Thursday, June 28, 2012

"If you haven't got an idea, start a story anyway."

"If you haven't got an idea, start a story anyway. You can always throw it away, and maybe by the time you get to the fourth page you will have an idea, and you'll only have to throw away the first three pages."
William Campbell Gault

For writers, sometimes ideas come easy. Inspiration can come to us in the shower, on the drive home from work, while we're reading. Ideas can take form from something someone says in passing conversation, the lyrics in a song, the words printed on a sign. But sometimes, our creative outlets are tapped. When you're in a writing rut, nothing seems worth writing about.

It's times like those we must write anyway.Write just to see where it takes you - you may be surprised. Write outside your comfort zone, both literally and figuratively. Instead of writing at your desk or in your living room, move out to the back patio and take in the sights, sounds and smells. Take a notebook and write from a coffee shop or a park bench. Write about things you wouldn't normally write about. Eavesdrop on conversations and take notes. Changing your scenery and your writing routine can be a simple trick to inspire something new.

But what happens when you get to the fourth page, or the tenth, and you still don't have any ideas? We all have days when it seems no matter how much we write, or how hard we try, the writing just isn't there.

And that's okay. Not everything we write is publishable or close to perfect. Sometimes it's just practice.

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