Wednesday, March 03, 2010

When the Cupboard is Bare

David Barber wrote an excellent piece awhile back about the bloggers who whine about not being able to find something to write about. While his post was directed towards the writing of fiction, his points made could easily be applied to writing in general, no matter the style, genre, or focus.

I won't rehash his post here. If you want to know what he said, visit his site. If nothing else, his blog is full of wonderful flash fiction if you are into that sort of thing. No, I won't rehash except the prime point he was making. The only solution to writers block is to sit down and write.

I have at times convinced myself I had nothing to say. Seems odd, as I am a self professed opinionated jerk wad who knows everyone else has it wrong most days. Of course I never seem to acknowledge my own tendency to getting it wrong, because well, self critiquing is pretty tough to take, given all the mistakes I have made over the years.

There are still times when I get stuck. Events in my life, neural damage from too many drugs, or just a cat pissed me off can sometimes throw a wedge in the flow of thought from my brain onto the page. I will get frustrated and pissy. Eventually I get over it, but I still have moments when the cupboard is bare.

What I have found though is if I can convince myself that I can write, then I will. Oftentimes, I just sit and begin pounding the keys. Laying down whatever is in my mind at the moment. I will more often than not, trash the initial efforts, but I figure it is the process I need to get back into before I can worry about the content.

The other nightmare I live with (which points up my manic side) are the periods when I have so many things to write about, I just cannot focus on one thing in particular. As a matter of fact, I am just coming out of one as I write. Ideas will bounce around in my head like ping pong balls about to to shot into the lottery trough. Yet there are no succulent young ladies picking each ball as it pops up. They just continue to careen off the inside of my skull never finding a resting place. I hate these times almost worse than when there is nothing there to pick from.

Patience. Taking deep breaths. Pounding words out no matter what. Even though it drives me crazy sometimes, using these techniques are my answer to finally writing something I can live with.

I am not sure why writers spend so much time and words like these on this pointless problem. If you know you can write, there is always something to write about. Always. Have confidence in yourself and the words will come.

Relax. Ain't none of this that important......................

6 comments:

Demeur said...

But Crum it's like having constipation of the mind. Doesn't feel good until you get it out.
There are times when things have been rehashed so many times that I feel no need to echo the topics. The problem for us old farts is that our world or perception of it is slowly getting smaller. We've been there done that now if we could only remember all that we did.

Anonymous said...

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I choose to live every day like it is the last because let's be real, WHO THE HELL KNOWS what is going to happen or when it's your time to go on. The past is history, the future is a mystery and now is a gift, thats why it's called the present. It's not healthy to sit around and trip out about when you will die. Stop wasting your time you have now.
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]Apocalypse 2012
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Utah Savage said...

I hear you. I completely understand your process and the problems with having too much to say, too much to write about. And for me sometimes I'll start a story thinking I know where it will go and yet it takes me off on a path I never imagined or wanted to take. Currently that's the third Judith Blue story. But when "fiction" goes that way, I think the best thing to do is let it take you on a trip you thought you knew but really didn't.

I've never had constipation of the mind, but I have had chaos of the mind and the mind going so fast I can't type fast enough.

These days when I'm trying to decide what to write about I go to twitter and almost always find something interesting there that takes me back to the blog with at least a link to a passion of one sort or another.

Utah Savage said...

And for the record, no matter what they say, I hate anonymous commenters.

Beach Bum said...

Actually my writing cupboard is pretty full but sometimes its just roaches scurrying around in the dark.

Randal Graves said...

Excuse me, but this is The Most Important Thing In The History Of Recorded Time.

You hit on the problem: often too much stuff in the noodle and then there are times you find what you WANT to write about, but all that other crap is preventing you.