Monday, February 6, 2012

Writing Prompt: I'm Hungry Because...

I call this blog "The Starved Writer" for a reason. Not just because myself and many writers like me are unappreciated and underpaid, but because our spirits our hungry.

Our souls cry out in despair because we have stories we want to tell and yet no means to tell them.

I've heard it a million times: "If it really mattered to you, you'd find time."

That's a joke, as we all know. Writing is an art. It's more than just slapping words on a page in readable sentences. It's imbuing our characters with spirit; hopes and fears and aspirations; digging into our own psyche to drag out into the light challenges which we can set before our characters for them to rise above (even if we cannot.)

This is writing. True writing. And it takes time. It takes concentrated effort to craft a story, no matter if it is 100 words or 100,000. This is something you simply cannot do while you worry about paying the bills, meeting deadlines, pleasing bosses or looking for work. It requires all your concentration and effort if you intend to do it right.

So, how do you do it? How do you make the time to sit down, concentrate and formulate a story which is true to your own spirit?

Good question.

Lots of people will tell you they know the secret. There are right now thousands of books available to help you do it. They promise to help you find time to complete that book you've always wanted to write just by following their "easy" step-by-step instructions. But the fact is, nobody can tell you how to do it. Nobody can blaze a path for you to follow because your story, like your life, is your own. It is unique. Trying to wedge it into a mold created by someone else is not going to work.

Oh, they might help you cough up a book, or churn out some prose, but this will do little to ease your hunger pangs. Why? Because you will not have solved your own problems. The bills will still need to be paid, the deadlines met and the boss appeased. These burdens will weigh you down even as you try to lift yourself up. They will remain as anchors on your psyche no matter how many "self-help" books you read.

If you want to write, from your heart and from your soul; if you truly want to feed the writing hunger that dwells within, you must find your own path to success. You must walk the Dark Road yourself. Feel alone, feel afraid, feel unsure but walk the path.

At its end you might just find what you are looking for.

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