this will sound harsh but you’re probably not a writer.
writer’s writer every day. it’s ok, not everyone is.
but if you consider yourself one, get off your ass and get back to work!! write about why you haven’t been writing . anything. just write.
"Writers block for six or seven years." What a doofus.
(Beg to differ but) writing shouldn’t be forced, it should come naturally. As a writer myself, there have been weeks, months that I could not produce anything at all—that seemed sufficient enough to my level of satisfaction, so I’d constantly scrap it. However, after those weeks/months of absolutely nothing, when I least expect it suddenly I find myself writing the most profound words out of nowhere. Someone that has writer block for 6-7 years may go crazy trying to search for inspiration, when instead inspiration would find them when they stop looking. This may be controversial but it doesn’t make sense to put a timeline on how often someone writes before they are considered a ‘writer’.
writing is a discipline, a practice, a religion …
i would love to consider myself all kinds of things but unless i’m actually actively doing them i am probably kidding myself.
Talent is cheaper than table salt. What separates the talented individual from the successful one is a lot of hard work.- STEPHEN KING
Quantity produces quality. If you only write a few things, you’re doomed. - RAY BRADBURY
Brian is right.
Brian is being far more diplomatic about this than I would ever be.
The excuse of waiting for inspiration leads to exactly what is described; 6 to 7 years of producing nothing. This is the difference between being a writer and someone who likes to write.
A writer fucking writes. Whether she likes it or not, whether she wants to or not, whether she’s inspired or not. She pushes the boulder, like Sisyphus, until the damn thing rolls or shatters or reverses and crushes her. But she doesn’t sit there and wait until it feels good or it feels right or until the stars are right or anything else. Writing takes discipline infinitely more than it takes talent. That’s the dirty little secret of being a writer. You want to be a writer? Put your ass in the chair and put in your 10,000 hours and your 100,000 pages and then you’ll be a writer.
And yes, I know how harsh this sounds. I know what it sounds like. But it’s the difference between being a writer and simply being someone who feels good about putting their words down when they feel it.
If you want to argue that waiting is necessary, it’s what’s required, then I would offer you’re making excuses for why you’re not writing.
Writing isn’t a profession and it isn’t a hobby. It’s a fucking debilitating illness. It’s an addiction. You either write or you don’t. But you don’t sit around waiting for inspiration. It’s a craft, and you hone it, the way you would hone any other craft — by doing it.
Now get the hell off my lawn.
I fully understand the idea that waiting for inspiration to strike is problematic. I’m an artist, and they drill that into you in art school - don’t ever stop making. Even if you have no clue what to do, you’re “blocked”, make something. Even if it’s just a doodle, don’t let your hands be idle.
And yet, at the same time, as someone who suffers from a severe anxiety disorder and struggles with intermittent depression, there is nothing more soul crushing than reading stuff like this.
I want to be a writer. I have notebooks and word documents full of story ideas and character sketches and magic systems. I have at least 4 books started in my head. But when I sit down to try to write, it’s not just that I don’t know what to write. Writing is hard, as is known by every writer. Sometimes you just have to make yourself get something down on paper and it will suck and you’ll go back and make it better on rewrites. I understand that. But when I sit down to write it’s not just that I don’t know what to write. It’s that, no matter how much I try to logic myself out of it, my broken brain quickly spirals into utter self hate and fear and sometimes actual panic attacks because clearly I am the most worthless, talentless person ever to walk the earth.
If you’re a writer, you need to write. You need to write to get better, to hone your craft, and to, you know, actually tell your stories. But at the same time people are complicated. Brains are complicated. And there are a lot of people with broken brains that don’t work the way they’re supposed to. And I think leaving it at “you have to write every day or you’re not a real writer” is a shitty message to send to those people.
So I’d like to add this addendum - if you’re not writing for months and months or years on end, you’re probably not a writer yet. But you still can be, and it’s OK that you’re not yet. Yeah, maybe you’re just making excuses, that’s something you’ll have to figure out for yourself. But there also may be some very real, very serious reasons why you can’t right now. Mental illness can be literally paralyzing to creative people. And there are other aspects of life besides mental illness that can get in your way - I currently work one part time service industry job. When I get home I’m not just tired, I’m in actual pain, and I literally can’t do much but sit for at least a couple hours. If I were working multiple jobs like this, which many people have to these days, and I had a family to take care of? It’s a real romantic notion when you’re a creative type that you will always find time for your art, but in the real world sometimes it’s not actually possible. It’s a luxury. And it’s awesome for the people who work hard and still manage to pursue their creative endeavors, but that doesn’t mean that those who don’t have that luxury should give up.
I’m meandering a bit, but my basic point is not writing (or painting, or whatever) for extend periods isn’t necessarily about laziness or lack of discipline. Sometimes there are really barriers to it, and it’s incredibly insulting to act like everyone should be able to overcome those barriers and if you don’t then you’re not a real artist. It’s never too late to start, so if you want to write, or paint, or whatever your creative desire is, but you’re not and you feel like you can’t, figure out why. Take some time to self reflect on that. Maybe you just need to be more disciplined, but maybe you’re not at a place in your life where you can right now. Maybe you need to take a year, or ten years, to work on your self, on your living situation, your mental health, your physical health, whatever it is that takes precedent. Because having some other aspect of your life take precedent over your desired creative endeavors doesn’t mean you won’t ever be able to make those things a priority.
But sometimes you have to make yourself a priority before you can make your art a priority.
(I realize it likely wasn’t the intent of any of the original posters to say that people will real significant barriers are lazy, but like I said as a person with a mental illness it hurts every time I read stuff like this regardless of the intent, because at best it’s ignoring a large elephant in the room because the OPs have the luxury of ignoring that elephant)
My bff, once again, dropping some hardcore realness about creativity. Hats off to you dear. I completely agree.
Writing is an art. Therefore, it is subjective. Since it is subjective, it expression or timing cannot conform to that of another’s unless they are writing professionally under a publisher. Even at that, it takes FOREVER for people like George R. Martin to create masterpieces. So, do us all a favor and SHUT UP!
how can you complain about “mary sue” characters when 90% of mainstream male characters are perfect strong heroes who save the day and “get the girl” but you can’t let a female character be the same without being mocked or having something fucking horrible happen to her you whiny fucking babies