Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Feeling like reading or writing

A writer e-mailed me and said, "I always feel like reading (or writing) something, but I never know what to read (or write). Is this normal?"

Well, I can't relate to the book thing because I constantly have way more books waiting to be read than I do time to read them. If you don't know what to read, here's a couple things you can do:

1. Lots of authors talk on their blogs or websites about other authors they enjoy. So check out the sites of some of your favorite writers and see what they're recommending.

2. Talking to your reader friends. You can even join something like Goodreads so you can get updates about what your friends are reading.

3. Talk to librarians or employees at book stores. They probably have more suggestions than you'll know what to do with.

Regarding writing. Yes, I think it's normal to have the feeling of, "Wouldn't it be nice to write? If only I had the perfect idea/a big chunk of time/a guarantee that the time investment would matter/enter various other excuse here."

If writing is something you're interested in doing, then do it. Even if you have just a hint of an idea and you're not really sure what's going to happen past the first paragraph. Even if you only have ten minutes. Even if you end up just writing about what you did that day.

When I'm asked what I do for a living, I'm shocked by how many people respond with, "Oh, I always wanted to write a book..." It happens all the time. It makes me sad.

I don't know what your specific road block is. Maybe it's the blank page staring at you, and you just don't know how to get started. Maybe you're afraid of people making fun of you, or of failing. Maybe, like me, the problem is time. If you're truly interested in writing, do what you can to pinpoint the obstacles, and then do what you can to destroy them. Or like in my case, where I don't really want to destroy my 2 kids, do what you can to creatively work around them.

Hopefully this helps.

Have a question? Email me.


  1. I hear the same thing! So many long to write, but so few do.

    Great advice! And I just joined GoodReads this week. (I know, I'm late to the party!)

  2. My problem is not knowing what to write about...

  3. I go through phases like that too, Emii. When I feel like writing but don't know what to talk about, I usually journal or something. Just to work my creative muscles.

    I just listened to a great class on Ideas and Inspiration. Maybe we'll cover that more on here too.