Nothing

I’ve got nothing today; nichts, nada, rien. Searching through my ‘writing ideas file’ hasn’t helped. Writing a response to quotes for instance. What can you do with,

How marvelous books are, crossing worlds and centuries, defeating ignorance and, finally, cruel time itself.  Gore Vidal

or

It is good people who make good places.  Anna Sewell

that the authors haven’t already done? As for prompts, not even these stir my writer’s soul:

What are three things you’re grateful for …

Write a note to someone you miss …

There’s nothing I wanted more than to …

and beautiful or quirky images leave me cold:

Most of us, I would venture to say all of us who write, have days like these. Not writing can be a result of poor health, concern for a friend, an argument with a loved one,  too little sleep, depressing political situations (Australia is in the early throes of a Federal election. Many of us are beginning to flounder and we still have six weeks of electioneering to go!) I used to believe not writing was writer’s block, a terminal disease that, if it struck, spelled the end of a writer’s dreams. I no longer subscribe to that idea because I’ve learned that writing, like any other job’ is sometimes a drag. It’s hard for me to admit that; when I ‘retired’ I believed my writing life would be more interesting, more stimulating and more rewarding than teaching, and it is, but like teaching, like any job, can also be a chore. I feel guilty as I write this because it’s like saying, ‘Yes, motherhood is wonderful but can I stop now? It’s a bit of a chore, just like any other job really, and who wants a job?’

Seriously, who wants a job? I once knew a man who said his life’s goal was to sit on a beach and read, and I recently met another man who believes those of us who work in offices or have ‘careers’ are all ‘wage slaves’. Both of them have managed to live long and relatively productive lives, though the former waited until retirement to achieve his goal. I also think working is good for us. I don’t subscribe to the idea that labour defines us but, and this depends on our job, work is one way we contribute to society. It also puts food on the table.

Where was I? Oh, yes. Nothing to write, nothing to say, the words won’t come, no ideas except …

… I’ve managed to churn out around 400 words, include two interesting quotations, three prompts, five photographs, a whinge about politics (and by association, politicians) and an anecdote about two acquaintances and their attitude to work. It’s a blog post and it demonstrates, in its own small way, Jayne Anne Phillips’ comment that image

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Then there is William W. Purkey’s popular quotation, one of my favourites:

You’ve gotta dance like there’s nobody watching,
Love like you’ll never be hurt,
Sing like there’s nobody listening,
And live like it’s heaven on earth.

I write here, about how much I love to dance, so, in the spirit of Purkey’s quote, and going well against the grain of writing a blog, This is my advice, to myself of course, when I’ve got nothing: image

 

 

 

 

Jayne Anne Phillips, ‘Cheers: (or) How I Taught Myself to Write’ in The Rose Metal Press Field Guide to Writing Flash Fiction: Tips from Editors, Teachers, and Writers in the Field, ed. by Tara L Masih Rose Metal Press.

 

11 thoughts on “Nothing

    1. Thank you Lisa, and thank you for dropping by. It’s true, all a writer needs to do is start writing and somehow the words just tumble out. Of course then they need to be tamed and rearranged … But that’s another blog for another time. 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  1. I think it’s the feeling that you have to write that’s the biggest hurdle. The way I see it, you are writing, right now and you don’t call it writing; rather, venting. But as long as you can articulate thoughts, you’re on to something. I try to go really far out with a mundane idea and see where it goes. At times, the short phrases have come in handy for a completely different story. Best wishes. xo

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  2. I follow the author Alison Tait’s blog. she put up a similar message but still wrote quite a bit, about her life, writing, etc. It shows that we all ideas in our heads; its just getting them out that can be the problem. 🙂

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  3. Lordy! That’s the way I felt today, too. I finally grabbed a quote that I kind of connected with, but the post fell flat for me. I hate it when that happens. I’m not fussy about whether OTHER folks like a post, but I have to like it. But not today. It was one of those days I wanted to go back to bed and pull the covers over my head… So I guess we’re all entitled, he? I loved what you said, Janet, about not subscribing to the writer’s block idea. I don’t either. There are just some days writing sucks no matter HOW long you sit at the keyboard! 🙂

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    1. Oh, I agree Calen! I try to post something every Sunday and Wednesday, but you’ll notice this one was posted on Thursday. You post much more often than I, so I reckon you’re allowed a break now and again.

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