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The Overwhelming Words

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What is this thing we call inspiration? What is it that puts these ideas in our heads? What is pushing our thoughts towards that goal, whatever the goal may be? It's funny how unquestioning the human race is of their own ideas. We just get them, then accept them. Clearly they come from somewhere. They don't just magically appear from somewhere in the ether. Something puts them there. They are influenced by our own experiences, what people have said to us, what we've seen, and what other people have seen. What are thoughts though? There's no way of knowing. All we can know is that sometimes they're there, and sometimes they're not. That's the biggest problem with thought. What do you do when they aren't there?

There is a term that all writers know, and even most other people have at least heard it. This is writer's block. If you've ever written anything, even if it was just a throw-away paper for your high school English class, you had it. If you try to say you've never been stuck while writing a piece, you're lying to yourself. Who are you kidding? Everybody has this problem. I'm not kidding here. Every single person that has ever picked up a pen or put their fingers on the keyboard has gotten stuck somewhere. This leads to the interesting conclusion that everyone is bad at writing. How can this be? There are so many amazing authors throughout history. Yes, but even they had trouble. I'm sure Shakespeare got stuck and had lots of trouble with at least one of his plays. No one is born a writer. No one automatically has that power. It's something that we discover about ourselves as we grow and change.

What do you do when you get stuck? Do you give up and throw away the story? Do you pack it up and look at it again in a year when you get a better idea? For some people, those are good options. Other people force themselves forward, driving on at an unreasonable pace, just to keep their heads above the water. They are determined to keep going, no matter what the cost. They will make themselves miserable just to complete a story. I've done this before. I was so upset that I was stuck and I just kept working. I kept writing. I never put my laptop away, and I was constantly typing, then deleting, typing then deleting it all again. I did this because I kept having an idea but then I would think that it might not work, and I didn't think I could face my writing if it wasn't one hundred percent perfect. I didn't want any mistakes. I wanted it to be better than anything I'd ever written before. Eventually, someone asked me why I was doing this to myself. They asked me why I felt like working myself to the point of exhaustion just for a few words on a page. I simply told them that I'm I writer. It's what I do. That's how I get my buzz. Because when you struggle, and you fight, at the end of it, if you come out on top it is the best feeling in the world. It is that feeling of nostalgia, looking back at the first words you wrote, and remembering the story that you planned and the story it actually became.

If everyone is bad at writing, why do we do it? Why do we sit down at our personal workspaces and decide to shut ourselves out of our own world for a while? What is the point? This just comes back to why I write. Yes, I understand that I've written about this before. However, this is slightly different. I have the pleasure, and the honor of counting myself amongst the ranks of writers that have come before me and will come after me. I know that I'm nothing special, and I haven't written anything great, but I will one day. I will get to that point, and I will shock the world. Anyway, the point of that was that this is not about me, even though I am included. This is a more general statement on why anyone writes at all. It's because it provides a release. It creates the perfect escape. It does something that nothing else can. A very smart person once told me that writing is about being in a meditative state. I understand that. I see how that works. When people write, there is usually a smile on their face, even if they're writing a tragedy. It gives a sense of accomplishment. It is the embodiment of setting goals and achieving them.

Writing is an experience unlike any other. It is more rewarding and more punishing than any strenuous physical activity. It gives a feeling of incredible joy and it can also break your soul until you are on your knees, crying. There is too much in writing to try to explain it all. It's simply a feeling that you know if you write. There are no words in the English language that come quite close enough to make sense of the overwhelming power and awesomeness of writing. It's just something that you have to find in yourself some time in your life.



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