BSV Forum - General - Off-Topic

Writer's block and its effects

Apr 16 2007 07:57 am   #1Always_jbj

Firstly I want to say that this isn't aimed at anyone in particular, just a generalised observation (and need to vent).

When you're suffering from writer's block (a LONG, very extended writer's block) getting anything down on 'paper' can be a struggle. And when you DO manage to fight your way through and get an update done (taking WEEKS to write a chap) to then be asked...'when will you update again?' Or worse to be told that 'it isn't fair. How long are we going to have to wait for the next update?'  (okay, so that one MAY have been an aimed comment, sue me!) without the reviewer even mentioning what (if anything) they liked (or hated) about the chap... well, really it just tends to make you wonder why you bothered.

Aim from the heart
Some will love and some will curse you, baby
You can go to war
But only if you have to 


Fanfic ~*~ Artwork ~*~ Live Journal
Apr 16 2007 08:27 am   #2Coquine

I usually just try to chalk it up to the fact that those who leave those kinds of reviews or messages have never themselves attempted to write, and therefore have no conception of how horrible and frustrating writer's block can be.  It's one of those things where you have to try to rise above, be the better man and all that rot.

As someone who has chronic writer's block, interspersed with writer's suck, as I seem to be suffering from lately, I send you my deepest sympathies to your plight.

Apr 16 2007 08:30 am   #3Always_jbj

Thanks, sweetie!

I don't think it is always just those who don't write... but I'd say it is definitely those who have never suffered from writer's block. *sigh* I can remember when writing was so easy, and I could do a chap or two a day without a problem, unfortunately that hasn't been the case for a long time now.

*hugs* I feel for you too!

Aim from the heart
Some will love and some will curse you, baby
You can go to war
But only if you have to 


Fanfic ~*~ Artwork ~*~ Live Journal
Apr 16 2007 08:37 am   #4Guest

I understand you completely always_bjb. I'm working on a fic myself called  which i'm trying to post on BSV, but I have the same fic posted on fanfiction.net and after the second chapter I had some interesting reviews. One of my reviews begged me to update the next day, and when i didn't comply due to writer's block, he sent me over twenty private messages demanding that i post the next chapter. And while i like the fact that some people enjoyed it, it really bothers me that people can actually be that rude. As much as I'd love to see a Spike movie or a spuffy ending in the S8 comic, I'm not gonna sit there and write thousands of letters to his work place and demand him to comply to my wishes and call him a stupid tard in the end. In your case, I'm guessing it's cuz your a great author that people just want to be able to bother you into updating again.

daniel_nieves

PS: By the way, I'm loving your Duty Bound fic. Great read.

Apr 16 2007 08:38 am   #5daniel_nieves

sorry bout that, I'm now signed in.

Spuffy peed on Angel...
Apr 16 2007 08:42 am   #6Always_jbj

I think people THINK that demanding an update is a compliment, and possibly to those who are easily churning out a chap every day or two it is... but when it is a struggle to write the chapter, it is definitely not a compliment, it just gets you so down you feel like throwing in the towel.

LOL... um... I certainly wouldn't say I'm even close to being a great writer--fair to middling, mabye, but thank you anyway! I'm glad to hear you are enjoying Duty.

Aim from the heart
Some will love and some will curse you, baby
You can go to war
But only if you have to 


Fanfic ~*~ Artwork ~*~ Live Journal
Apr 16 2007 09:21 am   #7LadyYashka

You have my sympathies Always. While I have not been hounded for updates, I understand how sucky prolonged writer's block is. I went five years without writing anything. It sucked. I would barely be able to get a paragraph written, and more often than not, it felt forced. Also, I always thought what I had written sucked.

Since I seem to have finally gotten over it, I can say throwing in the towel isn't worth it. If you love writing, please stick with it. It feels wonderful to finally be writing again, and I would hate for you to lose that feeling. People can be rude, unfortunately, and if you ever feel the need to rant, well I'm usually around. 

Tomorrow may be hell, but today was a good writing day, and on the good writing days nothing else matters. — Neil Gaiman
Apr 16 2007 09:56 am   #8Always_jbj

Thanks, hun! *hugs*

I don't think people most mean to be rude, I honestly think that (in most cases) they think it is encouraging. *sigh* I actually feel much better now, just for having got it out... it is just so frustrating...and it usually seems to happen with one particular fic.

I don't think I would ever stop writing, because I do love writing (even when it IS frustrating as all hell)... but there have certainly been times when Duty has come close to being pulled down and thrown in the metaphorical bin!! lol

Aim from the heart
Some will love and some will curse you, baby
You can go to war
But only if you have to 


Fanfic ~*~ Artwork ~*~ Live Journal
Apr 16 2007 01:35 pm   #9slaymesoftly

*pets Always soothinly*  As the person who knows how hard you struggled on this chapter - and how excited you were over every 300 new words , I totally sympathize.  However, I do believe that those who demand quick updates mean it as a compliment, and don't stop to think about all the RL things that might take precedence over time spent on a hobby; nor do they understand that the words don't necessarily flow the way we would like them to all the time.  

Just as those who demand sequels at the end of stories that the author has wrapped up very nicely don't mean to imply that it didn't end well.  The mean that they liked the story and the world it was set in so much that they'd like to see more of it.  I understand that, but it still strikes me as weird thing to say at the end of a story, and it's hard not to take it as meaning I did not wrap it up the way I had thought I did.

Hopefully, the vent has made you feel a bit better and future reviews will concentrate more on the chapter itself than on how rapidly the next one will come along.

(Of course, I will be nagging you privately. *ducks and hides*)

I am not a minion of Evil...
I am upper management.
Apr 16 2007 01:49 pm   #10Always_jbj

LOL...you're my beta...it's your job to nag! 

Yeah, I am feeling a little better...venting, it seems, is good for the soul! lol

Aim from the heart
Some will love and some will curse you, baby
You can go to war
But only if you have to 


Fanfic ~*~ Artwork ~*~ Live Journal
Apr 16 2007 10:03 pm   #11GoldenBuffy

Well I;m guilty for leaving a "when are you updating again," comment, you know that since I did it yesterday, lol. But it wasn't in a negative way it was more of a joke but I can see and understand how you may have thought other wise if you're suffering from writers block then you get comments/reviews asking/demanding when you're going to update again. Again for me I ment no harm and it was more of a joking sense. I know how hard it came be to type out another chapter or even try to complete a WIP. I have I think three (on which is a CSI fic) that I really need to try and finish up. (I think Hell will freeze over first.) So again sorry sweetie, didn't mean to ruffle your feathers, Please forgive me? *puppy dog eyes*

And in the air the fireflies
Our only light in paradise
We'll show the world they were wrong
And teach them all to sing along
Apr 16 2007 11:09 pm   #12Immortal Beloved

I'm not a fiction writer myself.  In fact, I think that I've written exactly two poems and one short story in my entire lifetime.  The poems came pretty easily, but I must admit that they fell into the bloody awful category   The short story was 3 pages long and took me about 2 freaking weeks to write.  It was in no way easy. So, I can see how people hounding you for updates could be frustrating even when you are a good writer, such as yourself.  I am an avid fanfic reader, though.  So, from this perspective, I suppose people don't want to have to wait and they grow impatient.  I think I've only asked one writer when she thought that she might update next, and that was because it had been over six months and I wondered if the story had been abandoned.  Personally, I'm a very impatient person, but my impatience only shows when something is worth waiting for.  However, I would rather wait a month for a great chapter than a day for a mediocre one.  If people are being impatient, perhaps they mean to tell you that the anticipation is killing them   Hope this helps.

Give me Spuffy, or give me death.
Apr 16 2007 11:24 pm   #13spikeskat

*feels your pain*

Writing is definitely a labor of love - fanfic especially. (See: no payment clause.) I think it's one thing to get those "where's the next chapter" from people you *know* but to have some random comment by that first-time reviewer, I have to admit, sends the muse on a serious walkabout. I grit my teeth and bite my tongue and try to chalk it up to a person's exuberance. *sigh* I think that would be the only way I stay sane.

Besides which, I think it gets old repeating "Hobby. Real life. Soon."

~*~*~*~*~
Website // Livejournal
Apr 16 2007 11:26 pm   #14spikeskat
Just as those who demand sequels at the end of stories that the author has wrapped up very nicely don't mean to imply that it didn't end well. The mean that they liked the story and the world it was set in so much that they'd like to see more of it. I understand that, but it still strikes me as weird thing to say at the end of a story, and it's hard not to take it as meaning I did not wrap it up the way I had thought I did.

*looks suspiciously at Slayme*

~*~*~*~*~
Website // Livejournal
Apr 17 2007 03:05 am   #15slaymesoftly

*sticks tongue out at Kat and points to comment about it "being one thing to get those comments from someone you know"*

Just keep your suspicions to yourself, missy!

I am not a minion of Evil...
I am upper management.
Apr 18 2007 03:22 am   #16Guest

I try not to ask the writter when they will be posting again, with new writters I tend to wait a few chapters to get an idea of their posting style, for alot of us we have to send it away to be beta'd as well, my beta up and left me so I posted it anyways with a note then they complain because its not beta'd can win, can't keep them happy. But RL can be hell at times.

smlcspike

Apr 18 2007 03:48 am   #17dipole_dipole_attraction

On the flipside, I've found that occassionally niggling reviews inspire me to make more time in my busy schedule to write, or put more effort into defeating writer's block.  Of course, I haven't been in the business, so to speak, for as many years as most of you, so I don't have as much experience to refer to.

Apr 18 2007 04:50 am   #18ZoeGrace

Even when I'm churning out chapters I get annoyed when someone goes "update soon" right after I just updated.  If they want to compliment me, they should compliment me without demanding I become their little dancing monkey.

Zoe

*who has no horse in this race since she's been on hiatus for almost 2 months trying to finish novel edits.*

Apr 18 2007 05:57 pm   #19Guest

Seeing as I struggle with intermittent writer's block, and am often frustrated with myself for how slowly I update, I'm with you on the whole 'nagging doesn't help' train.  Sorry you're feeling picked on.  I'm betting it's more of a loving your work nag, than a dancing monkey nag, though.  Try to keep that in mind, so you feel less like bashing brains in.

Willow25

Apr 18 2007 07:27 pm   #20Unbridled_Brunette

I don't mind the reviews that ask me to update; it's just an indication that the readers want more, which is good. But I really dislike the reviewers that say "FINALLY!" or "It's about time!" after you do update. I've gotten these even when it's only been a day or two between updates. It's not really rude or anything, and I understand why readers get excited and leave them...but for some reason I find them irritating.

Faithfully bowing at the altar that is Stephen Colbert
Apr 18 2007 10:22 pm   #21dipole_dipole_attraction

It just occured to me that I've left reviews along the lines of  "I was so happy when I saw you updated!"  But what I'm trying to convey is that I enjoy the story and look forward to reading more.  Do some authors interpret this as being pushy? 

Apr 19 2007 12:21 am   #22Lilachigh
Hi Di, no, I don’t think that is pushy at all. I’d be thrilled to get that as a comment. I get depressed though when I see the speed at which some authors post new chapters. I have this dreadful desire to ask them when they find the time to write! Do they ever cook, clean, shop, work, garden, speak to other human beings? On the writer’s block subject, I must admit that having more than one wip at a time does help. Some days you feel like writing one more than another.
 Lilachigh
Apr 19 2007 06:45 pm   #23ZoeGrace

I don't think "I was so happy when I saw you updated" is the same thing as: "UPDATE SOON!" or "ZOMG FINALLY YOU UPDATED!"

the first all caps statement (not always all caps in the review lol), is a demand and pressure, the second is like some sense of entitlement, like I personally OWE them an update in a specified amount of time.

YOUR statement however is different, it's just an appreciation for more of the story, which isn't demanding, pushy, or whiny.  But appreciated.

Lilachigh,

As to when I find time to write...well right now I'm writing, just not fanfic...but i have time to write because I don't have an outside job.  I'm kept like a pet.   And so I have time to write.  I normally take writing breaks to cook and clean cause you can't sit at the desk 24/7.   And yes, in the evenings I leave the house lol.  I'm not a total hermit.

Apr 20 2007 02:59 am   #24Spikez_tart

Lilac - I have the entire thing ready before I post the first chapter and just do a final brush up before posting each chap.  I'm not good enough to leave it to chance that I might be able to finish. 

(Clears voice delicately without being at ALL pushy) Strip Snap?

If we want her to be exactly she'll never be exactly I know the only really real Buffy is really Buffy and she's gone' who?
Apr 20 2007 05:28 am   #25Serenity
"I wear the cheese. The cheese does not wear me."

I am currently suffering from writer's block of ginormous porportions and have to say that although it is kinda pushy to say "update soon", I don't really think that most people know how demanding they are being. I, for one, have posted such comments (although they are usually posted with a very nice review of the story in question) but in my overzealous condition, being that I am usually getting to read a fav fic, I have said such comments as a way to let the author know how happy I am and eager to read their stories. Lately, I have tried to convey my feelings as such: "I eagerly anticipate your next installment."  Does anyone on here feel like that works or is it annoying as well?   Enough with the babble-speak!

Apr 20 2007 05:41 am   #26Always_jbj

There is nothing wrong with saying you are looking forward to a new chapter, that is great and very encouraging... it is when the only thing left is Update Soon!!! or When will you update!? Which is both demanding and whiny...and also makes the author feel they may as well not have bothered because obviously the person has nothing to say (either good or bad) about the chapter that has just been posted.

Aim from the heart
Some will love and some will curse you, baby
You can go to war
But only if you have to 


Fanfic ~*~ Artwork ~*~ Live Journal
Apr 24 2007 11:32 am   #27Monty

I understand how you feel, but I never looked at those ''Update soon'' reviews like that. It thrills me to get any kind of review, and I see ''Update soon'' ones as the most powerful, because they don't let me give up on my story or be lazy. But maybe it is a little rude if writer's block is kicking in. 

''I felt love for him. That tired, hopeless love which asks for nothing, which is satisfied only with a look and presence of her lover, love pointless and blind which drips from the inside with every beat of a heart. Love which doesn't ask for a touch, nor existence. Love which is here and now and which will be for forever. I wished that I could fall asleep in this moment. I would dream of him.'' Viktoria Faust