We have all hit writers block at some stage in life, be it during writing an essay for school/college/university, thinking of a new topic to blog about, drawing a blank at how to progress your story or just about any other form of writing. But you can almost guarantee that all of the great writers of past, present and future will have (or will eventually) also experienced writers block. But eventually we all break out of our slump and become better writers because of it. Writing is not as easy as it seems on paper, a lot of time and thought can go into any piece of writing (unless of course, you’re a 3rd year university student and you have three deadlines that week and you stop caring and spout nonsense in the hopes of passing).
For me, inspiration can be hard to come by. I find myself hitting more obstacles in writing than I feel like I actually overcome, but I still power through because I love to write, and one day I will finish the novel I’ve been working on, if only for myself to read. I have a system to get back into the groove of things now, to get my inspiration. First I read, any of my favourite books are good option, as is any book on my ‘to read’ shelf, but I almost always return to F. Scott Fitzgerald’s ‘The Great Gatsby‘ in times of need. It is without a doubt my favourite novel, I wouldn’t argue that it’s the best novel ever written, but it is my favourite and never fails to inspire me to start writing again. And then I just write, anything and everything, it could just be writing my thoughts as they come to me, or something as simple as ‘the cat with the hat sat on the mat’, or writing down a bunch of words and trying to formulate a paragraph including them all, anything to get myself back on track. And with the right music and a decent brew, this is usually the point at which I break out of my slump and write with passion again; though sometimes it just naturally comes to me during the process, or before I’ve even begun. But, as I mentioned before, writing isn’t as simple as writing words down (though in essence, it really is as simple as that), and at times even the very thought of writing weighs me down, but there’s a few quotes that motivate and inspire me to continue writing, as well as serving as a good reminder of what writing is, and what we all as writers must do in order to write.
Ernest Hemingway – “There is nothing to writing. All you do is sit at a typewriter and bleed.”
Okay, so maybe now it is more we sit at a computer, but the point still stands; when we are writing, we are pouring parts of ourselves into that piece of text, and we pour our blood, sweat, tears, hearts and souls into our writing if it is truly something we’re passionate about. We bleed out all of our ideas, wring them dry until there’s nothing left and we move on to the next idea (and then, especially if it’s a first draft, we go back and edit the whole thing because it’s probably not as great as we thought).
Stephen King – “If you don’t have the time to read, you don’t have the time (or the tools) to write. Simple as that.”
William Faulkner – “Read, read, read. Read everything – trash, classics, good and bad, and see how they do it. Just like a carpenter who works as an apprentice and studies the master. Read! You’ll absorb it. Then write. If it’s good, you’ll find out. If it’s not, throw it out of the window.
I may not be an established blogger, and I may not be a great writer, but even still, I can’t stress the importance of reading. If we don’t read, we can never hope to further and refine our writing. Without reading, our vocabulary will always be basic, we will never fully be able to develop a style of writing, we will simply miss out on countless lives and stories that will shape us and inspire us to write more. Reading, quite simply, is fundamental.
Robert Frost – “No tears in the writer, no tears in the reader. No surprise in the writer, no surprise in the reader.”
If you don’t feel anything when you’re writing, then that really comes across. If you are feeling the emotions you’re writing about then so does the reader, and it’s just as evident if you don’t feel anything, because your writing will be void and your readers won’t feel anything either.
Stephen King – “Amateur writers sit and wait for inspiration, the rest of us just get up and go to work.”
Writing isn’t a waiting game, if you’re struggling, keep going or focus on writing something else, but whatever you do, keep working and never stop. It’s as simple as that, we all struggle, if you find it painfully hard to write, then read and expand your mind, and then get back to writing. But whatever you do, don’t just dawdle about hoping the inspiration will hit you, because chances are it won’t.
And for now, that’s all I can think to write of, but if anything on the subject comes up again, then I’ll be sure to write another blog post.
Until next time!