Friday, February 4, 2011

Writer's Block

I have to confess…writing is not always easy for me. Now that my “grief bubble” is gone, and the “baby stuff” is on hold, I have really been struggling with what to say in these posts, hence the decline in frequency. It is so easy when you FEEL the words, when they flow through you effortlessly, a conversation through the keyboard. It is not as easy when you have to force the words out just so the blank screen can no longer mock you. In high school, my aspiration was to one day be a novelist, but as someone who cannot always produce even a couple of paragraphs a day, I simply cannot imagine what that would take. Where do great authors get their ideas? How do they handle the stress of simply not being able to find the right words to convey what is in their very souls? And how do they stay true to themselves, ensuring that the words that they do write are what they wanted all along, not sacrificing quality for a quick buck?

I’m convinced that a great author doesn’t write a book – it’s so much more than that. That sentence actually makes me laugh on the inside. “I’m writing a book.” Anyone can write a book. In fact, I’ve read books that I’m pretty sure could have been written by anyone in any high school English class in America. No, I have to believe that a great author cares about their legacy; the New York Times Best Seller List is just a perk. They value their work so much that the validation of others is last on their list of reasons for writing. I started this blog for myself, and as I struggle to write lately, that has come back to me. I may never be a novelist, but I don’t need some masterpiece to be a good author. I only need to write something I’m proud of…and the rest will speak for itself.  

1 comment:

  1. Since the internet is for unsolicited opinions and pornography, I thought I could share two of one with you.

    First: Write for 30 minutes every day. It doesn't matter what. It doesn't matter if it's bad. It doesn't matter if you publish it. It's just like any other muscle; use it or lose it. I bet you don't just stare at a cursor for 30 minutes. Think about any event from your day and just start writing. I did this for a long while and found I inevitably wrote for longer than 30 minutes every time. As a matter of fact, when that eggshell timer went off, I wanted it to quit buzzing so that my flow wasn't any more disrupted.

    Second: For the severe cases of creative constipation, read Henry Miller on Writing. I don't know if you're familiar with him or not, but that book is pure muse and he's my favorite author of all time.