near as much as before, and my attempts to write were only occasional, and I lacked the fervor I had once possessed.
A few years ago, I was in a situation where I had more time for my interests. After a while, I started reading more and felt ready to return to writing, too. Only to realize that I cannot concentrate on it any longer.
I could start a story, write a few hours in a mad spree, and the next day find out that I had no interest in continuing with it. There were also days when I wanted to write but couldn’t figure out a subject. However, I came up with a solution that I decided to share if some of you guys are struggling with a similar problem.
I turned to the internet and searched for techniques and exercises that might help me overcome the block. I found them aplenty, of course, and picked a few that seemed best suited to my need. I admit that I don’t remember whether any of their names had anything to do with tomatoes (and am too bloody lazy to google the original technique for you), but I named it such, nonetheless. I have a hunch that I combined two or more different techniques, or at least customized one to fit my needs.
Anyway, here’s how I made writing a habit again and regained my creative spree. It’s simple and cheap, just like all the best things in life.
You need at least five sheets of paper in different colors, scissors (Optional. You can tear the paper in slips as I did.), a pencil, and a see-through jar large enough to fit your hand. And, of course, a notebook, laptop, or anything else to write into/with.
Pick a color and write the times on the slips (This isn’t necessary. You can decide to write for an hour every day.). I shared my tomato (one hour) in four chunks. Then write genres, styles, categories, and narrator persons, each on their own color. You can write down as many or few of each as you like. Fold the slips in two, so you can’t read them when picking them up from the jar or box or in whatever container you decide to keep them.
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When it’s your chosen time of the day to write your tomato (to me, it was in the morning), take your jar and pick randomly one slip of each color. It’s easier to concentrate if you set up a timer that alarms when your “chunk” is full (unless you’ve decided to write for an unlimited time which is also fine). Then you’ll write based on the keywords you picked. For instance, if you picked up ‘a quarter of a tomato’, ‘first-person male/man’, ‘a poem’, ‘science fiction’ and ‘humorous’, your task is to use fifteen minutes in writing a humorous SF poem in the first-person male voice. Very simple, fun, and at least to me, it worked like magic.
The trick is that the technique frees you from figuring out the subject, point of view, etc. You can just concentrate on creating. Writing for a specific time can be liberating to those whose creativity is disturbed and restricted by the duties of everyday life. After all, an hour isn’t a long time (and if you’re extremely busy, you can decide to write only a quarter of an hour daily). You can write your tomato while having lunch or in the evening when you might otherwise watch TV or just lounge on the couch doing nothing.
As said, to me, writing “tomatoes” worked wonders. I didn’t need to do it longer than a month or so to regain my drive and make writing a daily habit. If you’re struggling with writer’s block or new to writing, go ahead and try!
PS. Just to make clear: I haven’t invented this technique, so if you happen to know who did, be kind and inform me! I’d be happy to give the credit to whom it belongs by mentioning the original source.