Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Write in Someone Else's Voice #Fail #My500Words #228

Welcome to Day 19 of the My 500 Words Challenge - today I have to write in someone else's voice. Even as I start this post I have no idea what I'm going to do with this one. Jeff Goins' advice is to "borrow the style of your favorite novelist or create an alter ego version of your own voice. Get creative, and have fun". I think this idea is strictly for writers who are looking for ways to get creative - I suppose novel writers to this all the time with their characters. 

So I woke up early this morning (05:45) and knew I would not get back to sleep - immediately the thought of the "Write in Someone Else's Voice" challenge came into my mind and would not let go. I had no option but to get up and start on my 500 words. After the 146 words above I'm still stuck. The first thing I did was to look up the list of blogs added to the Jeff Goins Blog, where he invites bloggers undertaking the 500 word challenge, for inspiration. My blog is number 2782 on this list, which I added on Day 1 of the challenge - in the 18 days since I started this challenge, 29 more have been added (including one by one of my own students!). Sadly most blogs posted are nothing more than people looking to promote their own blogs. In the 20 or so I looked up for inspiration, only one was taking part in the 500 word challenge. 

So no help there. Naturally I turned to Google.

I searched for "writer's block" and discovered that others obviously got writer's block too. There's even lists like "The 10 Types of Writers' Block (and How to Overcome Them)" to help you in situations like this - my first reaction to a list like this is that someone made a list when they were stuck for something to write about!). The Centre for Writing Studies also provides tips for overcoming writer's block - interestingly the advice is divided into "Weak Strategies" (like "using trial and error" and "insisting on a perfect draft"), and "Effective Strategies" (like "taking notes" and "satisficing (satisfy + suffice)". Even Jeff Goins himself provides "14 Tricks that Work" to overcome writer's block. Interesting ones here are "Go for a walk" (I can't now - it's 06:45 and I'm still in my dressing gown), "listen to music" (I almost never have music on when I'm at the computer - too distracting), and "brew some coffee" (I prefer tea). While Goins' ideas are brilliant, I think his best (what he calls the "fail-proof solution") is that "You overcome writer’s block by writing". 

All this bullsh*t is to show that some people (like me) cannot just write on command. I'm disappointed with myself that I cannot write in someone else's voice and failing today's challenge - but I'm not going to force myself to do so. I thought about stopping and coming back later in the day, but it is 06:48 right now and my alarm clock is just about to go off. So I'll stop right here.

(I think I wrote above while I was still asleep - does that count as someone else's voice?).

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