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Puppet Kaos - where Kelvin Kao plays with puppets and tell random stories

Writer’s Block (a different kind of)

Ever experienced writer’s block? Most of us have the experience of trying to write something, but cannot think of anything good to write. However, I’m going to talk about another kind of writer’s block, and I will just call it writer’s block due to the lack of a better term.

Let me explain. There are many times that I have story ideas, or song ideas, that are either too hard to produce or will take too long. But these things tend to excite me so much that I could not come up with other story ideas while those are waiting to be done. In a way, the ideas that I come up with first, but have not yet finished, will occupy my brain until they are done. I might have several of these ideas that come to me at around the same time, and they will create some kind of mental congestion (hm, what about we call it writer’s congestion?) that blocks new ideas from being generated.

In a way, it’s annoying because I will not be able to (or at least, I have to try really hard to) work on new stuff if the old isn’t cleared out. But also, in a way, it’s good because it pushes me to either to dump the old stuff out on paper or keep refining it in my head (and get me more excited about the ideas meanwhile). I am also this way with blog posts. Some people say that you should have several posts saved up so you can use them when you can’t think of anything. But for me, if I don’t finish the old thoughts, I have a hard time coming up with new ones. And if new ones will only come when I finish the old ones, then I will have new ones and don’t need the saved up ones… sort of a circular logic, isn’t it?

I know for a fact that the way I think differ from many people, but I suspect that other people might have gone down this path too. Is it just me? Or you too? Have you experienced this kind of writer’s block or congestion?


  1. July 20th, 2008 | 6:55 am

    This will sound very “grass is greener” but I WISH I was like that. I have so many ideas going through my head that I forget the old ones and some of them are really good but then I lose them when knew ideas come through. Unless I write them down. Which is sometimes impossible. Like in the shower or while reading a book to The Boy. I feel rude if I stop and I’m like oh, sorry I’ve read this book to you a million times and I have it memorized so I let my mind wander and now I came up with something great to write about – can you hold on while I write it down? If I was able to just keep that idea in my head until I actually wrote about it, that would be such a relief.

    It is very interesting to see what your brain is like. I always assume that everyone is like me but obviously that’s not true.

    RubiaLala’s last blog post..Nickles

  2. July 20th, 2008 | 3:44 pm

    I think the brain of every creative person (bloggers, writers, painters, dancers, scientists, etc.) has something unique about them and that’s how they can come up with stuff that other people don’t think of. A lot of times when I read a script or story by a friend, I would think, “Man, I’d like to be in his/her head for one day and see what it’s like inside!”

  3. July 21st, 2008 | 9:50 am

    Your ideas ALWAYS seem so complicated to me that I wonder how you even think of them at all. But the point is, you answered your own question – you are incredilby creative – and talented. And in-born talent takes time to execute, even if you have the basis for an idea. Here are some of the things I do when I have “writer’s constipation:” first, I decide that maybe I won’t write that day. Often, something will come to me later, out of the blue, and I find myself on the usual ramble; second, I try all sorts of mental tricks to “unstick” my head – kind of when you are watching a movie, and recognize an actor, but CAN’T THINK OF WHO HE IS. I go through the alphabet – once – and if I can’t get it, I focus (sort of) on the movie until the credits roll; third and most effective for me, is to look around. Maybe my bookshelf, or a short conversation with a friend will motivate me to write SOMETHING, all the while jotting down notes for the “grand idea;” finally, (and this has never happened to me, but I can see where it could be useful to you), perhaps each blog can be about the progress of the great idea, what challenges you’re encountering, how things are starting to fit together, and take the readers through the process. Don’t give away the actual idea – but perhaps make your readers the audience for the “coming attraction.” That way, everybody could follow your progress, and be there for the cliffhanger – and the unveiling of the “big event.” A sort-or “serial blog.”

    Good luck!

  4. July 23rd, 2008 | 3:40 am

    It would be hard to have a writer’s block when blogging about markets, stocks, currencies …….even when you think you have a block, something new always happens, giving your brain the drug it needs :)

    Moise levi’s last blog post..US 10 YR treasury note

  5. July 23rd, 2008 | 1:00 pm

    Congestion is the perfect word for it. I wish every good idea I had was one that I could implement in an hour or so. It gets worse if you don’t have a way to organize around it. Which I don’t…

  6. July 23rd, 2008 | 3:31 pm

    @Rita: I think my ideas are complicated because I feel like trying new things. And when they are new to me, it complicates things. Also I think this kind of reader’s block goes away with time. Yeah, it would probably speed up if you just sort of zone out and empty out your mind. I actually find channel surfing to work quite well.

    @Moise levi: Haha, yeah, you are right. Also with such news-y topics, you really can’t ponder on a topic for two months and then write a post. Who knows, maybe that’s exactly what I need.

    @Michelle: Yep, Michelle, I’ve heard many of your ideas that just might take a while to develop. I’m glad to see that you wrote the post about roses, even though I don’t know if you are going to follow up with it. :-)

  7. July 24th, 2008 | 7:53 pm

    I totally want to be in other people’s heads all the time.

    rubialala’s last blog post..Nickles

  8. July 25th, 2008 | 4:57 am

    Me too… if ony we can take vacations in there.

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