Monday, July 2, 2012

Writer’s Block (Quotable Bits #8)

“Take out another notebook, pick up another pen, and just write, just write, just write. In the middle of the world, make one positive step. In the center of chaos, make one definitive act. Just write. Say yes, stay alive, be awake. Just write. Just write. Just write.”
~ Natalie Goldberg

One of the reasons I started this blog was to get back into the habit of writing on a regular basis.  I figured blogging would allow me the opportunity to find my writing rhythm again as well as serve as a journal about my life.

Writing about my kids and my life is the easy part. They are such familiar subjects that I very rarely experience any kind of writers block. The stories flow naturally from me as if I was telling them to a friend.

But I want to write about more.  I have always wanted to be able to sit down and write a novel.  It sounds so easy.

Just sit down…and write.  But there is just one little thing stopping me.

What the hell should I write about?


I have 7 (almost) finished chapters of a novel that I wrote 6 years ago when my first daughter was born.  It’s a story about a couple that has a premature baby and how they deal with the challenges.  At the time - having just had a preemie myself - it was an incredibly relevant topic and the words simply flowed from my fingers.

I even took a writing course at a local college where I read my chapters aloud each week to the class who would then critique my work.  I was invigorated and renewed.

It didn’t last long. My writing time was soon lost to the requirements of raising my baby instead of writing about her and the project was abandoned.

When I revisited it recently and attempted to pick it up where I left off I found that I simply couldn’t connect to the story or the characters anymore.  Because I was no longer that woman that was struggling to figure things out.

I had already lived those moments…and had moved on to other things.

I think that might be the problem with writing what you know…what you know changes so bloody often it’s hard to keep up.

So…I’m stumped.  There is nothing I would love more than to be able to write for a living.  To be able to work from home and spend my days in front of a computer just writing.

To write I need a subject.  So I will keep searching for inspiration. And keep hoping that lightning will strike one day and my dream will become a reality.

For now I will just write.

10 comments:

  1. I'm very impressed that you made it to almost 7 chapters! I completely get where you're coming from, it's a dream for me to write a novel too, and while I've started many ideas, I've never gotten far because the ideas have become outdated/irrelevant after awhile. You'll find your inspiration, and hopefully I will too!

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    1. Thanks B. I was so happy with them at the time... We will find our inspiration one day...knowing us it will probably be about the same thing! :)

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  2. That's a great quote for someone who suffers writer's block. I sometimes, way in the back of my mind, wonder if I could do it. Maybe a story about my life growing up in East Germany... but I have never taken it further. I wish you lots of luck and hope you will find that spark of inspiration.

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    1. Thanks Susi. I would love to read your story...you can do it. Like the quote says "just write." Good luck!

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  3. kinda following the same path myself. I have so many great "half" ideas it seems. there's a little nugget of a story, but I can't quite grasp the entire thing. so I just write whatever comes out for now. maybe it's all practice, maybe it will blossom, who knows. It still feels good to be able to say that I am writing something.

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    1. I have had so many of those "half" ideas myself...maybe we should start with short stories and go from there?

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  4. I love the photo you used with the crumpled up pages surround the floor. Good luck on your topic - finding inspiration can be hard. Sometimes when I lack inspiration I force myself to write on a topic. Makes me a better writer I think and also gives me a challenge. Maybe you could write about something you don't know about - but are interested in learning more about?

    Good luck!

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    1. Thanks Kate. I have been that girl in the picture so many times before. I have started using some writing prompts I have found on blogs to help get my creative juices flowing and to just stay in the habit of writing.

      Great suggestion about trying to write about something I don't know about - I have often wondered if I could do that successfully. Maybe when the kids are older and I have more time to dedicate to the research involved.

      thanks for the support! :)

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  5. Thanks for this post! What a growing outlook you have to write about stuff you don't know! Since I've started my blog I realize how happy writing makes me, the author SARK really helps keep me inspired, she's the one who has gotten me out of my procrastination mode. Hugs to you! Your words are important and great don't forget that! Michelle W

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    1. Thanks for your lovely comment Michelle! I will have to look up SARK as another source of inspiration - one can never have too many!

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