Thursday, 3 May 2012

A Writer-without-a-Story



I have a free afternoon and decide I will write a post. I open my computer and think and think… and it doesn't take long for me to realise I don’t know what to write about. In the dark of the night, when I am supposed to be asleep, the ideas come thick and fast. But now? I can’t remember even one of them. They have fled leaving me a writer-without-a-story.

It’s a strange feeling having nothing to write about. I am tempted to think I will never again have anything to say. Familiar thoughts enter my mind: I wonder why I want to write. Surely it’s time to move on? I’ve said it all.

But I stop thinking this way. I know better. I am certain that just when I am least expecting it, a delicious idea will pop into my head. It has happened before. 

I remember:

I smile to myself as an idea occurs to me. I am suddenly unaware of what is going on around me. I am turning the idea over and over and words are appearing in my mind. Someone says something to me but I don't take it in. I don't want to talk. I want to run off to my computer and start typing. I have disappeared into a world of my own and nothing can prevent me writing my story. My family sighs.

But today… I know I am wasting my time sitting here. I should go and make some coffee and then read a book or prepare the dinner. I close the computer and then remember the postman went by about half an hour ago. Did he leave anything for us? I open the door onto a gorgeous autumn afternoon and pad in my socks down to the mailbox at the end of our drive. The lid is open. I can see a parcel jammed inside. A birthday parcel?

The parcel is from my dear long-time friend Cheradee. Inside is a stone cross:


I read the words:

For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, to give you hope and a future.

And I realise how beautifully they sum up all I have been thinking about recently: how God loves me so very much and how His plans for me are perfect, how I need to give Him control of my life... A wonderful feeling of joy spreads through me. I decide I just have to share a photo of my gift.

So I open my computer once again to upload a photo. I think of my unwritten story. Perhaps writing isn’t in God’s plan for me today. Maybe He wants me to do other things. No use sitting here worrying and wondering. I will be patient. An idea will arrive... at the perfect time, a time I least expect. 

I am sorry about this post about nothing. Soon I will be back, bursting once more with things to share. Soon I will no longer be a writer-without-a-story.

8 comments:

  1. Do you keep a notebook to write down your thoughts at night? I've heard that writers do that. Or little scraps of paper or post-it notes? Now, that you've got a tablet, you could use that to jot down your thoughts, too. Unless, real life is just too busy and exciting to write about just now:-)

    Looking forward to reading your next story, when you're writing, again xxx

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    1. Vicky,

      I have numerous exercise books with scrawled notes in them about possible stories, but I never write in them at night. That would mean putting on the light, maybe getting out of bed...when what I really want to do is sleep. One night I had an idea that went round and round my head preventing me from sleeping. In the end I did get up. I turned on the computer and wrote the story. Once it had been published (after midnight) I finally went to sleep! Yes, sometimes it's better to write rather than lie awake thinking about writing.

      I do actually have a few ideas in my notebook I haven't used but I lacked inspiration on how to use them. I just couldn't think of an interesting way to write about them. With my middle of the night stories, I can usually see every word! But all those words just disappeared today leaving me with a blank screen.

      Yes, hopefully I'll be writing again soon!

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  2. Sue
    How do you go about planning your posts? Do you keep a running list of ideas? I do, so I can sleep;) I admit I have about 20 ideas or less on the go and I like to keep it to no more than this, I feel like I should be writing when I have too many half plots.

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    1. Erin,

      Yes, I like to write down ideas when I think of them. Sometimes I use the ideas straight away and sometimes they sit awhile until I find the right way to tell the story. It's funny how occasionally lots of ideas come all at once and I can write post after post and then suddenly, the well is dry and I have no more inspiration or enthusiasm. Probably someone will make a remark over lunch tomorrow or the next day, and my mind will turn it over and my blog post will appear!

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  3. Been there. Done that. Wrote something similar last week.

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    1. Colleen,

      It's comforting to know I am not alone. It's strange how I think I will never be able to write anything ever again. I feel so sure I have no more to say. But I am getting to used to these inconvenient phases! Actually, a little idea did occur to me during morning prayers today. I was looking at our statue of Mary... Anyway, I will play around with this idea later!

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  4. You do such a great job writing a post about not having anything to post about. I've had those same thoughts Sue and even felt recently, an lack of interest (gasp!) in blogging. So, I took a break and resumed yesterday. I'm not as good as a creative writer as you... you have the ability to churn out meaningful, relate-able (is that a word?) and heart felt stories. I so admire your talent!

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    1. Noreen,

      I wonder how many different ways I can write a post about having nothing to write about! I would always have something to publish then!

      A lack of interest in blogging? I often find my interest in blogging fluctuates too. But somehow just as I'm about to give up, I suddenly think of something I just have to write about and share... and so I keep going.

      I am so glad you only had a blogging break and didn't give up, Noreen. I always enjoy sharing our blogs and our stories. I think we all have our own talents. I like to write stories but I'm hopeless at reviews. This really is one of your strengths. And you have such a passion for your pro-life work which keeps us all praying.

      Thank you for your encouragement, my friend.

      God bless!

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