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Know Jack #314 Out of Nothing At All

Old Mother Hubbard went to the cupboard to get her poor dog a bone;

But when she got there, the cupboard was bare, and so the poor dog had none.

Do children even hear nursery rhymes today? It has been a long time since my children and their children were young enough to sit on my lap and hear the wisdom of Mother Goose. I was reminded of the rhyme from my childhood that appears above. Whether they know Mother Hubbard or not, writers know her plight.

There’s often nothing more difficult than to sit down to string together les bons mots and find the cupboard bare. A publisher friend of mine once described me as a vending machine, “put a quarter in and a story comes out.” The price of my books has gone up considerably since then and the four books a year pace has slowed.

Even at a slower pace, there are times like this morning when I sit down at the keyboard and stare at the blinking cursor wishing something—anything would come to me. My freshman English teacher would tell me to “just write” that I could make sense of it later. She was right. Did she have one of those old style pumps that had to be primed to deliver water?

So, having nothing to tell you this morning, I decided to write about having nothing to write about and—Bam! A blog post appears! And isn’t that just the way writing works in it’s magic of making something out of nothing at all. I credit it to the divine spark of spirit given to us from the God who spoke and a universe, or multiple ones, appeared.

Where am I going with this? I am going to the heart of what it means to be a writer. Writers write, it’s not just what we do, it’s who we are. (But of course, that whole idea of are we what we do or do we do what we are is a blog post in itself.)

Ideas beget ideas. So, sit down and write—the first draft is crap anyway—give your editor something to do.


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