Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Running on Empty

I came across a downloadable audio of a talk facilitated by Anne Lamott through my public library. She is awesome! I’ll be posting some of the highlights here, adding my two cents and how it applies to me in case any of you are out there feeling the same. You are not alone.

Because I am currently in a phase in my writing that has left me scratching my head and wondering how to move forward, I will start there.

Writer’s Block.

We’ve heard about it, felt it, lived it. It’s when the world you created turns into a blur, when the characters are forgettable, and when you keep wondering if you should pass it through the shredder, stick it in the furnace, or give it to the dog. But in reality, it is not a block we are confronted with, but an inner emptiness of words, vision, and creativity. We need to fill it back up again.

We do that by engaging in the world around us. Open up that window and really look, with all your senses, at the world around you. Dig into old family photos if you’re writing a memoir, or into the depth of a fantasy world you’ve created. Look at images, research technology, places, and people. Call someone and ask…What do you think living in space would feel like? What does living in Wisconsin smell like? What do you feel and smell as you plant the first spring flowers in your garden?

Okay, some outrageous questions will probably raise questions of your sanity, but who cares. Let them know you’re a writer and they’ll understand. ☺ Ask away and get back other peoples take on the world.

Give yourself time to fill up again. 

If you want to shoot me some questions, go on a head and put them in the comments. This might be fun!


  1. Anne LaMotte is awesome. Great to spread her wisdom around. Personally, I think the best thing to do for writer's block is read. Consider reading time part of your "writing time." Great literature can inspire you and trashy reads can make you say, "I could do better than that!" and off you go.

  2. I've always told myself that I don't get writer's block. I do go through periods where I don't write and then one day I decide I MUST start writing again and then I do. Understand though how frustrating it must be when you want to write and can't.

  3. That woman is a genius. She was doing a workshop near my house just recently and I didn't go because I'm a total bum. I think I'll be kicking myself for a long time over that one.

  4. Anne... I've been reading like mad trying to figure things out, but I realize I do have to delve into my surroundings to get a better glimpse of where I'm heading.

    J.L.. It was kinda scary, (writer's block) especially since I don't want to give up on this ms. I've been inspired anew.

    Christine...yes Anne Lamott is Awesome. I would love to attend one of her workshops in person.

    Thanks for your comments!

  5. I relate to this all too well... I have such a bad case of writers block right now I can barely write this comment.

    Thanks for commenting on my interview at The Character Depot. Much appreciated! Doralynn

  6. No problem Doralynn. Thanks for stopping by.


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