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Thursday, March 29, 2007

Have You Ever Felt Crippled as a Writer?

For the first time ever I actually felt...crippled in regards to my writing. How is this possible you might ask? Well here goes.
I've been desperately trying to force my creative self to start writing other work aside from WISB. I love WISB, don't get my wrong, but I do need to write other stuff. Mostly this means short stories and editing of stuff. Well, I finally got all my Moleskine books and brought the large ruled one with me to my cousins' b-day party and suddenly had some sparks of amazing creativity. But, there was a catch. I had completely forgotten what the word 'planar' meant. I'd put it in the title for really no reason at all, and then it dawned on me that I hadn't a clue what it meant. I didn't have access to a computer so I couldn't very well go off to and check, and there was no dictionary book anywhere in site. I literally sat there and felt my brain fizzle away into nothing; it couldn't take the strain I suppose.
How did this situation resolve itself you might ask...I had to text--yes I mean text message on a cell phone--my friend to have him look it up for me. I sat waiting for his response for a few minutes, all the while feeling those lovely surges of creative thought dying because of some stupid word.
Later that evening I finally decided I would go to the nearest Borders and see about getting some sort of super pocket dictionary and possibly a super pocket thesaurus. I figure of all places, Borders has to have it. Here comes problem #2. Apparently they don't make super pocket dictionaries. They make pocket dictionaries with about 1/10th the definitions in them, and that's it. It wouldn't have been so bad if 'planar' had been in said pocket dictionaries, but because that particular word is rather obscure, it wasn't. Now, if someone can explain how you can get a full edition of the bible in a tiny key chain book, but not a tiny little dictionary...I mean really. Take the size 10 font in the book, drop it to a 4 or 5--tiny I know--you could easily cram 300,000 definitions in there. But alas, no.
So, I started looking online for an electronic one. I don't like that feeling of being crippled in my writing. Well, so far there hasn't been a lot of luck because all of the electronic ones are a little confusing. Which one do I pick? There are a dozen that do the same thing, but there's no magic comparison of them all to figure out which one is actually the best one.

In a nutshell, this whole process has become rather crazed.

Anyone else experienced a similar 'crippling'?

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  1. No crippling, but I know what you mean. If I get stuck on a word, I tend to put in a less satisfactory one, and surround it by two ??questions marks?? and go back when I have a dictionary handy.

    I do know that you CAN get full dictionaries in pocket version. I think my sister has one. It's about 3cmx2cm and the writing is tiiiny, but it has a mini magnifying glass with it. The whole thing fits on a key chain. I'm pretty sure it's just a novelty thing, but it works. Have a look for one!

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  3. I do this! Go back later, and redraft what I DID manage to get right... and change or add to what I find not so satifactory... it's YOUR process, so don't beat yourself up about it or become frozen.. sometimes these things just take time. Best wishes and good luck with your writing. :)

  4. satiSfactory (see?? ;))

  5. Yes, that's happened to me. Usually it happens when describing something I'm not used to describing. Like the insides of a water mill. :D It needed a Google search, and then scrolling through a whole bunch of unhelpful entries until one was found, with me feeling stupid the entire time.

    Which reminds me...have you ever searched for information on something, and found that there's a game or movie with the same name, and the only things you can find on that subject have to do with said movie or game? Like this (very annoying!):