Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Nope. Nothing.

Question: what does a writer write when she has nothing to say?

Best answer: nothing.

I could share another entry about how my flu came back last week and made me lose all hope for ever completing EdMo. But I’m sick of whining about EdMo, sick of being sick. I just want to move on and forget it.

The fact is, I don’t have a damn thing to say this week. And that’s an uncomfortable feeling for a writer. No writer wants to open his mouth and hear…nothing. We want wisdom. We want beauty. We want truth. We want art.

This week, I’m fresh out of all that. And I’m learning to be okay with it. It’s okay if there are pauses between the sentences. Silence can mean something, sometimes something significant.

This reminds me of a paper I wrote for my college American Lit class, a light little bit of academy about what Whitman didn’t say in “When Lilacs Last in the Dooryard Bloomed.” The premise: how powerful a presence could be by its very absence. It’s an idea that’s always intrigued me.

So I pause in my absence of ideas, feel my hollowness around where my thoughts should be.

Still nothing. I’m okay with that. See you next week.


Stephen said...

I hear you. ;-)

Though the silence times can be frustrating, it is in those moments that we can pause and reflect about truth--in life, in love, in emotions--and find something incredible to write about.

And I know how incredible you can be in your writing.

Take care.

Greta said...

Aw, Stephen! I could hug you for that :)

Anonymous said...

*Chuckles.* I hate that feeling, I absolutely hate it. Namely because that means that the two muses who live in my head and speak to me on a weekly basis for my prompt work, are also out of action. While they may not be sick themselves, in their own little fictional bubbles, trying to express words as them is like eating soup with a fork.

As for the absence of words, in the place of actually putting them into presence, I can find some wisdom in that. That is what always fascinates me about a good novel, you know nothing about a character in the start, and, yet, gradually, you learn more and more about them. The same applies to stories of our own creation. Unless, of course, you are writing a character biography, the intention is to draw yourself, or others, into the story, to explain things carefully, slowly, like a puzzle which isn't too complicated, but will still take a while to put together.

On a side note, your blog is a perfectly good excuse to ignore homework, right?

Greta said...

ANY excuse is a good one for avoiding homework :)

I know exactly what you mean about enjoying learning about a character thoughout a novel. I always know when I've read a really good book because it breaks my heart to say goodbye to the characters at the end.