Saturday, November 26, 2011

The Power of Writing

I won't go into any details here, but as a lot of my friends know, it’s been quite a past couple of years for me. With everything that’s been going on in my life, I have really found it difficult to sit at a computer and focus on anything other than troubles surrounding my life, which would be awesome if that’s what I was currently writing about. Sadly it isn’t!

In my earlier post, I mentioned that I’m a reluctant writer at best, so that, added to the fact that my mind has been barely capable of sticking to one subject at a time, has made it almost impossible for me to do anything even nearing creativity: time spent at Boyd’s Mill’s excluded. Many times, many, many times, I’ve sat at my computer and faced that most frightening of things to a writer… a blank page screaming at every neuron of my numbed brain to hit the lettered keys and create something exciting, brilliant, and full of a unique voice that some editor in a position of power will be compelled to respond to with, “Send me everything you’ve ever written, we’re penning you to a multi-book deal.”

Alas, my friends, those keys were never punched with wild abandon, no brilliant new novel was laid upon virgin pages, no unique voice channeled itself through my fingers, and nothing was sent to that eager editor in search of the next great, “Mike Mulligan and his Steam Shovel.”

Instead, mostly the resulting words formed by this muddled creative center of mine were very simple and somewhat cathartic and generally repeated on at least a weekly basis.

Wanna know what most of my pages ended up looking like? Well, like it or not since you’re reading this post I’m going to tell you, so pull up an even more comfy chair, maybe grab a cup of coffee or tea, polish your eyeglasses… Ready?

I have no idea what to write about.”

“Why can’t I write anything?”

“What is going on in my head that won’t allow me to write?”

I have no idea what to write about.”

“I hate looking at blank pages.”

“Why do I think I can be a writer?”

“I should drag my bum to work.”

Etc. …

Funny thing is, that after sitting down and writing those lines, what usually followed were sessions spent writing about nothing. A lot of the sessions were nothing but random thoughts. Sometimes a page of nothing became three or four pages of nothing, which took me down a road I had no idea even existed. I spent times wandering down all kinds of roads, mostly about my own life.

Sometimes the roads were paved and very easy to navigate, and sometimes they were the roads of nightmares: dirty, full of potholes and ruts, with dangerous washouts, but in the end, no matter if it was a short journey or an epic cross-country trip, they ended up being pretty interesting when I look back at them. I ended up writing a lot of round file stuff. I wrote quite a bit of stuff that looked like it was dictated in tongues. But I also wrote, what to me was some gemstone quality stuff; not a lot, but, in the end, just the act of sitting down and tapping keys about random thoughts or negative thoughts was enough to help assuage the fears that I am not a writer, and that, my friends, can be pretty powerful stuff!

P.S. I love how Rich Wallace seems to sneak lists in when he writes, so I’m stealing your idea bro!

My Five Favorite Movies List:
Under The Tuscan Sun
The Castle
The Blind Side
Big Easy

Jon Egan


  1. I have to admit that life has been so stressful lately that I haven't been writing much lately either. In fact yesterday, I finally started a new project and got 1/2 page done. Glad I'm not alone in struggling some times.

  2. Jon, my next post was designated to my own writer's block that I am trying to overcome now.

    We as writers are not alone. We all struggle and write about nothing.

    Thanks for sharing yours.

    Favorite Movies:
    Buffalo 66
    Win Win
    Life Aquatic (any Wes Anderson movie)
    I heart Huckabees
    Whip It
    Bunny and the Bull

  3. Great post, Jon. And I'll bite. My five favorite movies are:

    The Princess Bride
    Room With A View
    The Power of One
    Harold and Maude

  4. Have no fear, Jon, you are definitely a writer, & only occasionally a reluctant one.