When the Well Runs Dry · 20 March 2009

It used to be that when the writing well ran dry, I had some story that I had previously written that I could throw onto my website. Now, I think that even those have been exhausted. Oh sure, there are always ideas running around in my head. The problem is that sometimes, they just keep running around and seem to never be ready to come out of my fingers into the keyboard to the word processor. That is the situation I find myself in now. Lots of ideas but not one is ready to get out of my head and into the computer.

At dry times like these, I usually write about my kids or my wife. Family life is full of writing ideas. I have started pieces about my wife and mother telling me not to quit my day job to be a full-time writer. I have ideas about science projects and elementary school musicals and soccer and just about any activity that the kids do. I have ideas about dinner time and conversations that we have around the table. But it seems that they are just ideas stuck on the vine waiting to ripen. And I do not want to pick an idea before its time.

Besides just pieces about my immediate family, I also have pieces about holidays and larger family gatherings. I have a piece about Veterans Day (which may be ready by November). I have ideas about weddings and reunions and other family events. And of course, I have thoughts and ideas and stories about Christmas and Christmas trees. It seems that I have thoughts and ideas about just about any day of the year, but none are ready to be harvested or it is the wrong time of year to write them.

When the writing well runs dry and there are no ideas on the vine ready to be plucked, I turn to just writing. I do not just write. I write about writing. More specifically, I look at some part of the writing process and write about it. It may not be that interesting for most people, but it is writing about something I know. And it is writing. Sure, sometimes, I am just trying to fill a little more of cyberspace with my writing, but it is all part of practicing my craft. It is all part of getting better and creating a body of work. It is all part of the process of becoming a writer.

I know that I do not always put out the most literary or sometimes even interesting pieces on my website. But I have not missed many of my self-imposed deadlines. I have not often broken my unspoken contract with my readers (real or imaginary) of having a new column every week. I have not often had nothing to write about.

I am thankful that the writing well does not go dry very often. I am glad that I can usually write about something humorous or entertaining. At least to my own addled mind. I hope that my writing well fills up again soon. I just hope that it happens before even my imaginary readers abandon me.

© 2009 Michael T. Miyoshi

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