Stumped Or Something Like It




Nothing to say?

Not sure what to do?

Creativity at an all-time low?

Where do you look for inspiration or guidance?

I usually am never without an idea. I get stumped deciding on a starting point. Sometimes I have several projects going on at once…and then it takes forever to complete any of them. I have to put them aside until I find the inspiration to pick them back up. I also lack the organizational skills to outline my projects from start to finish. I feel like I must learn to make that commitment my muse will cooperate. It gets much done on its own but needs structural supervision. I’m a visual person who understands the importance of not leaving loose ends on developments, but perhaps I need a better tracking system while I work. I have no problem with beginnings, middles, and ends…it’s the tying of those tiny details that stumps me. I’m going to strengthen my outlines this weekend and let the muse loose! Any suggestions?

Do you work with outlines or patterns? Do you feel these guidelines help or hinder your creativity? What methods have you found to reach your creative potential while maintaining focus and order? Please, do share.

“I’m writing a book. I’ve got the page numbers down.” ~Steven Wright

31 thoughts on “Stumped Or Something Like It

  1. For me (when it comes to say, writing on my blog) I give myself specific days to post because it seems to focus me and commit to producing something at least twice a week. I too (like you ) have a lot of ideas floating around in my head and will jot them down in a book I keep next to my computer, so I don’t forget them – it’s my “Blog Topic” notebook.

    Usually when I write something, I type it all out without thinking about it and then go back tat the end of the day and re-read it; either subtracting or adding more thoughts.

    If I ever get stumped about what to write, I will usually get away from my computer and do something completely distracting, so that creativity comes through. I find the less I think about it, the more open I become.

    Great photo for this post, Suzi!

    • I don’t generally get stumped on my posts, but I lack the organizational skills to complete large projects. I’ve just completed two which need layouts. And then my current project needs some focus to pull all the larger portions together. I’ve never been an outliner but I’m no understanding the need!

  2. Oh, I wish I could plan and outline. I am the most disorganized person on the plant. Everything I do is on the fly. 🙂 Some days, it is very freeing, and others, it is overwhelming. 🙂 At least, you finish projects. That is a plus. Would love to hear anything you come up with. 🙂

  3. Like you, I need organization with larger projects. Have you thought about a story board? or sticky papers on a board with the main thought in the middle and the subs or sticky papers coming from the center like a wheel?

    Since you are a visual person, I thought that those ideas may speak to you. 🙂

    • Thanks, Clar. The story board is a great idea. I can’t follow all the threads on an outline, but this just might work. It’s been difficult for me to be sure each chapter is tying in the way I want on paper…of course, it does in my head, lol!

  4. Well, I really get this one, Suzi! I’m a visual person, too, so I like to write things down (sadly, on scraps of paper!). They’re not an outline exactly (something about the word ‘outline’ conjures up English class!), but perhaps they’re more of a topical outline. I also like using those eraser-able marker boards, and I’ve kept a chapter-by-chapter summary for the novels I’ve written. I keep thinking I need to do a better organizational job, though, for occasionally, I find myself wandering around the middle of a story and wondering how to get from Point A to Point C!!!

    • I hated writing outlines for English class but I now see the relevance in it. I’ve tried the summary thing, but it’s still not doing what I need…thining or doing the dry erase story board type thing.

  5. Perfect picture for your topic! Since my only writing is emails and blog posts, I’m really no help whatsoever. The blog posts, like my email notes, are stream of consciousness almost always – when I start typing there is occasionally a beginning, but never a middle or end. I think I could not write a novel – character development and plot is just not my talent.

  6. When I’m truly stumped, I turn to the back of a large, used manila envelope and start jotting random thoughts. I know this paper is garbage and will be tossed, so I’m not accountable for my words. The combination of paper and pencil instead of keyboard together with the disposability factor usually works magic.

    • I do that as well, even on napkins, lol! What I need is a visual to track a novel…thinking about buying a huge dry erase board with lots of color markers…that might even be fun!

  7. Lovely picture, when I’m stumped, I get out my diary, then decide which piece of writing I’m going to have a go at next. I love competitions, because you have a deadline, a word count and usually a theme. These get me thinking, but I have a cupboard full of openings, and I know the endings, it’s the middles I get distracted with. Great post, and good luck with the ideas.

  8. Pingback: a handful of joy | Crowing Crone Joss

  9. My level of organization varies depending on the project. When I sew, I make it up as I go along because I don’t know enough to follow a pattern. When I write a short story, I just write it. I’ve only finished one novel, but I wrote a short blurb about what had to happen in each chapter to move the story forward and then just added the rest of the stuff in as I wrote it.

  10. Sometimes, when we are lost in the trees, it helps to step back and ponder the forest as a whole.

    That provides the clarity we need to see our “next best step.”

  11. Pingback: Torn Asunder « Spirit Lights The Way

  12. I have no tips. I usually wait too long to get something done and end up having to just do it in the end. No time for outlines. But then sometimes with somethings, I do have an outline and a plan. I think – for me – it just depends on the project. Sorry, not any help from me! 🙂

    • I ended up using a board with sticky notes and completed one project and started the second one. However, for the big one I’m going to use a dry erase board with color markers! Ha, I sound like an excited little kid!

  13. Hi Suzicate, just called in via Joss’s link on her post a ‘handful of joy,’ Loved the photo choice to you post, and for me I just have to be in the Mood to start a project,
    Ive got a knitting one Ive just finished this weekend, but once started I have to finish them….
    Nice meeting you…
    Sue 🙂

  14. When I am facing writer’s block, I seek inspiration in surrounding myself with nature. Usually something stands out about the sky or the mountains and I feel the energy to write again.

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