At the author reading I attended this weekend I heard two bits of fabulous advice. One of them I’m saving for another post – it was just so lovely and affirming. The one that most applies to me (and probably you if you write at all) is this one:
He doesn’t believe in writer’s block.
OK – I like that. When an audience member asked him if he has ever faced writer’s block and how he handled it, he simply replied that if he doesn’t feel like writing he reads. A finalist for the National Book Award in 2008, he claims he has never missed a deadline following this advice. He has also never taken a creative writing class, which both irks me and thrills me. My English major advisor assured me this is often the case: the best writers are readers – they study writing by reading what and how others have written.
I know this is true for me when it comes to academic papers. When I feel stuck or don’t know where to start it usually means I don’t have enough information to craft a thesis idea out of. If I read for a while I almost always strike upon a brilliant (or at least satisfactory) idea.
So from now on, if I don’t have anything to post here, I might just copy a passage from a favorite book and call it a day. Afterall, you need to work on your writing as well! We’ll do it together.