Friday, October 28, 2005

Writer's block

In one of her essays on writing, Octavia E. Butler says something like "Inspiration is nice, but persistence is more reliable." I find that thought empowering. But also shaming. It reduces "writer's block" to a weak excuse for not trying hard enough.

She also advises that writers should write for at least an hour every day, whether they feel like it or not. So I'm trying it. It's the first thing I've done the last few mornings. And it's been working. The story I'm working on for my thesis is filling out, and I've been feeling really good about myself.

And now today. I have a pretty good idea of where I want to take the story, but I'm at one of those aggravating in-between spots. How do I move gracefully from where I am to where I'm headed? So I've been sitting here for the last half hour, pondering and not typing. I suppose that's my whole problem. When in doubt, it's most effective to write everything down. The awful stuff can be deleted later. Instead, I write nothing and hope for something magical to happen inside my head. Eventually, that magical something probably will happen. But if it happened while I was sitting here waiting for it, I'd be amazed. It's much more likely to happen tomorrow, or next Wednesday, or in January.


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