Something, Anything

There is nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and bleed.  – Ernest Hemingway

According to Alex Zalben in his article, How to Write When You Have Nothing To Write About, I have “trained my brain to not want to write.”  Okay, I believe that.  My brain has potato-ed.  It lounges about in a starchy netherworld, working only by necessity—hungry for entertainment.

Feed me Seymour.

The excuses to not write are plentiful, must we repeat?
• I’m no good
• I’m not even (well, true, not-writers don’t write )
• Time
• Ideas
• Blah, blah, blah… (even while writing this, my brain says this list could be better, witty, funnier, and I would be wise to consider ditching the lot)

Perhaps it’s time to retrain my brain.

Zalben assures this is possible. He shares his failsafe method which involves starting and finishing one terrible piece before moving on the the next slightly less terrible one. Take comfort, his words are kinder and more encouraging than mine.

Another approach, from the article, What to Write When You Have Nothing to Say, Kyle G. Jones (quoting an example from Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance) suggests looking at a single brick of a building, on a street, in a town, of a country. Just one brick. Then, “stick your nose up against the brick.” Get right up in there, against its smallest detail. Focusing in will provide the opportunity to see something in an original way instead of thinking about what others have already said. Write about this one brick, then the next one. Eventually something unique and original will be built out of these bricks.


Oh, to be a lean mean writing machine…