Monday, November 22, 2010

Pushing Through

We’ve talked about writing roadblocks and exercises, and getting through those times when words don’t come as easily as you’d like. It can be excruciatingly difficult getting anything committed to paper, much less anything you consider good writing.

If you're anything like me, you come up with little scenarios for stories all the time -- sometimes knowingly, but not always. These aren't always obvious, but the writer's mind never rests for want of creativity. Maybe it's while you're in line at your local bank drive-thru, and you wonder why the car ahead of you is taking so long to complete its transaction. You then envision a robbery happening inside. What-ifs are great starting points for a good story, and even if you don't turn it into your next masterpiece, these small distractions can prove endlessly useful in overcoming whatever is otherwise blocking your muse from speaking.

So next time you're at a loss for words, try writing something fresh based on your own particular what-if. Don't worry so much with semantics or how feasible it is; just try to get the blood flowing. Also, keep your expectations reasonable and realistic. Author Graham Greene famously wrote 500 words, and only 500 words, each day. That might not seem like a lot, but he published more than thirty books this way, so he obviously found a method that worked for him. Your method may be better; if you find something that works, stick with it! It'll lead you where you need to go. Something is always better than nothing. And who knows? Maybe one of your what-ifs will turn into a real barn-burner. Inspiration is a tricky thing. You might want it aimed at a certain project, but it keeps driving you to something else. Listen to your muse and allow your creativity to take you where it will. You won't be disappointed.


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