When the Words Won’t Come

Wise people say the key to a writing career is to just show up. Every day. To sit yourself down in the chair, in front of the screen or paper, until there is nothing left to do but move that pen, work those fingers.

Here I sit, dutifully, in my chair. Hands poised over the keyboard. Ready. Time to write. Go. Just do it.

I hear the voices starting to chime in. If only the voices were those of my characters talking to each other and letting me eavesdrop. Fantastic when that happens, but sometimes what I hear is a cacophony of derision. My Greek Chorus of inner critics. Their litany goes something like this.

Oh, just get up and go do something useful.

You’d be better off reading a good book. (There’s truth in this, but not when I’m trying to get my own words out.)

You know you’ll never have an original thought.

You can’t think outside the box when you can’t even see the box.

You have absolutely no imagination, nada, zilch, zero.

You know all those wonderful turns of phrases you read in the best of writers’ works? You know those surprising and perfect, rare adverbs they use? You’ll never do that.

Oh, there’s the phone. Aren’t you going to answer it?

Dialogue? You call that dialogue? Don’t make me laugh. INFO DUMP.

You really need some coffee. Or some chocolate. Why not get up and get both?

And the inner critic doesn’t stop here, but I will, because those voices are so depressing. So go out, find a sunny spot and breathe in some beauty as an antidote. I’ll finish this all too accurate list in another post. Watch for When the Words Won’t Come – Part Two 


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