Elster's World

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Writer's Block

What is it that scares you? I have a healthy fear of lots of different things. I fear snakes, posionous spiders, random acts of violence, drunk drivers, flamed out meth heads and, of course, vampires.

When it comes to writing, I don't fear failure, though I do worry about it. If I don't succeed at getting a book sold or something else published, it will upset me greatly. Maybe beyond full recovery. But still, I don't fear this.

What I do fear, though, is losing "the spark". What makes someone creative? What allows James Lee Burke to write book after book using prose that I cannot even imagine being able to write? What allows someone to put his thoughts on the paper in a way that grabs the reader like a sudden hand from out of the dark? It's "the spark". Some people have it and some don't.

Now, I don't claim to be anything more than a hack (though secretly i have great aspirations for myself). But I have some spark in me. I can feel it inside me, like the smallest of fluttering flame caught in a storm's strong wind. I want to protect that spark more than anything; to nurture it and feed it until it becomes a full-bore fire. I want to produce great things. I want people to read my works and think, "hey, that was really good".

But deep down in places I try not to think about, I fear that - one day - what little spark I do have inside me......................will go out.


  • Nah. I betcha lot's of people's 'spark' can be rekindled with a six-pack of Schlitz. After all, if I can speak French better when I'm drunk, why can't I write better when I'm drunk?

    Disclaimer: I haven't officially tested this particular method of getting the creative juices flowing - it just follows logically.

    By Blogger AnySara, at 9:19 PM  

  • They still make Schlitz?

    By Blogger Elster, at 9:37 PM  

  • I think I saw a sign outside a store in Maine. Maybe it was an antique.

    By Blogger AnySara, at 10:17 PM  

  • Hey we all hit dry spells. It's normal. Just make sure you keep writing daily even if you it seems pointless.

    By Blogger brianna, at 11:12 AM  

  • You know what scares me? Expectations. If I think that I'm capable of writing something outstanding, I can't write anything because I know that if it's anything short of perfect, I'm a failure at the task I set myself out to accomplish. (Like, had I planned on having good sentence structure for the above sentence, I wouldn't be able to write anymore.) We've all got our downers.

    By Blogger BrownsvilleGirl, at 9:39 PM  

  • That's a tough road to tread Brown. Most of what I wrote is just "messing around".

    For me it's not about expectation, it's about other people liking what I do. it's almost less important that I like it. Dunno, must be an acceptance thing.

    By Blogger Elster, at 10:11 AM  

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