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The Kindness Bench for SimLit Writers - For All Games!

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  • Simcraft81Simcraft81 Posts: 497 Member
    @CathyTea The reading circles are a great idea but I'm not sure what type of circle I would belong in lol. My stories are both story and game driven. I write about what happens in my game and mold it into a story. Don't get me wrong I do step in to direct some events but it's fun and challenging to work with what I'm given :) Kind of like how J.J. Abrams when he worked with what he was given (George Lucas' Star Wars) to make 'The Force Awakens.' I'd like to see what happens when I can do collaborations with other Sim writers and have my Sims meet theirs lol. @MedleyMisty and @Rainydayz179 , Thanks for your comments as well.
  • Rainydayz179Rainydayz179 Posts: 4,003 Member
    Simcraft81 wrote: »
    @CathyTea The reading circles are a great idea but I'm not sure what type of circle I would belong in lol. My stories are both story and game driven. I write about what happens in my game and mold it into a story. Don't get me wrong I do step in to direct some events but it's fun and challenging to work with what I'm given :) Kind of like how J.J. Abrams when he worked with what he was given (George Lucas' Star Wars) to make 'The Force Awakens.' I'd like to see what happens when I can do collaborations with other Sim writers and have my Sims meet theirs lol. @MedleyMisty and @Rainydayz179 , Thanks for your comments as well.

    You could always post in the reading circles thread describing your story and see if anyone offers to take you in. Or find a circle that has openings and look to see if their stories are along similar lines as yours and ask to join them. :)
  • CathyTeaCathyTea Posts: 22,677 Member
    Simcraft81 wrote: »
    @CathyTea The reading circles are a great idea but I'm not sure what type of circle I would belong in lol. My stories are both story and game driven. I write about what happens in my game and mold it into a story. Don't get me wrong I do step in to direct some events but it's fun and challenging to work with what I'm given :) Kind of like how J.J. Abrams when he worked with what he was given (George Lucas' Star Wars) to make 'The Force Awakens.' I'd like to see what happens when I can do collaborations with other Sim writers and have my Sims meet theirs lol. @MedleyMisty and @Rainydayz179 , Thanks for your comments as well.

    It's fine if reading circles don't follow specific themes or styles. Both of the ones I'm in are somewhat eclectic. BTW I write pretty much that same way!
    Cathy Tea's SimLit Anthology

    Dragon Name: Hywicoes | House: Ravenclaw | Wand: Dogwood, Unicorn hair 11 ¼" , Suprisingly Swishy
  • Simcraft81Simcraft81 Posts: 497 Member
    That's good :) I want to be among writers with different styles and tones. I'm also looking forward to starting my own circle with my own ideas!
  • MedleyMistyMedleyMisty Posts: 1,188 Member
    I kind of want to make like a circle for strangers, with a rule that you can't already be reading the stories of the other members. Get people to mix a bit outside of their natural circle.

    But I know I can't handle the commitment of two circles, so if anyone is reading this thread and wants to make a circle, you are free to take that idea if you want. :)
    Sometimes the darkness and I tell stories.
  • Rainydayz179Rainydayz179 Posts: 4,003 Member
    @MedleyMisty I wasn't reading 2 of the 3 other's stories prior to us starting our circle. Two of them were reading mine, though.
  • AdamsEve1231AdamsEve1231 Posts: 5,954 Member
    I kind of want to make like a circle for strangers, with a rule that you can't already be reading the stories of the other members. Get people to mix a bit outside of their natural circle.

    But I know I can't handle the commitment of two circles, so if anyone is reading this thread and wants to make a circle, you are free to take that idea if you want. :)

    Intriguing idea!

    drr... intriguing seems to be my word of the day... lol... I need to find a new one.

    I wasn't sure about two circles but now I'm handling it better than I thought because I just really liked the idea of the second circle. However, I think it's completely understandable not to commit to more than one.
  • lisabee2lisabee2 Posts: 3,257 Member
    Sitting on the bench today ... some seasons of life are more difficult than others that is for sure and some days in those seasons are seriously difficult. (prob will remain invisible but I will share anyway .. and not that anyone even needs to .. I just need to say it all is some place and leave it).
    The LIST of things that has hit us in the last 6 months is unreal. My eldest daughter was diagnosed with MS .. watching her go thru it (the medicine is terrifying) and seeing her hubby struggle with his church (he is a pastor) and her 2 littles having to grow up so soon to help mom ... my middle baby's hubby of 8 years abandoned her and her 2 little sweeties .. he always has been a bit of ladies man but now it is off the hook. The grief of knowing that my 2 sweet grand will grow up likely shouldering his selfishness .. aaugh! I spend most of my daylight hours being a support to them and I do not begrudge it but it does get hard. My youngest daughter is just disappearing on us ... he hubby became a cop and works nights .. she started hanging out in the bars downtown and while we see her physically a couple time of week for coffee it is becoming increasingly obvious that she is not with us at all. My hubby's job came under fire because one of his employees did not read a contract that she executed for the company and obligated them for just under 36,000 dollars for a 3 year printer rental (yeah you read that right .. robbers!)! Even tho she has the companies complete authority to act as a rep my hubs is the one they say shoulder the responsibility. If this litany were not enough ... my eldest grand boy (13 years old) was born with so many disabilities. He is a big boy with a big heart and he often just does not understand the things of the world. For the past 2 years or so a little bully and his plum papa have made life for jojo miserable. The kid has done terrible things to jojo and poor jo he just wants a friend so he trusts the kids all the time. The kids knows Jo is special needs and easily drawn ... he hand cuffed Jo to a fence behind a shed once .. another time tried to get Jo t pluck his own eyes out (of of course (with a trick) he showed jo how it can be done (I was so fricken furious) .. they say things like hey squish this dog plum and I will let you see my skylander figurines (the kid has none so of course is so funny to him). His daddy is even worse .. he treats Jo like an animal (well worse actually) so my daughter and SIL of course curtailed the relationship. Ever since then the dad will set out on his step and stare Jo down (what kind of man does this ... even has stared me down driving past his house .. I wanted to go say something but my daughter will not allow it) .. yesterday it all came to a head. Jojo was in his own yard pretending to be a Ninja (his mental age is about 7 or 8) just rolling around they yard ... when the papa started making faces at and laughing (mockingly) WHAT grown man does this? My eldest was livid when Jo came in crying so she and her hubby went out and worked on her flowers while he played around ... the man came driving by staring so they both stared back ... later that day the man came home and with a poison pen decided to inform the church members on what a hypocrite their pastor was .. and accusing jonah of trying intimidate him .. like he is a danger and needs to be put away. If you knew my grand and my SIL you would know this is so far from any truth. No one will believe it of course .. my SIL is a lovey gentle man and I know this papa is banking on that ... this man I tell you is the straw!! I am so done! NOT Sims related at all ...
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  • lovesstormslovesstorms Posts: 17,777 Member
    @lisabee2 - I can't comment much right now, but *hugs* and more *hugs*. This life is so tough and seeing your own kids go through things is so incredibly hard, especially when you can't do much about them.
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  • Rainydayz179Rainydayz179 Posts: 4,003 Member
    lisabee2 wrote: »
    Sitting on the bench today ... some seasons of life are more difficult than others that is for sure and some days in those seasons are seriously difficult. (prob will remain invisible but I will share anyway .. and not that anyone even needs to .. I just need to say it all is some place and leave it).

    Sits down and gives you a big hug.

    I know it's not much but hopefully it helps.
  • MegglesMeggles Posts: 4,109 Member
    Lots of love to you, @lisabee2
    :heart: :heart: :heart:
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  • CathyTeaCathyTea Posts: 22,677 Member
    lisabee2 wrote: »
    Sitting on the bench today ... some seasons of life are more difficult than others that is for sure and some days in those seasons are seriously difficult. (prob will remain invisible but I will share anyway .. and not that anyone even needs to .. I just need to say it all is some place and leave it).

    Big hugs, lisabee. It sounds like you are there for everyone--and right now it sounds like you need someone to be there for you. Hope you're able to find a few moments to give yourself some TLC--bubble bath, chocolate, private tea party, whatever can fill up those reserves again.

    I am sure that all the kindness, love, and support you share is noticed by so many--it's tough to be there for everyone. You're making such a difference to so many.
    Cathy Tea's SimLit Anthology

    Dragon Name: Hywicoes | House: Ravenclaw | Wand: Dogwood, Unicorn hair 11 ¼" , Suprisingly Swishy
  • AdamsEve1231AdamsEve1231 Posts: 5,954 Member
    @lisabee2 <3 *hugs* and more *hugs*
  • SeaDragonSongSeaDragonSong Posts: 2,243 Member
    @lisabee2 Hope things go better soon! -hugs-
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  • RipuAncestorRipuAncestor Posts: 2,150 Member
    @lisabee2 *hugs* I too hope things get better soon. <3 I wish you and your loved ones all the best.
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  • StoriedStormStoriedStorm Posts: 3,004 Member
    *sits on proverbial bench*

    @CathyTea suggested to me I stop by here so I figured it couldn't hurt to talk to people about the issues I've been dealing with and see if anyone has any advice so here goes.

    To recap for those who didn't see my post on the writers lounge thread I've been having trouble recently with depression stemming from my writers block. Basically I'll start writing a story then when I hit writers block I start getting frustrated about not being able to figure it out and then as that goes on and I fall behind my schedule I start to feel worse and worse about it to the point where eventually I just lose all motivation to write or do anything. I've had issues the past several years to begin with regarding my self esteem primarily regarding not having been able to find a direction in life so it really hurts that the closest thing I've found (writing) is causing me to constantly feel miserable.

    Has anyone else ever dealt with this or know any ways to help deal with it. I get that writer's block is something happens to everyone but even knowing that hasn't helped me avoid getting into a slump every time I go through this cycle.
  • lisabee2lisabee2 Posts: 3,257 Member
    @lovesstorms , @Rainydayz179 , @Meggles , @CathyTea , @AdamsEve1231 , @SeaDragonSong , and @RipuAncestor ... Thank you so much for your kind words and sweet thougths.

    As silly as it sounds it was a relief to put that big old bundle down somewhere safe (where it would do NO more harm) and just walk away from it for a day. OH it is all still there but .. maybe tomorrow it will easier to pick it up (oh heck I might even wait til Monday LOL) TY so much again.

    @AuroraLockwood ... when I get there I change things up a bit .. like doing a challenge or something way different .. when you come back you will be fresh

    OH and BTW my bench sitters ... I had some rl bench sitters with me today ... they might be daddy-less but they will not be grandma-less :)

    [img][/img]13435376_10210408688762137_729239385551853303_n_zpsquog2p4a.jpg
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    LisabeeSims
    New readers can visit here first: In-a-NUTSHELL
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  • CathyTeaCathyTea Posts: 22,677 Member
    lisabee2 wrote: »
    OH and BTW my bench sitters ... I had some rl bench sitters with me today ... they might be daddy-less but they will not be grandma-less :)

    [img][/img]13435376_10210408688762137_729239385551853303_n_zpsquog2p4a.jpg

    Now THAT'S a kindness bench! :)
    Cathy Tea's SimLit Anthology

    Dragon Name: Hywicoes | House: Ravenclaw | Wand: Dogwood, Unicorn hair 11 ¼" , Suprisingly Swishy
  • Rainydayz179Rainydayz179 Posts: 4,003 Member
    Has anyone else ever dealt with this or know any ways to help deal with it. I get that writer's block is something happens to everyone but even knowing that hasn't helped me avoid getting into a slump every time I go through this cycle.

    I'm fairly new to the whole story thing so you can take my advice or leave it. What I've been doing is what @lisabee2 also suggested. I play challenges. Now, my challenges do usually have some sort of a storyline but it's not scripted or forced, it's in past tense. I play, take screenshots as I go, then just write what happens and surprisingly people read it.

    For example: In my ISBI challenge I just got a new restaurant, I sent the family there without checking everyone's needs except my torch holder, one kid got stinky soon after arriving, I got the pop-up that it was the other's birthday, she kept passing out, (I lost 20 points!) but it was a lot of fun. I said they went to the restaurant for Jaci's birthday and that she kept passing out due to fear of the bear waitstaff.

    The thing that gets me is, I can work for weeks on a written beforehand and posed chapter for a story and one of my just for fun challenge posts will get 10x more views. <shrug> I try not to take it personally.
  • CathyTeaCathyTea Posts: 22,677 Member
    Has anyone else ever dealt with this or know any ways to help deal with it. I get that writer's block is something happens to everyone but even knowing that hasn't helped me avoid getting into a slump every time I go through this cycle.

    @AuroraLockwood - I've been thinking about the energies of grit and inspiration and about how I draw from them in order to maintain creative focus and growth.

    Most of us creative types thrive on inspiration and feel it often: that's what drives us higher and fills us with enthusiasm when we start projects. Inspiration is not, by nature, constant: it comes and goes, ebbs and flows.

    Think of it as waves.

    Grit is the constant below this.

    Golden-Gate-Lg.jpg

    (One of my best friends describes love like this: there's the constant beneath, that keeps a couple together through time, and then there are the waves of closeness and intimacy that ride this--the highs aren't always there, but the constant beneath the highs remains.)

    I started becoming aware of the value of grit through my cello practice. Six years ago, when I started learning the cello, I made a commitment to practice six days a week. For the first year, when I was so inspired that every time I played, my fun meter filled, finding time to practice was easy. During the second year, I became really busy, and it took effort to find time to practice. When I thought about it, my fun meter would drop. Usually, all it took was taking my cello out of the case and rosining my bow for me to start feeling engaged again--but still, thinking about sitting down to practice required me to work through a feeling of "blah."

    About that time, I came across this article that mentioned grit: http://greatergood.berkeley.edu/raising_happiness/post/the_importance_of_pain . I realized I could draw upon this in my cello practice.

    Here's how I use grit in cello:

    1) I commit to practicing six days a week. I like knowing I get one day a week off, in case I need an extra hour of goof-off time.

    2) Since I've made that commitment, I know I'll practice whether I "feel like it" or not. So I don't even check in to see if I feel like it. I just do it. If I don't do it in the morning before I go to the office, I do it when I get home, before I make supper or before yoga practice. It's just part of my day, like brushing my hair or taking a shower.

    3) I have a practice routine: scales, exercises, repertoire.

    4) I work in options: I've got three different types of scales I can do, depending which seem like most fun or which will most help my current repertoire. I have one set of exercises that I can do if I feel like it or not. If I want, I've got a bunch of fun pieces I can choose from at the end of the practice that each bring a lot of joy to play--but I don't have to play them if I don't want to. What's important here is choice: since it *is* important to me to "do what I feel like", I've worked in choices to my practice, so that I don't feel that my own preferences are being ignored. It's my compromise with grit--see? I get to do some of what I want!

    5) I have specific goals for each practice: Maybe I'll work on legato, or string crossings, or double-stops. Before each session, I'll think about what my goal is, then during practice, I'll remember that goal as I'm moving through the routine.

    6) I don't worry about fun. I do the practice regardless of whether it will be fun or not. What always happens is once I begin tuning my instrument, my body settles down, and by the time I've finished the first scale, I'm engaged. Fun comes. But it's not what drives me. It's a byproduct, not a goal.

    How does this transfer to writing?

    Pretty directly, I think.

    1) Make a commitment to write. With writing, five to six days a week is probably plenty. And half an hour each day should be a good amount.

    2) Just do it, regardless of whether you feel like it or not. Fit it into the day, just like you'd wash the dishes or brush your teeth.

    3) Have a routine. Maybe you start with a quick review of what you wrote yesterday. Maybe you do ten minutes of free-writing or brainstorming. Maybe you just dive right into the next chapter. (Ok--I'm not sure how this transfers to writing... I like to mix up my writing routine, so maybe this doesn't apply?)

    4) Work in options: This is essential to me in writing. That's why I've got at least two active Sim stories at once, so that I can work on the one I feel like. There are plenty of options: write dialogue; revise; work on sensory details; free-write. And many more!

    5) Have a specific goal. Don't just sit down and wait for inspiration. Know what you're going to work on when you sit down. With my Sim stories, I usually know which chapter--or which aspect of that chapter--I'll be focusing on when I sit down to write.

    6) Don't worry about fun. Have you noticed that our Sims lose fun when they write? We might do so, too. That's ok! After half an hour, you can do something fun to build that fun meter back up! (And here's a Sim-strategy I learned which I use, too: If your Sim is a music-lover, have them listen to music while they write, and they'll gain fun! It works for me, too.)

    If you do this for two months, three months, four... you'll start developing a writing habit, and it will pay off in all aspects of your life. I guarantee.

    What about inspiration? We need it! It's an important part of the suspension bridge!

    Here are some techniques for gaining inspiration that my students have taught me:

    1) Think about your writing, and then do something: go for a bike ride, take a walk, do the dishes, take a shower, go swimming, make a meal.

    2) Daydream.

    3) Play! Imagine you're your character. Write the story backwards or inside out!

    4) Go someplace stimulating: a cafe, outside, a different room.

    5) Watch a movie or play games--then write.

    There are lots of other ways to gain inspiration, too...

    The point is, foster inspiration when you need it. But don't rely on it. Be willing, able, and committed to write even when the inspiration is lacking. Dedicate yourself to it as a practice.

    Other interesting articles: http://greatergood.berkeley.edu/article/item/two_ways_to_foster_grit

    http://greatergood.berkeley.edu/raising_happiness/post/failure_winner


    I'd love to read what others have to say, too! @ValoisFulcanelli @NoWayJose527
    Cathy Tea's SimLit Anthology

    Dragon Name: Hywicoes | House: Ravenclaw | Wand: Dogwood, Unicorn hair 11 ¼" , Suprisingly Swishy
  • StoriedStormStoriedStorm Posts: 3,004 Member
    @lisabee2 @Rainydayz179 @CathyTea Thanks. I generally do try to do something else the problem is, at least when the writers block is really bad, that I tend to feel guilty doing that because I feel like I should be working on the story. I think I will try what Cathy suggested though and just try to force myself to write (even if it's just something random and separate) in the hopes that I will get caught up in it and stress less about it.
  • Simcraft81Simcraft81 Posts: 497 Member
    Hi, @AuroraLockwood Don't feel guilty. Whatever you do to cure writer's block IS part of working on the story. Say somebody is lifting weights. After they finish a set they take a brief break in order to do another set. Without that break, they won't be able to lift anymore or won't have good form and get burnt out. I hope this helped as well :)
  • lovesstormslovesstorms Posts: 17,777 Member
    @lisabee2 @Rainydayz179 @CathyTea Thanks. I generally do try to do something else the problem is, at least when the writers block is really bad, that I tend to feel guilty doing that because I feel like I should be working on the story. I think I will try what Cathy suggested though and just try to force myself to write (even if it's just something random and separate) in the hopes that I will get caught up in it and stress less about it.

    Inspiration can come from anywhere, too. That's why I look up writing prompts to see if anything sounds interesting, and then I write about it. Maybe that might help, too.
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  • friendsfan367friendsfan367 Posts: 26,431 Member
    @lisabee2 @Rainydayz179 @CathyTea Thanks. I generally do try to do something else the problem is, at least when the writers block is really bad, that I tend to feel guilty doing that because I feel like I should be working on the story. I think I will try what Cathy suggested though and just try to force myself to write (even if it's just something random and separate) in the hopes that I will get caught up in it and stress less about it.

    Inspiration can come from anywhere, too. That's why I look up writing prompts to see if anything sounds interesting, and then I write about it. Maybe that might help, too.

    i agree with lovestorms. using a example of my own experience. i'm not a boy so alot of my inspiration writing boys comes from the internet.when i first did the benders i somehow found creative ways to tell the same story.
  • CathyTeaCathyTea Posts: 22,677 Member
    @lisabee2 @Rainydayz179 @CathyTea Thanks. I generally do try to do something else the problem is, at least when the writers block is really bad, that I tend to feel guilty doing that because I feel like I should be working on the story. I think I will try what Cathy suggested though and just try to force myself to write (even if it's just something random and separate) in the hopes that I will get caught up in it and stress less about it.

    Yes, I really think that this could work for you, in particular. It doesn't work for everyone--because some writers might feel they need that inspiration first. But you've got the technique and skill in writing so that even if you write something seemingly random (which of course it won't be, for your subconscious and conscious mind will be linking ideas and themes and images together), it will be good. And, sometimes, it will even be amazing. Also, when one writes five days a week, it's ok if not all of the work ends up being usable--for some of the work will be! So the extra stuff could be set aside. And you'll slowly start building confidence, plus you'll start building a practice--a discipline. And you'll feel great for that! It'll have all sorts of benefits in all sorts of aspects of your life!
    Cathy Tea's SimLit Anthology

    Dragon Name: Hywicoes | House: Ravenclaw | Wand: Dogwood, Unicorn hair 11 ¼" , Suprisingly Swishy
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