This Interview is being conducted by Autum Jones, Guest here is Xexilia zajac the author and artist of Eternity Concepts.
Autum: What do you think causes writers block?
Xexilia: Usually I think that happens when the writer has accidently written themselves into a corner–a situation the characters can’t readily solve, or that ends the story too soon, or they’re overwhelmed with too many ideas at once. Of course, there’s good, old fashioned ‘Plain out of Ideas’ as a factor, too!
A: What did you do when you have experienced writers block?
X: Usually, I listen to music. I have play lists all designed for specific story’s I’m working on, or moods I’m trying to create within the story. When this fails, I get away from my writing and just spend time thinking and researching; I watch a lot of documentaries, usually about subjects with no definative answer (Like the paranormal), or that are relevant to part of my writing (Like history). Long car rides help, too, I’m not sure why; Something about riding as the passanger and staring out the window just gets my mind flowing in unusual ways. I try to entertain, too, the same story from every character’s perspective–which can sometimes generate new ideas.
A: Do you think WB workshops will help
X: In theory? I think a lot of workshops just try to provide you a connection to your own, inner muse. Granted, I’ve never taken a writer’s workshop–but from what I’ve seen protrayed in the media, these workshops seem to help so long as the student puts in the effort and takes it seriously. I think, really, these work in the end because you have someone telling you what to write–rather than sitting down and having to decide it for yourself. In many ways, setting boundaries is what allows writers and artist’s to start exploring them. . .sometimes by simply trying to figure out how to step over the boundries without crossing them.
A: Do you think WB workshops for the MM community exculsively would be good?
X: I do think that they could help; I’ve talked to a lot of people just in MM chat who’ve come in and mentioned some kind of story problem. When people do that, I tend to jump into these conversations a lot and just end up tossing various information and ideas at them, to get them thinking in new or different directions. In this regard, I think a workshop could help a great deal, by allowing people to pose story problem questions and get various answers; Almost always, when someone talks to me about a story problem, I get an idea instantly and will suggest it to them. At the same time, I would be a little weary, as I think most would expect would say manga/comics isn’t the same as writing a novel or book–and I tend to disagree. I think it would be good just so long as, like any work shop, the students are there to learn and improve, aren’t married to their ideas, or are open about which ones they are married to, and don’t reject what the teacher has to tell them because they don’t write a certain kind of media.
A: WHat are some quick tips to beat WB or maybe shut down the inner critic?
X: Well, I listen to that inner critic rather heavily–sometime’s it’s right! I recommend music; I’d focus on the music that makes you picture something in your head, and reflects the mood you’re out to write. I also think that taking a hot shower or bath helps–it seems like whenever you absolutely cannot write from where you are? You get ideas. There’s also adventure; Have an adventure. I don’t always recommend writing about it–but these make good story ideas and can educate you on how things really work versus how you expected them to. Finally, research; Wikipedia has been a huge boon for me, and I spend probably an hour on it every few days–and if I’m not careful, I can read nothing except Wikipedia for weeks on end (And I have.)