When lightning strikes…and when it doesn’t

As writers, we all experience those moments when an idea shows up out of the sky and suddenly, everything lights up.  I love those moments, just as much as I love the way nature lights up the sky over Lake Champlain.  It’s happened a lot this week.

But what about when the sky doesn’t light up?  What about those times when it’s just cloudy and murky, and we feel like we might not have anything to say? 

I read two fantastic blog posts today – both about writers’ block and about showing up to write, no matter what.

This…from the brilliant Laurie Halse Anderson, whose ReaderGirlz interview was posted at Mitali’s Fire Escape (Thanks, Mitali Perkins!)…

Question: What was your defining moment in becoming a writer?

Laurie’s Answer: It happens every morning, about 5:30 am. I put my cereal bowl in the dishwasher, I pour a second mug of tea, and I sit down to write. The conscious, mindful decision to write every day makes me a writer.

And this…from David Schwartz at I.N.K. (Interesting Nonfiction for Kids)

In my opinion, writers who regularly find way to pass their time other than by putting words on paper – a large subset that includes myself – do not deserve to take refuge in so dignified-sounding a condition as “writers’ block.” We should call it what it is: procrastination. And we should teach our children and our students that it is best conquered by force: Forcing ourselves to sit down and get the job done. Not knowing what to write and struggling over it is not writers’ block. It is writing.


Time for me to get back to work.

14 Replies on “When lightning strikes…and when it doesn’t

  1. Thanks for sharing those thoughts–and the photos, which I see from the other side.

    Sitzfleisch is indeed an important part of getting writing done. Happy sitting!

  2. Actually, I think it’s summer in the air…calling us all to pick strawberries and work on things other than copy edits and revisions. Alas…

  3. Thanks! I have a fixation with thunderstorms and can’t manage to do anything but hang out on the porch and watch if there’s one happening.

  4. As for me, it’s a synopsis I’m blowing off. Never sold a book on spec before, buyt I’m hoping it’ll light a fire under my butt so I’ll finish it!!!

  5. I wish we had thunderstorms where I live. I love them!

    Thanks for this bolt of lightning. Sometimes when we need to receive an important message, BOOM, out of the sky it comes.

  6. Beautiful pictures Kate!

    And I totally agree with the both Laurie and David! Me, procrastinate? Never…nope…not I… it’s just that on some days my butt wants to be any place except in the chair writing … so I’ve given myself permission to goon outside in the sun … see, I’m mentally writing and storing up moments to use later 🙂