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Writers: a reality or just laziness?

Discusses the touchy subject of writers, asking whether there really are times

A couple of posts over at caught my eye. Discusses the touchy subject of writers, asking whether there really are times when creativity dries up and the muse heads south for an extended holiday, or is it just an excuse not to write. I hate to sit on the fence, but I suspect it is a little of both.

Block can be interpreted in two ways. On one hand there are times when a writer sits in front of a blank page and simply can not think of a single thing to say. Even composing a shopping list would be a challenge. On the other hand, sometimes the words will flow, but they are uninspired, formulaic and unoriginal.

The first problem could be blamed on laziness, although I think it would be more charitable to say a lack of a disciplined routine is the problem. Whatever your viewpoint, it is true that simply getting into the habit of writing everyday is the solution. Yes, write everyday, even if it is for no purpose. It may take a while to make writing part of your everyday routine, but once you do, you will find you rarely sit down in front of that blank page with nothing to say.

The second problem is more difficult to solve, but all too common. Some days, it seems impossible to find the right words or to think of ideas, characters, themes. Conjuring up an elusive muse can be hard, but once again having a daily writing routine will help enormously. If you are used to sitting down and producing x number of words a day, you will be able to do that. No, they won’t be the best words you have ever strung together, but first drafts rarely are* and that doesn’t matter. You can always come back the next day to edit and rewrite and hopefully improve your initial piece of work.

But what do I write about everyday, I hear you ask. It really doesn’t matter is the simple answer. Keep a diary or weblog, write opinion pieces about events in the news. Visit any of the numerous websites which provide helpful writing prompts (I occasionally include those here) Write the first thing that comes into your head. Describe an everyday object, or the view from your window. Anything, as long as you make the effort to sit down for a set time every day and write.

One final word for participants: If (like me) you found yourself stuck, unable to take your plot any further, don’t despair, because you always can buy essays papers! Remember isn’t about quality of writing, it’s about quantity. Don’t even think of trying to introduce clever plot twists, or witty and insightful dialogue. Just write. Spend some time describing your characters’ back stories, you never know, that may give you an idea about how to take them forward. (It worked for me when I found my plot had a beginning and end but no middle.) Or, send them for a walk, to the pub, involve one or several of them in a conversation with a minor character. Go into more detail about the location/s you have set your novel in, provide some history, culture, local colour. Just do something to get the words onto the paper, you can always delete them when you get around to rewriting, and nine times out of ten you will find the act of writing will give you the momentum to fill the gaps in your plot.


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