Mental Block

I’ve been staring at this blank screen for a while now. I’m not even sure why. I just don’t have it in me currently to push out any coherent thoughts. Everything is internalized. When I start down this path of keeping it all on, it only ever leads to one thing. A block. A huge freaking wall that I slam head on. I don’t know what brought this one on, but I think I have a hunch as to why it’s lasting this long.

I recently wrote about my latest tattoo. I love it. It’s beautiful, but it’s bringing out emotions I thought I had already dealt with. I guess grieving is never really over.

I will get past this. I can work through it, but man, it’s kicking my butt. I just need to keep writing, keep my fingers moving. I can do this. Writing keeps me whole and helps me deal. I will get my groove back. Soon.

Movie Review: Alex and Emma

imageWe all find inspiration in the most inconspicuous ways. Actors who portray real life people will follow those characters around until they essentially become the person. Singers use their life experiences as well as writers, at times. Dancers use their emotions. Artists use their surroundings. We all use off the wall examples in order to fill the voids of our inadequacies and meet the needs of our muses.

When the muses find these holes in the creations we set forth to maintain, they demand we fill them, or face sheer and sudden annihilation. Whether that destruction be meaningless movements or portraits, or writers block, as I have come to know all too well. We must find the next foundation of validation for our work, the next fulfilling source of energy, in order to carry on the creation we have taken to task.

My greatest muse smiles irrevocably, whenever she decides to shut me down, on the movie Alex and Emma. I’m not sure if it is the basis of my second woman crush, Kate Hudson, which isn’t even based on looks, really. Don’t get me wrong, she is a beautiful woman and takes after her mother, but it is her personality and acting skills that I absolutely love! Don’t mind me with the personality bit. Typical woman answer, I know, since most men will tell you it is a crock, but I truly mean it. Everything she has performed in, I have absolutely loved!

“I don’t like tomato skins.” Alex and Emma

The above quote alone for me from the character Emma truly portrays her personality, and gives me all the more reason to love her! She perfectly demonstrates the term antagonist by being an un-moving control-freak, and overly anal-retentive. She is determined to make the main character see his own flaws and meet the expectations of their meet-cute. She gives Alex all the more reason to become the man she wants him to be, let alone the man he wants to be. She seriously steals the show in this contemporary romance that delivers every time I venture into the story of the two modern star-crossed lovers.

“Because I know the characters, and they tell me where the story goes.” Alex and Emma

The protagonist character Alex, played by Luke Wilson, nails the role of a reclusive writer with a romantically tragic past. Even with his monotone voice and, at times, maddening dialogue, his character shines through as a formulating author in the midst of his next novel and a love triangle he created for himself both fictional and real. His depiction of a starving artist sets the tone of his misled decisions and hits home within my heart.

“Every writer depends on the muses smiling down on them occasionally.” Alex and Emma

Ain’t it the truth? No matter your creative outlet, we have all faced bipolar muses on occasion. I know mine have hit more negatively recently which is why I turned to my proven source of inspiration, and heck, am even writing about it.

“-I, uh, you know. –I uh you, too.” Alex and Emma

So perfect! A beautifully scripted sentiment given to the audience to burst their hearts at the seams and drive us to root for their enduring love!

Moral of the story, my friends: find your muses vice and exploit it whenever they become moody! It just so happens mine is the movie Alex & Emma, and I’ll be watching until my muse breaks the dam on my creative flow.

How to: Focus Your Characters

Every author knows the pain of the newest curse words to be added to the writers dictionary in the last century: writers block. It happens even to the best of us. I cannot count how many times I have started a new project and half way through realized I had come to a block. Instead of becoming frustrated, here’s what I do to overcome the block and write on!

I have found that whenever I have been unable to continue in my story, I have to take a step back and refocus my characters. As I write, my characters and their personalities develop, taking me on the journey with them as they make their way through the novel. What I as the author must do is gently direct them in the direction I hope to go. Sometimes this works, sometimes my characters get away from me. When they move too far from what I hope to accomplish, I find myself stuck.

As I take a moment to find where the rest of my story will go, I think of the possibilities. If my character has come to a crossroad, I rival with them, deciding which road will be the best taken for my novel to continue. If I am in the midst of an action or dialogue and I back myself into a corner, having used every option, I take a step back, reread what has lead up to the blockage, and search for some sort of symbolism that I might have forgotten to use to help me out.

If none of the above has worked and the magical little Muse of inspiration has decided to stay away, I try and find it elsewhere. Besides writing, I enjoy dancing, music, movies, or just being in the company of those I love. I take the time to enjoy one of the above, completely forgetting the stress of my block, and focus solely on the moment. Only when I have remembered again about my work in progress, the stress not resurfacing, do I reread what I have written and write on, relieving the block.

These are the tricks of the trade that I have found to be most helpful, and I hope they help you through that rough spot. Remember, it happens to us all, and you will get through it! Write on!