Those of you who are regular readers of this blog will know I have three major dislikes when having conversations and discussions with other writers.
By writers I am being all inclusive, whether you are and Author, a Blogger, Journalist or Essayist, in fact whatever disciplines you generally undertake; although some parts are directed more towards creative writers, the overall subject matter is applicable to all genres of writing.
Firstly let me reiterate the three dislikes I mentioned above.
This is a quick cop-out for many Bloggers, Journalists and Article writers. I could quite easily have entitled this Blog as ‘Three things I hate about writers’, or ‘The ten worst things to do as a writer’. It is so easy to throw together a few clipped items about anything and collate a list. It is bullshit and writing at its laziest.
In fact, I should not grace ‘lists’ as writing at all but as compiling.
(That said the more astute of you will realise that you are reading point one on a ‘list’ of three items)!
Yet this blog is not just a meaningless list of three things; there is a point to it, some REAL content. (Which differentiates my construal of just listing items for little reason and using them as an inclusive part of a constructive essay).
So on to my second dislike, Writers Block.
This condition does not exist. It is false, a myth, a feeble excuse dreamed up by lazy writers who need something to blame, besides their own inadequacies, for not writing.
This may sound harsh, but honestly it is the truth.
As an example you may be at a particular stage, in this great and wonderful novel which you are writing, where the plot has become so tangled and complicated you are having problems writing any further, so you stop writing.
Then you start to hesitate about returning to the book, because you know you may have to go back and re-write much of it, so you procrastinate.
This procrastination then starts to fester in your mind. You worry if you can write well enough, or that all these past weeks have just been a waste of time. So you, once again, put off writing anything and say you have writers block.
The whole point of writing is to sit down and write. It does not have to be a stream of constant writing on one project or one topic. Start a new book or write a short story. Write a Blog about something you like, or a tale from your life. If you do not want to blog, write a poem or two, or three. Even a letter to your Mother or Sister.
Write something, just write something, while your mind is working out what you need to do to get your novel back on track. If you are writing anything you do not have an excuse to believe you have writers block. Simple.
Ok, Number Three dislike. Lack of things to write about!
Yes, I have heard this one too many times, but it still amuses me.
I have heard writers say things like, ‘I have some rough ideas, but nothing solid’ and ‘I’m not sure how to start’ or ‘I don’t know what to write about’ even ‘I have a story, but don’t know how to end it’.
The one thing in common was that none of these writers had actually started to write anything. Therefore it amused me because often you do not have a ‘beginning’ or an ‘end’ or that much content UNTIL you start to write. That is what re-writing and editing is all about, why ‘cut & paste’ is such a popular tool!
Inspiration and stimulation are the keystone to most writing, (I say most because little of that is needed in technical manuals)! But as I have said this Blog is directed at creative writing where the most important aspect IS having a plethora of subject matter, ideas, concepts, notes, notions, outlines, inklings and whatevermacallits floating about in both your conscious and un consciousness.
Once you have found a way to keep your creative stimuli fully charged you will never ‘run out’ of ideas, subjects and topics to write about.
Which neatly brings me to the point of this Blog, the one tip which has helped many writers become successful at what they do.
You have to ‘PLUG IN’ to the world around you. You have to become sponge-like and absorb the world with all its idiosyncrasies.
I read the newspapers, not for the depressing headlines about conflicts, politicians filling their pockets at the taxpayers’ expense, or how the financial state of outer-Mongolia is affecting house prices in Downtown Backwater.
I read the local and regional newspapers looking for odd, offbeat stories. I try and extract the human and emotional feelings of those affected. I do the same with the radio, I do not have music on all day but tune into certain stations which cover a myriad of articles and ‘human interest’ stories.
Many times I scan the internet, from other peoples Blogs to news articles from Huffington, New York Times, the London Times, and a thousand and one other sources which are readily available.
I type into the search bar things like ‘Sad Stories’, ‘Mad Men’, ‘murder scenes’, ‘Strange Encounters’ and a hundred and one other random searches.
I am not looking to steal anyone’s work, this is not a matter of plagiarism, but a way to find inspiration, stimulation. I am looking for that ‘Trigger point’ to prompt me to start a new story. The story will most probably be an amalgamation of ten thousand and one little bits and pieces that I have remembered or noted, which have just become a single piece due to that ‘Trigger’.
So go on, take a tip from some great authors and ‘Plug in’ to the world around you.
It works for me!
Thank you for reading this rather rambling, Rambling, Paul.
© Paul White 2015