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Know Jack #331 When You Got Nothing

“When you don’t have resources, you become resourceful.”

KR Sridhar

For a writer, staring at a blinking cursor atop a blank white page is a lot like those dreams people talk about in which they are walking naked through a crowded place. Every flaw, wart, and unseemly part is there for anyone and everyone to see.

Put something on! a voice screams in your head, write something!

There is an evil voice that tells you anything will do, but you know it’s a lie. It may satisfy the deadline. It will not satisfy your soul. This is about the time that you begin to question your ability, your sanity, and your worth as a writer and a human being. A huge black cloud begins to form above your head.

The temptation is to run inside to a laundry list of safe, mindless chores await to occupy your time. Don’t give in to temptation—well, not that one—run out into the brewing storm where you might just get hit by lightning.

You got nothing? Writer about having nothing. Write about the storms of life. That may not be the subject at hand, but once you begin to write, things have a way of coming around. You may begin to write the blog post that is due tomorrow. You may write the beginning of a new novel—go with it.

As you begin that story, the blog will come to you. As probably will a multitude of other ideas like popcorn in a microwave. Of course, then you are concerned you won’t remember all that great stuff when you have time later. But, being consumed with projects is a better feeling than afforded by that mocking cursor.

Write what you know. I can’t get into quantum physics on that horse. I can ride a long way on “gloom, despair and agony on me—deep dark depression, excessive misery.”

Yeah, now that song is stuck in my head.

It’s okay though. I’m now 335 words into a blog post that, moments ago, I had no idea what to write about and telling myself, to wrap it up. I can’t spend all day writing.

When you can’t be the writer, be the character.


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