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I can't write

Joined
Aug 29, 2014
Messages
236
#1
I spend a lot of time working on theories in my head, without writing anything down. Then, I look back and feel bad that after all that time, I have nothing to show for it. At least if I wrote a paper, I could have done something with it. Published it, sent it somewhere, or even used it as a research proposal for universities.

So I try to force myself to write as I think, but I am never able to do so. When I'm in the middle of working something out mentally, I really cannot write. It is easier for me to think about these concepts in my head.

One thing I noticed though, is that I don't have this problem when I am communicating with someone. If I am emailing a friend about it, or writing a post on this forum, my thoughts come out much more naturally and freely. But when I am writing a paper, they get stuck and not only do they not come out, they disappear from within me too, so I go completely blank and don't even know what I was thinking about in the first place. I have no idea why it is different like that.

Then I was like .. okay .. so maybe instead of writing while working something out, I should write it down when I'm done.

That's hard too! Because when I have figured something out, I am "over it" and don't have the motivation to think deeply about it anymore. I once again become blank internally and have nothing to express anymore. Anything I attempt to write comes out very bland and generic. It's like if you have a feeling, sadness for example, you write a much more rich and compelling narrative when you are currently experiencing it, as opposed to when you are not. And it is very difficult to conjure the feeling again using your imagination.

So my question for you is:
Do any of you experience this? Either difficulty writing what is in your head, or going blank internally when you attempt to? How do you deal with it? What can I do to fix this problem?
 

Animekitty

World A.I. transfomantion is Near
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#2
At most I can write 3 paragraphs before I run out of ideas just writing by myself. But I need to wait days before I have ideas good enough to write down. I only put the good stuff on m blog. What really gets me is when I try to solve problems. I am terrible at designing things. I have an abstract idea but cannot make diagrams or modular systems. I have no literal imagination. I cannot literally see how everything works together in my mind. Everything is very vague. I am abstract, not concrete. My mind becomes blank translating between the two. The details make my mind go blank. This is visual. But usually, it takes me days to develop an abstract idea.

If the problem is a blank mind when by yourself, start a blog on the form where you can write ideas unhindered.
 

redbaron

consummate salt-extraction specialist
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#3
most papers or books or anything else that gets published is a much refined iteration of the source material

just write whatever you can. whether it's refined or not doesn't matter because the end output comes later. you're probably trying to write it as you'd want someone else to read it, but writing so comprehensive and precise is usually the condensed version of writings dozens of times longer.
 

Serac

Prolific Member
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Jun 7, 2017
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#4
@ruminator Perhaps when you write a paper, you simply compare yourself to a different standard, so that your ideas now seem less well-crafted? After all, if you are comparing yourself to academic papers, you are comparing yourself to the highest standard there is. If this is the case, you should embrace that and use this higher standard to improve your skills.
 
Joined
Aug 29, 2014
Messages
236
#5
At most I can write 3 paragraphs before I run out of ideas just writing by myself. But I need to wait days before I have ideas good enough to write down. I only put the good stuff on m blog. What really gets me is when I try to solve problems. I am terrible at designing things. I have an abstract idea but cannot make diagrams or modular systems. I have no literal imagination. I cannot literally see how everything works together in my mind. Everything is very vague. I am abstract, not concrete. My mind becomes blank translating between the two. The details make my mind go blank. This is visual. But usually, it takes me days to develop an abstract idea.

If the problem is a blank mind when by yourself, start a blog on the form where you can write ideas unhindered.
most papers or books or anything else that gets published is a much refined iteration of the source material

just write whatever you can. whether it's refined or not doesn't matter because the end output comes later. you're probably trying to write it as you'd want someone else to read it, but writing so comprehensive and precise is usually the condensed version of writings dozens of times longer.
It's a good idea, maybe I should practice freeflow for an hour a day or something. Any idea of what causes the internal "blanking"? Even if I am trying to write to a highly refined standard, I wonder why it causes "blanking".
 
Joined
Aug 29, 2014
Messages
236
#6
@ruminator Perhaps when you write a paper, you simply compare yourself to a different standard, so that your ideas now seem less well-crafted? After all, if you are comparing yourself to academic papers, you are comparing yourself to the highest standard there is. If this is the case, you should embrace that and use this higher standard to improve your skills.
It would be nice to embrace the higher standard to improve my skills. I guess I would have to fix the going "blank" issue first. Like, if I still had an internal idea of what I want to say, then I could work on saying it better. But I can't say anything when I blank out and don't know what to say anymore. Maybe the blanking out happens because I get overwhelmed? idk
 

redbaron

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#7
It's a good idea, maybe I should practice freeflow for an hour a day or something. Any idea of what causes the internal "blanking"? Even if I am trying to write to a highly refined standard, I wonder why it causes "blanking".
i just think you're underestimating the amount of refinement that's gone into most studies. they're usually drafted a few times, then reviewed by multiple people and rewritten multiple times before even being submitted to a journal for publishing. and then at that point there's likely another review process before publishing before it goes out to a readership.

no study is written on the fly, and if anything they're probably over-written to begin with and the fluff slowly gets refined or cut out as it gets reviewed over the span of months, sometimes years

so just write, don't worry about specificity - that comes later. write whatever is even tangentially related, then piece it together later. even authors with lots of great books, have lots of awful books too. the more you write, the more likely you write something good but for the most part, most writing is bad, so you shouldn't get demotivated by the lack of quality in your writing - happens to everyone
 

sushi

Active Member
Joined
Aug 15, 2013
Messages
342
#8
i used to have this problem before but i sort of grow out of it.

but then writer's block is a major problem for novelists and authors who write for a living.
 
Joined
Aug 29, 2014
Messages
236
#9
i used to have this problem before but i sort of grow out of it.

but then writer's block is a major problem for novelists and authors who write for a living.
Do you think this is writer's block? I always thought WB was when someone has difficulty coming up with ideas in the first place. Whereas with me, I have lots of them, but just have difficulty accessing them when I'm writing.
 

Animekitty

World A.I. transfomantion is Near
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#10
Whereas with me, I have lots of them, but just have difficulty accessing them when I'm writing.
write them all down, access them later.

You should be finding a structure to place them in on paper so you can do the structuring in your head later when you've become good at it externally. You cannot generate ideas and evaluate them in real time unless you know how to perform thinking/judgment about them in real time. Its perception and judgment simultaneously. a reverse (ENTP) problem?
 
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