View Full Version : Focus Pocus?

07-08-2011, 06:03 PM
So... yeah.

Every time I sit down to try and write or draw something, I just end up taking a deep breath, sighing, then going "So... yeah" out loud. Toward the end of my webcomic, I started to get really burnt out on the thing and wanted to start it over, but figured I should at least finish what I had to say I had, ya know? I'm getting in the mood to create something again, but I'm having a mother of a block right now.

What do all you guys do for inspiration or drive? Should I try to just do what I want to do and not worry about being 'relevant' or pulling people in?

07-08-2011, 06:13 PM
What do all you guys do for inspiration or drive?

Goof the hell off. Seriously, I am at my most productive when I am making no effort whatsoever to be productive. I'll stare at a file all day stressing out and not doing a thing to it, but if I just go $#@% it, I'm going to go play Etrian Odyssey all day or whatever, shortly after making that decision I end up saving it and running over to do some actual work. This may not apply to everyone.

Should I try to just do what I want to do and not worry about being 'relevant' or pulling people in?


07-08-2011, 07:17 PM
If you're feeling burnt out and uninspired, you should just take a break. Play a video game, watch a show, take a walk, etc. More often than not you'll find motivation and ideas flooding back to you when you're relaxed and drawing inspiration from things you enjoy. Everyone has good and bad art days/weeks/months?? Don't sweat it.

Sometimes it can be frustrating when you don't find yourself drawing in the audience you want with your work, but you should just stick to doing whatever you want. Readers come and go, but in the end you're going to be the one attached to whatever you've made, for better or for worse. So you might as well make something that you like.

tl;dr what Googleshng said

Evil Dead Junkie
07-10-2011, 10:03 AM
This is all very true. I find hiking will do that for me. There was one time when I took a five mile hike and on the way worked out the entire theology in the fantasy novel I was working on.

That said, you need discipline to. If you sit down to write 2000 words then write those 2000 words. I found starting the blog really helped with this, since it gives me a platform to write about whatever, gives me motivation to do it every day and gives instant feedback. I just know that whenever I start a post I'm going to write at least five hundred words about the given subject. That way if I start to get down on myself I can say "Well at least I wrote something today."

Same technique works with running BTW.

07-10-2011, 03:12 PM
Take a walk. Let your mind wander. Sit down somewhere nice, like a bench in a park, and write.

Take a small stack of 3x5 notecards everywhere you go and write down good ideas, turns of phrase, odd stanzas of poetry. Look around and draw something that looks interesting. Refer to the cards later when you're pressed for ideas.

Have several creative outlets so you can do something else to flex your brain while you're blocked/procrastinating on the main one.

07-11-2011, 07:20 AM
Change location! We're really physical creatures, and if you're expecting to play Minecraft at your computer for an hour and then suddenly start writing at that some computer in the same room in the same position, it is going to be really difficult to change gears.

I know people make fun of writers in coffee shops, but that's exactly what you need to do.

07-14-2011, 10:15 AM
Oh, I thought this was a thread about photography which is boring so I didn't come in here. I usually rely on a combination of planetary alignments and weather conditions, but being trapped in a room with nothing fun to do is also when I'm really creative. I also have a shelf of dreadfully interesting books that I use for reference and inspiration, the danger being I just end up reading and looking and not creating.

07-16-2011, 08:25 AM
If you listen to music while you work, find an album you enjoy but haven't heard in a while, and just listen to that. Don't do anything else, just sit back with some good headphones/speakers and enjoy it. I find music to be a wellspring of new ideas, when taken on its own terms.

07-16-2011, 11:45 AM
Do something. It doesn't have to be a specific thing, just do twenty questions with a coin or something. Blocks are usually caused by having decided on a goal but not having any idea how to get there; by just writing, you'll be exercising the mental muscles that put ideas in order, and that's often enough.

Failing that, skip the bit you can't do and work in the future. When you've made the future stuff real, it's a lot easier to work out how to connect it to the present. (And if you can't, well, kill your darlings.)

Failing that, rely on the old crutch of having someone burst through the door with a weapon.

Failing that, surf the internet. Here is a place to begin. (http://www.43folders.com/2004/11/18/hack-your-way-out-of-writers-block)

07-16-2011, 01:37 PM
Boundaries of space, boundaries of time. (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zGt3-fxOvug) Have a particular time and place you set aside to create. Have a particular starting time and a particular end time. Do not stray from this routine, even if you end up spending the entire two hours or whatever staring at a blank sheet of paper.

As for getting focused, I type out a single-space page of nonsense every time I sit down to write, just whatever is on my mind, to simultaneously get my brain into writing-mode and purge all the crap that's keeping me from becoming focused. It takes like fifteen minutes, but makes the next couple hours infinitely more productive than otherwise.