more help for writers (but not writer-moms)

Via 43 Folders, a fun list of tactics for battling writer’s block .

Funny, though: I’m reading this, seeing some larger strategies as “take a break” and “come at it from a strange place.”

Moms (and chime in, moms) don’t need these kinds of strategies. Our lives are FULL of writer’s block busters.

In fact, our time is so pieced together and interrupted that the block for us is the inability to get that chunk of time where the block can develop.

My block is having to return to a piece that I spent 20 minutes on and not being able to take it up where I left it because I had to leave it so abruptly (come get your kid from school, she barfed in the library, being the most recent).

We need to compile a list of strategies for writing in a disjointed lifespace. I’m thinking one of those strategies might involve something like Ulysses, or Tinderbox, or OpenMind. The problem, though, is that these “strategies” cost money, and since I’m saving for an iPod (strategy #2: if you can’t hear them, they won’t be *as* distracting), I’m not coughing up dough yet.

Any feedback on these or similar applications are greatly appreciated. I’ll probably be doing some trial downloads here shortly as well, and will offer my own feedback.

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2 thoughts on “more help for writers (but not writer-moms)

  1. First, you are absolutely right about “writer’s block” issues for moms. For me, it’s a problem of never being able to collect my thoughts. I’m sure I have thoughts, or *would* have thoughts, if I weren’t so danged tired all the time, and I can hardly write a paragraph without being interrupted. I frequently discover very illiterate manglings written into my blog or comments on other blogs b/c I have been interrupted so many times I can hardly remember what the verb is. I’ve already been interrupted while writing this comment.

    I would love to hear more about these software packages. Once I learned about Tinderbox, I was kicking myself for not switching to a powerbook for the most recent laptop purchase (Eastgate says it is working on a windows version, but it isn’t ready yet!) But I’m not sure I grasp everything that tinderbox does yet . . . just think it sounds cool.

    The biggest hope, for me, is what Robert Boice’s research (e.g., Professors as Writers) has uncovered about writers. Writers are most productive when they work in short sessions rather than in longer “binge” sessions. Even 30 mins a day. I keep thinking if I could get myself organized enough, I could write for 30 mins a day while in the office. When I’ve done that (pre-kids) I was much more productive than I am now. But I haven’t had the energy/discipline to do it post-kids. Maybe in the spring I will manage it.

  2. I’m feeling you. Traditional solutions to writer’s block are not speaking to me.

    I wrote a lot when my baby was younger. Now that she’s awake for longer periods and wants my attention, I have two periods of time (her naps) to work. I usually try to use the morning nap to get some writing or other academic work done. Her afternoon nap is filled by cooking and laundry and such, which continues after she goes to bed.

    I really only have an hour and half or two hours in the morning to write. I often spend part of that time on my blog, which helps keep things flowing, actually.

    The hardest thing about acedemic work, for me, is library research.

    It’s hard not to romanticize when I had seemingly unlimited, uninterrupted time to write. But if I’m being honest I didn’t really sit and write for hours on end then either.

    Anyway, I’m rambling here.

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