Monday, April 27, 2015

Weathering a writer's monsoon

This just in from a writer who asked me for guidance:

We've all heard of writer's block. This is the curse of the empty page. I seem to be navigating through something that exists on the opposite end of the spectrum from writer's block. It's more like writer's deluge. It is as if I am in a creative monsoon, each raindrop a poem, a potential short story, novel, script, non-fiction work exploring some topic or theme, and they are all coming fast and furious, all at the same time -- as if a vast ocean of ideas is trying to flow through a small pin hole. As a result, a similar feature of writer's block happens: no writing. What can I do?

My response:

Two thoughts.

1. I have always loved the saying of a Moroccan tribe that values poets above all others that "All poetry comes from flooding." This does not answer your problem, but it may perhaps reassure you that a surfeit of inspiration is not a bad thing at all.

2. So much in life depends on selection. If you go to a restaurant and you are so fascinated by everything on the menu that you can't make a choice, you'll go hungry.

So choose one idea. Give it 15 minutes, 30 minutes tops, when you can. Time how long you will spend on it. Stop when the time is up. 
    Great if it's unfinished because when you go back you won't have to start; you have started already.

By the way: your vivid description of monsoon season in a writer's life is already great writing.

 Art: "Deluge" by Brij M. Sondhi

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Arigato gozaimas-u, Sir Robert-san.