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Writer’s Block

 

 One of the most crippling situations facing the author is writer’s block. With many inspiring stories to tell, the writer sits at his computer and prepares to offer the reader his colorful portrayal of interesting events. Unfortunately, he sometimes discovers that he can’t get started. This is because, for whatever reason, he is simply not in the mood to write.  He idly sits and stares at that blank sheet of paper in front of him. Why does this happen? Is the author simply bored, or is some worrisome situation crowding out the creative impulses in him? In such instances, what should the writer do?

      As is common with all people, authors share different personalities and temperaments. Many are very organized in their daily activities, and have a determination to finish the task they started. These authors establish their designated time for writing at a specific hour when they are finished with their other daily chores. They are determined to simply “work through” their temporary loss of words until they overcome their inability to communicate their thoughts and feelings. They are extremely disciplined people who maintain an accurate schedule in all of their daily activities. After finishing their allotted time of writing, they move on to another task.

      But my personality is different. Being the unstructured person that I am, I only write when I am in the mood, and when.my mind is free to explore every creative avenue of thought. When I’m not encumbered by distraction; I set aside a time to write; however, I find myself almost paralyzed whenever I’m interrupted by the distractions of life. In such times, I simply abandon any attempt to write.

      But whenever my mind is free, I often “get on a roll.” and continue writing for several hours. During these times, I sometimes amaze myself in regard to my uninterrupted progress. I only stop writing when I’m too exhausted to continue.  As mentioned earlier, all people have different temperaments.


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Creative Kinships

 

      There are many kinds of artists: Among them, are musicians, painters, and authors. From the time I was a small boy I was attracted to music; in fact, I became quite skilled as a guitarist. Later, I attended Atlanta Art Institute for a period of two years. Several years later, I enrolled at the University of Tennessee. After my graduation, I taught advertising design at U.T. for a couple of years. I later worked for several years as a creative director in a design studio. The job didn’t completely fulfill my creative needs, but at least the challenge held a relatively close kinship to painting, which was my true passion.

      It was during my retirement years that I discovered writing. As an author, I began to write short stories and novels. During the following ten years, I was the author of five books. It was during this time that I gradually became aware of the fact that, in an abstract sense, painting and writing share a close kinship. In painting, ideas and emotions are expressed with brush strokes and pigments, while in writing, these same emotions are perpetuated with words and literary expressions. In either endeavor, the satisfaction is derived from the artist’s imagination. Both occupations fulfill a deeply-felt need in me. I enjoy the same sense of accomplishment when I’m involved with any of these creative endeavors.

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The Right-Brained Mentality

 

     People who are blessed (or cursed) with a creative imagination are often referred to as being “right-brained.” Unlike the precise, logical thinking of a scientist, or engineer, the imaginations of these unique people sometimes run the gamut from virtual reality to deep and sometimes outrageous visions of a make-believe world of sheer fantasy. The horrors of murder, witchcraft, sorcery, and mayhem may sometimes be contradicted by serenity, love, beauty, or tenderness, sometimes even in the same story. The challenge to a competent author is the ability make these diverse situations believable and acceptable to the reader.


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Choosing a Genre

 

 

      When selecting a subject for his book, how does an author choose the genre? Obviously, it is dependent upon the past experiences or imaginations of the author; after all, how can a writer tell of events he has never imagined or experienced? Many authors only write in a single genre; sometimes it is science-fiction; often it is about family life; on other occasions, they may write of solving crimes, adventure, or mayhem and murder. The type of stories written by an author often establishes his identity as a writer, for the reader begins to associate the author’s name with the consistent subject matter of his books.

      However, my involvement in so many past facets of life has kept me from embracing a single category. It has enabled me to write about an abundance of character types and lifestyles. I have written two true-life family books, a mystery, a whimsical book about aging, and a book of short stories about my youth that includes some poetry.

      While establishing an identity is important to a writer, I choose to write about a broad range of subjects that stimulate my interest. If it fascinates me, surely it will be of some interest to many readers as well. To me, becoming well-known or wealthy is less important than writing about the lives of people and circumstances that evoke precious memories and intrigue me.

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The reader becomes a participant.

 

 

      Obviously, emphasis should be placed on the plot of a story. Of equal importance, however, is the descriptive skill of the author in his ability to pull the reader into the story.in which he or she is able to experience the sensations of the story’s characters. A creative story should offer more than a summary of events, as in a newspaper article, but should transport the reader into a world of perception in which he can smell the roses, see the sunset, or hear the warbling melody of the songbird. Only when the reader shares the same environment as that of the characters in the story does he thoroughly identify with them. Dependent upon the genre of the book, the writer is able to invite the reader into a world of fantasy, or sometimes, reality.

      But what is reality? Our perception of the world is the only reality we have. If we perceive that the story is realistic, then it must be so, if only in our imagination. The author should lead the reader into an environment in which he is actually living the story. I truly feel that it is the duty of the author to deliver the reader into the intimate emotions, sensations and experiences of the characters, which can only be obtained through the descriptive skill of the writer. 

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