Wednesday, November 18, 2009


I was at a poetry reading recently during which someone asked the poet, "What's the cure for writer's block?"

And the poet said something along the lines of, I don't know because I don't get it.

We in the audience kind of rolled our eyes, because, yeah, right. And how un-helpful is that? It just seemed a high and mighty response to a really troubling issue for writers.

Here's my response: Get away from your desk. Go out into the world and find something interesting. Take a walk. Visit a museum. Fall in love. Spend time with a three-year-old or a ninety-three-year-old. Love the world, and you will be flooded with things to write about.

And while I'm here, I'd like to poke a hole in that whole "write every day" theory. You know those people you see on vacation who video every single moment? They are so busy trying to capture the vacation on film "so they can remember it" that they don't fully immerse themselves in the experience before them.

Well, for me, writing every day is just like that. It is my most fervent belief that the most important writing takes place in between sittings at the computer, in the quiet places, in the stillness. If you write every day, then those thoughts, feelings and ideas don't have time to properly marinate, they don't become a part of you. And let me tell you, they NEED to become a part of you to translate effectively to the page.

So, today, writers, let give ourselves permission to step away from the computer, to go out into the world and soak up some goodness -- to live a life worth writing about.

pic found here

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