Write Away

I have never understood when some students have contacted me and said that they were suffering from Writers’ Block. It doesn’t exist. It is another word for being lazy because ideas are all around us. Sometimes I need to battle the whole horde of ideas that are all fighting for supremacy. You are on the bus and you overhear a couple talking – yes, it’s fine to eavesdrop when you’re a writer. The most compelling talk I heard one day was between a mother and her son – aged about 17. “OK” he told her, “if I can’t get married, I’m buying a motor bike.” Sadly, they got off the bus before I could hear her reply.

Apart from listening to the people all around you, study them. The best description I ever read about a character was a one-liner: “His face was lined with broken Commandments.” What sort of a plot does that open to the writer?

Ideas are leaping out at us from the television, from the newspapers, especially from the small classified ads. at the back. Read the Matrimonial column and say “What if?” You’ve got enough material for a full-length novel.

So forget about Writers’ Block. Open your mind to the stimulus all around you, and you will never run out of ideas.

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