Inspiration for Reluctant Writers
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I'm Sick

I know that one of the first rules of writing is to avoid clichés, but rules are made to be broken. I feel like I'm beating a dead horse lately with my "writing is hard" mantra, but I just keep coming back to it. One would think I'm in the middle of writing a book or something. Geez! Mr. Orwell compares writing a book to a long illness. But, at least with an illness, you might have people to tend to you with compassion; you'll likely get some sympathy, and you can probably sleep through part of it. I think writing a book is more like rehab after surgery. People are ready for you to be all better. You have to work hard to get better. And, no one feels sorry for you, they just push you to do t

Sticks and Stones

Words have power. Some say, "They're only words -- just let it go." Easier said than done. What keeps you from sleep at night? An unkind word, maybe? What makes your stomach churn? Words said in anger, perhaps? So, they're not just words, after all. They are words. They have meaning and with meaning comes power. So, when you write, choose your words carefully. Remember what Mark Twain said: "The difference between the almost right word and the right word is really a large matter -- it's the difference between the lightning bug and the lightning."

What Should I Write About?

Stuck without a topic? Surely you jest! No, seriously, I, personally, know that's a common problem. However, everyone has a story. And, not just one, but dozens. Just think back to childhood. Was it happy and fun? Why? Did you live in the city and play kick the can, or did you live in the country and catch fireflies in mason jars? Did you ride a city bus or train to school or did you walk a "country mile"? Were you one of the "in" crowd, or were you on the outside, looking in? Each of those topics has a story in it. And that's just childhood! Surely, some event worth telling happened at some point. Just try it out as an exercise if you're unsure. Pick one of those subjects and start writing.

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