What do you do if you're not inspired?
I write anyway. . .
More often than not that I sit down to write, and I have no idea what I will write. None. Not a one. The idea man didn't knock on my door that morning, the idea stork didn't drop a cute bundle at my doorstep while I slept, the idea fairy just skipped my house: nothing under my pillow when I woke up (and I checked). Nothing. No ideas. No fairies. No storks. Nothing. NO-THING. Nada. Zilch.
I am guessing you are getting my drift here, yes?
I don't know what to write about.
And still, I sit, and I begin. I write anyway.
Because I'm a writer.
They must write.
Because that's what writers do.
Writers read too.
They must read.
But most of all, writers
I am a writer.
I have to write. I'm compelled to write. Even if I don't know what to write. I write.
I know they're in there. My words. Hiding. Or stuck, trying to get unstuck from between my joints, free themselves from all my nooks and crannies. I can feel them in me, floating, laying out, legs outstretched, icy beverage in hand, drifting downstream on my cushy white blood cells. No doubt, it's August and EVERYONE goes on vacation in August. Some sleep, deep, they're in my bones, in the marrow, gestating maybe, but they could just be napping. Resting. Waiting for me to call out to them. "Come, I'm ready for you, please come . . ."
Words can be difficult, but you can communicate with them. It takes practice. It is a practice. The practice of WRITING.
Want your words to flow, then you write.
Okay, so you don't know what to write about. I say to you GOOD.
"If you don't know where you are going, any road will get you there."
Lewis Carroll wrote that.
It's true. Don't know what to write, GOOD, your options are open. GOOD. Take any path. GOOD. Write it anyway.
When you allow your words to rise from their particular hiding places in your body and make themselves known to you on your page without knowing what you're planning to write about, you will surprise yourself. You will, more than not, write something worth working on. (You may write something brilliant write out of the gate, but if you don't you can work on it and it will become brilliant.)
I teach techniques that help writers find their authentic voice. I teach them what it means to create tonal dynamics on the page so their 'stories' are not boring. (Think music, think writing as music, think of scoring your own movie). And I teach writers how to build a practice. Because writing is, if nothing else, a practice. Writing is a craft you must practice. And, you must practice well. Not just any 10,000 hours but good, meaningful hours.
You don't keep practicing the same crumby footwork in boxing, you practice well, with someone who can teach you proper footwork so you can throw a proper punch. A craft you practice.
I teach the footwork. You don't just jump into the ring, swing your arms willy-nilly and hope to knock out your opponent. You have to first learn your stance, your footwork, and the proper form so that when you do throw a punch, it is good and strong. Your cross comes from your stance, that back foot, your core.
So does your writing. it comes from your core. Your heart, yes, but the base of what you write, if you write well, comes from the core of your practice. You can't write brilliance every day. Some days you write sh*t. Some days you don't. But you can always edit.
And boy do I love a good edit. I mean who doesn't?
I'm not teaching this month. I'm editing my novel. The end needs some love. And I am giving it that much-needed love.
I am available though to help you edit your work. And in September, I'm back to teaching. You have three options to choose from. See below for more. Or email me... let me know how I can support your writing practice!
Sign up for Adventures in Writing beginning again in September!