Sunday, February 04, 2007

Brain Dumb

          “Can’t Think
          Brain Dumb
          Inspiration Won’t Come!
          Poor Ink
          Bum Pen
          Best Wishes, Amen.”
                    - Unknown

Hi Writers:

When I was in grade school, I memorized that ditty from one of those little books of quotes intended for writing in yearbooks. Yours Till Niagara Falls or something like that. That’s how I feel today. Can’t Think. Brain Dumb. Inspiration Won’t Come.

I’ve been on a break from graduate school and have been catching up on what I’d put off during the semester. I filed insurance claims, made annual medical appointments, gathered tax documents, fiddled with my website, and booked my trip for the February residency. I’ve been productive, but I haven’t been doing enough writing. And it’s difficult to write about writing when you’re not writing!

For the past few days I’ve been asking everybody I see what I should write in the essay. I asked some friends. I asked the dog. I asked my sister. I sat down and wrote questions to myself. No one, including me, had a half decent idea. Finally, I asked Ed.”Tell them you don’t know what to write,” he suggested. So here I am writing about not being able to think of anything to write. See, you really can write about anything.

That’s my message for you today. It’s sort of like the old adage, “If life gives you lemons, make lemonade.” If your mind surrenders nothing, pour that onto the page. Put it down honestly. Write down the details of how it feels. Explain your emptiness to the world. Get your hand moving and, eventually, something will appear.

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