Wednesday, September 5, 2012

you should be writing

Should I?

I mean, every time I sit down at my computer or in that soft, comfy chair with a notebook I draw a blank! Then, the minute I stand up and start cleaning, an idea of brilliant strikes. I rush back to said chair and BLAM! I'm hit with the wall of white: that white page or screen that stares at you, taunts you, sneers at you.

image found HERE

Off to classes I go and I'm forced to write: short stories, memoirs, reviews, reports. They roll off my fingers and I'm actually proud of them. They're good enough to get A's which, right now, is all I can ask.

A few minutes of blissful nothing and I creep up on my notebook and start jotting. There! I'm caught! My mind shrivels up like a raisin and I'm left with gasping for the right word to at least end the paragraph so I'll be able to come back tomorrow (later?) and pick up where I left off.

You should be writing because it's what you eat, drink, breathe, live. Every waking moment of the day is consumed by story, YOUR story. It haunts your mind as you work, play, eat, sleep. And yet, when faced with the prospect of a blank page or hour with which there's nothing else to do but write, you're frightened away at the monumental task of creating a world.

You SHOULD be writing because that world is yours to create. Don't look at the novel as a whole but in sections. Take it a scene, a page, a word at a time. And don't beat yourself up if all you can eek out is one sentence. Let that one sentence come and trust that another will follow. And another. And another. A novel is evidence that the writer didn't quit. There is no one out there telling you it MUST be finished by such-and-such a time...unless of course you have an agent (or a professor) and in that case, chop-chop! Get the words out, the world on paper. Then, and only then, worry about form and function.

YOU should be WRITING. Why? Because it's who you are, what you are, what you want.

Besides, these guys say so:

image SOURCE

Don't make the Hulk angry.


  1. Like eating an elephant, one bite at a time.
    Not that I'd want to do that...

  2. Sounds like this was directed at me... especially the part that says :"Take it a scene. A page. A word at a time. Let that one sentence come......"
    Thanks. I sorely needed to hear something along these lines...

  3. I might be doing it sentence by sentence today. Thanks so much for the inspiration, Jen!

  4. Love this post and the hot guys telling me that I should, lol.

  5. You won't like the Hulk when he's angry...

    Great post... love the pictures you used.

  6. I'm feeling the same hesitation. The ideas bloom in my mind, but the fear of failure strikes the minute I try to put it on paper. I just keep in mind that I need to give myself permission to write badly. I can always go back and revise later. Best wishes!

  7. I love that first picture! Thanks for this post...needed it today. :-)

  8. I've been in a dry spell lately. Thanks for the reminder. I need to find stories in my everyday life again. :)

  9. if i stay in the moment, and honour whatever the spark is (such as one sentence), i capture it.
    the moment i start to think, to analyse, to get greedy and ask for more, it's gone.

  10. Alex, I had a psychology professor who always told us that! Anytime we said something sounded hard, she'd tell us that you can only eat an elephant one bite at a time. Not sure I'd want to try that either, but I know what she was getting at :)

    Michelle, so glad you were able to take something of use away from my ramblings :) Best of luck in your current writing project!!

    Meredith, good to hear from you! Sorry I haven't been by in FOREVER!! Good luck with your writing! I've got to start taking my own advice and get back in the game :)

    Isis, thanks! LOL, yeah, I thought the hot Avengers' guys would help ;) Now if someone would just make a picture of Loki saying that...le respect for villains!

    M.J., thanks! I found those pictures and had to use them! Funny how things work out that way! Something needs to be said AND you get great pictures off the inter-webs!

    Hi Laura! Yes, give yourself permission to write poorly. Just give yourself permission to write! The editing can come later. Get the thoughts on paper/screen and THEN worry about fixing them :)

    Hi Tracy, so glad you liked the pictures :) and the post! Hope all is well!

    Lin, so good to hear from you! I've been in a bit of a dry spell as well. I have tons of ideas and little trickles of stories but nothing solid yet! Guess it's time to dig in and suck with abandon!! HA!

    Monica, these two sentences say everything I was trying to say in my post, only far more eloquently than my ramblings could!! Thanks for this. A lovely reminder to stay in the moment and not get greedy for words or just let the story come to you! It's an honor just to have one appear!


Well, hello! I'm so glad you made it. Come inside and sit by the hearth. I'll take your coat and hat. The kettle is singing and there's cake and candles and good conversation. Settle in and make yourself at home. Don't mind the wolfhounds; they're friendly if you give them a bit of lemon curd.