Thursday, January 31, 2013

Writing When You Have Nothing To say

From Cheryl's Writing Crate

As January departs and we wait for February to make its grand entrance, I can think of nothing much except blowing my nose, keeping my fever down, and praying that I will have the strength to serve my family something other than cold cereal for dinner tonight.  

You've probably already figured it out--I have the flu!

No sickness is fun, but anytime I am hampered with a blocked nasal passage, runny eyes, and more body aches than shells on a beach, life as I live it stops dead in its tracks and  all my best-laid plans are temporarily shoved to the sidelines.  This of course includes daily household chores, extra-curricular plans and activities, shopping and running errands, and anything I have planned for myself--writing included.

Luckily, the flu has hit in between deadlines, so for that I am immensely grateful!  However, my early morning writing routine and some lofty goals that I've had in place to complete a novel in 90 Days, continue reading all my favorite authors, and just journaling and blogging (such as this one) for the sheer pleasure of it have taken a hit as well.  Although I have the energy to actually sit with my laptop or favorite writing journals, my brain (at least the creative side of it) has other plans for me.

Honestly, this morning when I tried to complete my grocery list for later in the week, I believe my tired brain said something like "You've got to be kidding, put that pen down before you write down that we need items like stewed tomatoes or strained peas!"   "Come back to it later, it can wait!"

I listened immediately, however, it did actually spark an interesting thought for me as a writer--how do I want to handle those times when I need or want to write but having nothing at all to say?

When this happens, I either just walk away and come back later, or I visit my treasure trove of writing bibles that offer up inspiration at just the right time.  Today, I came across an article I saved this past summer --"Quotes on Writing by Gore Vidal", which I've linked in case you're interested in reading it for yourself.

The article shared some of his very best quotes, many witty and thought provoking.

Here are some of them quoted from that article.  I hope you enjoy them as much as I did:

  1. Each writer is born with a repertory company in his head.
  2. Write what you know will always be excellent advice for those who ought not to write at all. Write what you think, what you imagine, what you suspect!
  3. I sometimes think it is because they are so bad at expressing themselves verbally that writers take to pen and paper in the first place.
  4. Write something, even if it’s just a suicide note.
  5. How marvelous books are, crossing worlds and centuries, defeating ignorance and, finally, cruel time itself.
  6. Southerners make good novelists: they have so many stories because they have so much family.
  7. You can’t really succeed with a novel anyway; they’re too big. It’s like city planning. You can’t plan a perfect city because there’s too much going on that you can’t take into account. You can, however, write a perfect sentence now and then. I have.
  8. Today’s public figures can no longer write their own speeches or books, and there is some evidence that they can’t read them either.
  9. I suspect that one of the reasons we create fiction is to make sex exciting.
Do you have any favorite quotes that pick you up and get you moving when you feel you don't have anything to say?

1 comment:

  1. Oh, dear, dare I say it? This is I!

    "I sometimes think it is because they are so bad at expressing themselves verbally that writers take to pen and paper in the first place."

    I am often, read usually, tongue-tied when trying to explain or converse articulately, I often resort to writing it all down so it makes sense.

    Thank you, Mr. Vidal.