Thursday, October 28th, 2021

P Shopper Columns


A truth commonly accepted by writers is that you can't wait for inspiration to come. You must, as said by novelist Jack London, "go after it with a club." When a writer can't think of anything to write about, it can be tempting to say, "I'll try again tomorrow." But if writers gave up whenever they felt daunted by a blinking cursor or a blank page, they'd spend considerably more time waiting than they would writing. The alternative is to write anyway, to force oneself to put words on the page. This doesn't always result in quality work. So what makes poor writing better than no writing? Why should writers write when it's hard, instead of waiting for when it's easy?

The goal is not
to get it all perfect right away-
it's to keep moving.

There has to be a building block. Writing only in perfect circumstances is like building a house but refusing to use bricks because you'd rather use bars of gold. The average person does not find it easy to exercise, yet they push themselves to do so because of what they get in return. And the more often they do exercise- the more used to exercise their body becomes- the easier it becomes. Writing when it is hard to write makes it easier to write the next time and the next. It becomes a habit.

Those dedicated to their craft learn to push through writer's block, laziness, or outside distractions and write anyway. By doing this they find it is still possible to put words on the page. The goal is not to get it all perfect right away- it's to keep moving. Not to wait, but to work. To go forward so it's possible to come back and renovate, instead of having nothing to build on at all. Whether it's a hobby you want to start, a project you need to finish, or a change that needs to be made, waiting for inspiration could be the dirt on the coffin of that goal. The most difficult things are often the most worthwhile; don't let difficulty be the death of your goals. Grab your club, your bricks, and whatever else you need to excel, not only when it's easy, but even when obstacles are standing in the way.

Breonna Loxley is an animal care technician at an animal shelter. She is an avid artist, writer, and animal-lover. She lives with her parents, a younger brother, two cats, and one dog.