Hangout – Overcoming Writer’s Block – Reflections

It helps to come to writing without any distractions. Though writers find what works for them. Some might need to start with a cup of tea. Some might need to be comfortable and well fed.

I find that if I am completely without distractions that can be a distraction itself. So I try not to avoid distractions but become absorbed with my writing whilst possible distractions are around me. This can lead to me needing more time in order to write, but I usually add procrastination into the sum.

The thing that blocks me is fear: fear of being judged and fear of putting myself out there. So I have ideas but when it comes to execution, I can sometimes falter. It seems especially so when I come to the whole project rather than when I come to a portion thereof. So I seem to panic, especially when I have a deadline I am coming to and I am no where near ready. Then I want it finished, but it seems that I cannot finish stories like that. The stories come when they are ready. I just have to make myself a conduit for them and be ready to write.

So we talked a bit about my assignment. I am currently stuck on showing how Sid and Jack meet and how to show Jack as a show off and a pain, at least in the eyes of Sid.

So my notes are:

Sid thinks Jack is a show off that he shouldn’t have so much attention.

Sid wouldn’t sing. He does not want that sort of attention but thinks it is wrong for one man to be so popular for no reason.

But how to show that

The things they could be doing are singing on the ship or playing cards

Though Sid would describe Jack. Look at Moon Palace and see how he introduces the next major character.

Jack is a major character

How to show Sid’s dislike of Jack

Why does he dislike Jack

He thinks Jack is a show off

He thinks you shouldn’t put yourself out there that is not right.

He is also a little jealous of Jack’s confidence and popularity but because it is Sid’s story I want you to hear what Sid thinks and for the reader to assume that Sid is jealous

When you’re lacking in confidence you think everyone has this great confidence (words from the group – Heather I think)

So maybe Sid lacks confidence but he is a bit of a prankster. So maybe he feels Jack shouldn’t be such a show off but secretly wishes he had that confidence. So there is some jealousy and competition going on. Jack gets the limelight but Sid wants it. But Sid thinks its not good to want it or have it.

So you have the popular Jack who plays banjo and wins at cards (what game?). And you have the prankster Sid who makes people laugh but only when they are not distracted by Jack. So how to show that?????

What would irk Sid? What about Sid would be upset? He’s a Methodist. His mother is strict. It’s about his mother. Sid is still young. So he would think and feel like his mother even thought he is gaining more autonomy.

So how would his mum view Jack? She would frown on his impulsiveness and charm.

“A man like that will get you into trouble. He’s all about himself. He’s not even faithful to his wife. Look how he kisses those girls at the station. Oh blimey there he goes again showing off. Get’s banjo out at the drop of a hat.”

Jack is irksome, irritating, and attractive. Sid wants to be around him but can’t stand him all at the same time. Jack likes Sid because he’s mischievous. How do I show all this?

When is Jack at his worst at his most insufferable? That is the moment to write about. [Guy said this]

A couple of things from Anne with an E:

Anne: I have just caught up with Gil… the rest of the class

In Anne with an E – Gilbert pulls her hair in order to get her attention and she thinks he is a bully. She doesn’t like him. But she sort of does.

“Children certainly can make you vexed all the time”

“How is that”

“Mr Hammond was certainly vexed”

Cut to scene where you hear a whip and a scream

“No Mr Hammond no”

Hammond is whipping Anne [we are not told why – it does not matter – the whipping is the point]

Anne sees links – she picks up a cup of tea and hears “kin” and it throws her back to a horrid moment.




This is off-topic but important.

Being a spiritual being, I notice so-called coincidences because there are no co-incidences – just messages. Currently, a higher being is speaking to me. There are upheavals in the world. Many have turned from a higher spirit or use god as an excuse to hate. People are unhappy and place that at the feet of others. Last week, Trump won the US election and became president-elect. Some were shocked; others were triumphant, which has emphasized division in the world.

A couple days later, Leonard Cohen died; the poet, lover of words, and lover of humanity. His song “Hallelujah” was playing on radios, TVs, FB, etc., around the world and since that moment the song has remained in my head. This is odd because tunes rarely play in my head and never for longer than a few hours. It has been a few days now. Not that this is a problem. It is just a message from a higher spirit telling me to turn to love, that we are all one, and peace has already been achieved.



As I was freewriting today, I wrote “roaring fire.” As I wrote it I knew it was a cliche and was thinking (or trying not to think but write – it being a freewriting session) what would you write instead of “roaring?” Growling? Howling? None of those seem to describe a fire. Warm? Rolling? Orangy?

Anyway, while searching online for cliches, I came upon this link and thought how useful. How to avoid cliches by using this list. So here it is for future reference.

My Writing Diary

Instructions on contents of a writing diary as published by OCA Writing Skills course:

Your writing diary Your writing diary is an integral part of this and every other OCA course. If you’re new to OCA courses, read your Creative Writing Student Guide for further information. Use your writing diary to record your progress through the course. Your writing diary should contain:

• your preliminary drafts

• your thoughts on the work you produce for each exercise

• your ideas and observations as you work through the course

• your reflections on the reading you do and any research you carry out

• your tutor’s reports on assignments and your reactions to these.