In my last blog, I stated that I’d had some writer’s block over the past several weeks. I also stated that one of the ways to get past W.B. is to actually do a bit of self-examination to find out what’s causing the blockage. So that’s what I’ve been doing over the past few days. I wanted to share my findings with you in the hopes that someone out there will benefit.
I think that we writers tend to get sidetracked about why we are really doing this. We get caught up in the end results of getting published, building up a fantastic brand, networking and of course making money. We forget the absolute basic. I decided to figure out what the absolute basic really is. Where do I begin so that I can get back to writing?
The first question I had to ask myself, was, “Why do I write?” Is it because of the potential accolades, awards and money? Is it because I can imagine myself at book signings with hundreds of people standing in line eagerly awaiting a few seconds of my time? Is it because I want to have my name mentioned in the same reverential breath as Orson Scott Card and Aldous Huxley? While these are cool things to have happen, they aren’t the main reason that I write.
No, it’s because I have a driving urge to write. I have dreams about people, places, settings, planets, situations, conflicts and of course space ships. I wake up each morning with a dream lingering, an idea in the first stages of conception begging to be written so that it can grow and birth into a story.
But then, what’s the point of all of these stories? If I write them, do I just put them away in a drawer (or in my case flash drive) and let them sit there marinating in their own juices? No. Eventually, I will unleash them on the world. I will allow others to see into my mind. But what drives me to want to write these stories?
Back to the original question with a twist. Why do these stories come to me and demand to come out of me? What is so special about me that I was given this talent? This is probably one of those deep mysteries that only God can answer in His good time.
The next question that I asked is, why do I think that at some point, I’ll be at least marginally successful as a writer? Lately, I’ve met a lot of writers and have read their bio’s. Many of them have experiences and education that I do not. Some of the Sci-Fi writers have degrees in some form of Scientific study. Many other writers have BFA’s and MFA’s, have written as journalists, have had their own T.V. and Radio shows. What do I have to offer the world that would entice anyone to want to read what I write?
That led right back to the original question. WHY DO I WRITE? The truth is, I write because I can’t help it. I’m addicted to it and wouldn’t want to be cured from it ever. God gave me an imagination and I intend to use it to its fullest.
And if no one ever wants to read or publish what I write, then that’s ok, too. Yeah, it’ll be devastating to put all that work into it, but the reality is, if we only write because of what it can get us from other people, (money, accolades, fame), then we are writing for the wrong reasons. Those should be side-effects of really great writing, not the symptoms.
So I am getting refocused on the writing, not the potential end results. I am getting back to basics. I am just gonna sit down and write and let my imagination and fingers take me to new galaxies, new futures and adventures that are out of this world.
I’m going to take my friend Mark Hopkins’ advice and take my time and create the best possible stories that I can. If that means no publishing for a year or two, then so be it.
But I am going to write!