Posted by: pendrops | August 17, 2006

hemingway week


It hasn’t been a very Hemingway week. I know we can’t always be brilliant, and I’m no Hemingway, but this is Day 4 of what I hope is a bad case of writer’s block because if writer’s block is worse than this, I just might hurt something.

However, I’m afraid I don’t have writer’s block since I’m writing this. And it’s pretty good.

Still, it’s infuriating, wanting to say something, anything…and not being able to. At least, not being able to the way you want to. And I’m doing all the right things, the things my writing profs told me to do. I’m reading a lot, writing every day, even doing some of the goofy exercises in my old composition textbooks.

And I’m still stuck.

Some people might say I’m trying too hard. But, for crying out loud, this stuff doesn’t just jump onto the page. Who was it that said writing is 10% inspiration, 90% perspiration. Maybe I’m misquoting, but I’m sweating all over the place and can’t get one meaningful, beautiful drop on the page.

Maybe it’s my work environment. In the past few weeks, I’ve discovered that I can’t work from home. My attention would be diverted by cleaning, laundry, decorating or cooking all day long. But I’ve found the library helpful with its Internet connection for research and all its quiet nooks. Borders and Barnes are also good for people-watching and character-development skills. So I’ve got some good spots to produce. But this week, nothing doing.

Maybe it’s the time of day. I’m trying to write in the afternoon, from about noon to five. Maybe I should try a morning thing. Or evening. Or maybe I should break it up a bit…you know, a little bit of writing in the morning, a little bit in the afternoon, some reading in the evening. I was trying to keep my workday like everyone else’s though – 9 to 5. That’s never worked for us artsy types though.

Maybe I need to examine my reasons for writing. Lately, all I’ve been thinking about is getting published. There’s nothing wrong with that goal. When you have something hopeful, inspiring and powerful to say, you want to empower, inspire and give hope to others. But I may have taken it a little too far, writing only because I want to publish, not because I have something truly moving to offer.

Or maybe, just maybe, I’m scared. Afraid that I don’t have anything to say. Insecure about my ability to write something that could impact lives. I couldn’t do that, I hear myself say. I haven’t lived enough, had enough life experiences. I don’t know enough about X, Y or Z. Maybe I just don’t have it in me.

But that’s just a lie. A lie I have to speak truth to every day. Krista, you have a life full of experiences, a world inviting you to explore, and millions of stories to tell.



  1. I know you’ve got it in you! I can feel it. I have to say, whenever I’ve thought (which is quite often), “Okay, I need to make some money. I need to get published!” then I sit there blankly staring at a page or a screen. I got nothing! But, when I let my mind just dream and create w/o the thought of money or getting published, well, then I have something! So, all I’m saying is that I concur with your thought, although there is nothing wrong with wanting to get published. I really hope it happens for you. Keep going!

  2. You know what I find? At least in my experience, I can’t set aside certain times to write and be creative. (now of course, I’ve never had it be my full time gig either)

    I find that I get writing material when I go out, leave my house and take in new experiences. When we hear “new experiences” most the time we think it means climbing Mt. McKinley or getting a tatoo. Baloney. New experiences are rarely so grand in scale.

    Oftentimes it’s something simple. Being around and talking to people generates tons of stuff to write. Going to eat breakfast at a popular diner one morning and recording your observations. Writing up a list of questions and asking them to someone older than you. Visiting a museum or even going to a bar. All these are times when I go, “Man…I should write that conversation down.”

    A recent experience with me – Going to Riverfront Park in Nashville on the 4th of July with 100,000 other people sounded like a good idea…but was it? Oh let me tell you, there was plenty of adventures and writing material to come from that event! From thoughts on patriotism to the nice Mexican guys who held the parking lot gate back so we could get out…fun times for all!

    Committing to writing a certain amount of time each week is a great way to stay on task. I figure if I’m active enough though I’ll have plenty of experiences to write about anyway.

    Can’t wait to read more from pendrops!

  3. dern… this writer’s block must be really bad, you haven’t posted since last week

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