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Writing to Stand Still

It always seems like I have to say.  That’s why I have a blog; so I can come on here and opine about things that happen to be rolling about in my brain.  And, no:  I don’t expected to have that brain eaten during the zombie apocalypse, because there is nothing dumber than a  zombie apocalypse.

I’m sorta not writing at the moment, because I needed a break.  And I didn’t have anything to say.  Yeah, I’ve got ideas, but I have no idea how to get those stories going.  At the moment I have more that needs a good edit than the need to add to that slush pile, and that’s what I’m doing.

But what do you do when you have nothing to say?

I’m a great one for writing every day.  I’ve said on many occasions that you should write every day, even if it’s only a few hundred words.  Get down to your favorite keyboard–be it word processor, computer, or typewriter–and crank out some wordage.  It doesn’t have to be good; it doesn’t even have to be coherent.  One writer, long ago, said he would type out grocery lists if he had troubling getting started on a story.

Then you have those who take the other approach.  William Gibson has stated that when he’s starting a novel, he’ll sit and start typing, but if it feels as if nothing’s coming that’s worthwhile, he walks away from the story for the day.  He says there’s nothing wrong with that, because some days you have no creative spark; the words won’t come, and you can’t force them into any sort of form that makes sense.

Though I don’t want to agree with him, he is right.  Sometimes that spark just isn’t there, that no matter what tricks you use to put a story together, it just ain’t working for you.  Whatever is coming out is crap, and the more you force it, the more crap appears.  And the more crap you have on the page, the more crap you have to rewrite during your edit.

Now, does Gibson walk away completely?  Sometimes.  He says there are times when he’ll head out and do something that he’s meant to do for a while, but most of the time he’ll be at the computer doing–here it comes–research.  He’ll look thinks up; he’ll read articles; he’ll go over his notes.  After all, writing is his job, and when you’re not writing, you’re doing something to help support that gig.  You’re not on Facebook posting memes that say, “Hey, you should be writing!”, because what’s dumber than a so-called writer telling other writers they should be writing, and not be goofing off on Facebook?

I’m certain Philosoraptor would have something to say about that.

Sometimes it’s a good thing to walk away.  There are times where you need to walk away–just doing make it a habit.  If you’re creative, you need to work that creativity, and if you don’t let you creativity stretch its legs, it’s gonna cramp up and whimper with pain.

There’s nothing sadder than your creativity in pain.  Just listen–

You’ll hear it asking to be let out.

8 thoughts on “Writing to Stand Still

  1. But… but… I *like* posting dumb stuff on Facebook! *sniff* 😉

    Speaking of… back to editing between calls. My brain doesn’t like the abrupt shift, but a girl’s gotta do what a girl’s gotta do.

  2. Ahh I hope your creativity gets well soon. I agree Raymond. I found if I force myself i get to resent wirting more than enjoy.. let it slip from our mind , then when you need to escape from rallife , go back to that PLACE and escape.. you will enjoy it more doign becasue you wnat to not becasue you feel its one more thing you have to do!

  3. Thanks for this, Raymond! My creativity has been in the backburner for a full month and is really starting to get mad about it. But I am realizing that I needed to step back from it for a bit and just let it marinate a bit. I am usually a huge proponent for writing something every day. I find habits are hard to break. So, if I make writing a habit, I tend to skip fewer days and get more done. On the other side of the coin, not writing is also a very difiicult habit to break. i am starting back with babysteps and a lot of self-compassion. Thanks for letting me know that I am not alone in needing the occasional break. 🙂

    • I think it’s not so much taking a break as it is changing direction so we can look at things in a different light. Everyone needs a little re-energizing now and then–creative people probably more so than others.

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