Productive Writing

There’s not been much happening lately. There has been a bit of a gap since my last post as I have decided that if I have nothing particular to say, I should not post just for the sake of it, even though my original intention was to try and post every other day.

I have almost, and will certainly do so today, completed ‘The Guermantes Way’ by Proust and will be able to start on ‘Sodom and Gomorrah’. The more I read ‘In Search of Lost Time’ the more I like it.

I have done little serious writing for a while now, having mostly been just free writing and journaling daily, but yesterday for some reason I just sat and started writing. Before I knew it I had written about 1,200 (useful) words pretty much straight off. I think a contributing factor was a single idea that just excited my creative imagination and allowed the juices to flow. It seems that often a productive spell of writing can be sparked off by a single discrete thought, phrase or even a word. It is just finding that, nugget, that gem, that tantalising hint that can inspire one to create.

11 thoughts on “Productive Writing

  1. And you are right. Sometimes a single word will do it. My last poem – 8 months ago now, alas – all started from the word “flattery” and then it just happened. I find it mysterious – and irritating in that I can’t control it. I always thought that a “real writer” would have control, but I suppose there are different sorts of control.
    I wanted to recommend Flannery O’Connor to you, if you are looking for yet another author to add to your no doubt incredibly long list. Good American writing, in my opinion, nearly did not exist in the first half of the 20th century (but I have not read F. Scott Fitzgerald yet). I think Flannery O’Connor was the first good American writer in a long long time. If you do try her, start with the novel Wise Blood or the story A Good Man Is Hard to Find.


    • I have never read any Flannery O’Connor, but I seem to remember that she was an influence on John Kennedy Toole who wrote ‘A Confederacy of Dunces’, which I have read. I will have to check some out. I have also read some F. Scott Fitzgerald which is definitely worth a look. Thank you for the suggestions.


  2. A Confederacy of Dunces has been highly recommended to me so it is on my list already. And I bought everything Fitzgerald did just on general principle. But I do admit to disliking very much Hemingway and Faulkner and to a lesser extent Steinbeck (he did write some books I found compelling).


    • It’s one of my standard techniques.

      Take a blank sheet – and write – ‘This is a blank sheet’ on the top of it – and it is no longer a blank sheet.

      Sometimes you have to help your mind get going.


  3. I woke up in the middle of the night with an idea for a children’s book. I don’t know where that came from as I don’t even have children and have no interest in writing books for kids. What is that all about?!


  4. That’s pretty much how I function too. Often just a phrase that pops into my head while I’m brushing my teeth, or a vivid image. Write down that first phrase, and often you don’t stop for thousands of words.


  5. Yep, that “gem” makes writing effortless, as if the words have a life of their own, as if they have been there all along, right under your fingertips. Thanks for visiting my blog, Julian! :


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