What to say when I’ve got nothing to say

Posted: 11 May, 2012 in inspiration, motivation, Staying positive, writing
Tags: , , , ,

The inability to write reflects the sufferer’s feeling that he or she cannot contribute to the world, cannot communicate with others in any meaningful way.
Alice Weaver Flaherty – The Midnight Disease: The drive to write, writer’s block, and the Creative Brain

 

I have been struggling with writer’s block the past couple of weeks.  This is a pretty new experience for me because even when I had nothing to say, I could still write.  It wouldn’t always make sense and it wasn’t usually something I would ever share with anyone else but words still made their way to the page.  Lately, however, I’ve found it harder, and eventually impossible, to even get a complete sentence down.

So, instead of spending another day staring at a blank screen or page and trying to make sense of the nonsensical word jumble that’s going through my head, I thought I’d do some reading.  And by some brilliant fortuitousness the book I decided to pick up was Alice Flaherty’s book The Midnight Disease. I’ve delved into this book before because I sometimes suffer (not that I think of it as suffering because I love it when it happens) from the more-common-than-you-realise condition called hypergraphia – an overwhelming urge to write. What I didn’t realise is that the opposite to this is what is commonly called “writer’s block”. When I came to the above quote from Flaherty’s book it was a real “A-ha!” moment.  Is this why I’ve been struggling?  Am I feeling like I have nothing to contribute?  Am I feeling like I’m unable to communicate because I have nothing of value to share?  It really got me thinking and, thank goodness, writing as well.

It’s hard to write when I feel like I have nothing meaningful to say and I think that’s what I’ve been struggling with.  But at times like this I have to go back to my writing rules and remember that I need to stick to my routine regardless of how hard it is. Julia Cameron wrote in The Artist’s Way that even if you can’t think of anything to write, write “I don’t know what to write” over and over again.  It’s only in writing that the writing will come.  If I spend the day shopping because I just know I have nothing to write I’ll never know what gems I’ve missed because I haven’t even bothered facing the page. I can’t always assume there is nothing worthwhile there just because I feel like there is nothing there. I have to remember that in the past, when I’ve gotten over that hurdle, I’ve usually found there is something there – I just needed to dig a little harder for it.

Everything worth having is worth fighting for, even if I’ve got to fight myself to get it.  If I’m expecting it to be easy all the time, I’m definitely in the wrong line of work.

So, that’s my lesson for the day.  And look at that – I had something to say after all.  I just had to do a bit of work to find it.

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Comments
  1. Vividhunter says:

    Very cool tips, thanks~

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