Aspiring Novelist Sits on Rock Where Bronte Sisters Reputedly Sat
© B. Anthony Stewart

I wonder: If I cry out “Brontë! Brontë! Brontë!” will I manage to summon one of those literary sisters from the grave to help me banish the writing demons Doubt, Procrastination, Fear and Time Waster from my brain where they, and all their evil friends, seem to have taken residence?

The call to write has grown in strength. And… I write, but I don’t particularly know what to do with it other than my typical scribbling here and there and in that journal or on that receipt or napkin. I have no direction. I have no grand inspiration. Simply put...

"I write because I cannot NOT write." ~Charlotte Brontë

I don’t know if anything I write actually has readability. More importantly, were I to successfully banish my writing demons and produce a more substantial piece(s) of work; do I possess the creativity to capture the attention of more than the obligatory family readings? That question is rhetorical, by the way.

I stopped for a while. Writing, that is. Reading, too, if you must know. I wanted to do both but somehow (Not completely unexplainably... It would take a novel... Bloody irony.) those activities came to a screeching halt. Now they are back with a vengeance and, in all honesty, as a working single mother, I worry. I have a highly addictive personality. I know this. Can I possibly afford to be consumed right now? Can I afford not to be?

"You can write nothing of value unless you give yourself wholly to the theme -- and when you so give yourself -- you lose appetite and sleep -- it cannot be helped --" ~Charlotte Brontë


  1. Well you know my vote...WRITE, WRITE, WRITE...something, anything resembling a story. I know you've got the writing chops, just remind yourself as you sit down to write, that no one has to see it before you're ready to share it.

    I'm getting back to it again I pray we both find some inspiration.


  2. I was very interested in this, Beth. I talk to myself in similar ways.

    Do you want to be a professional writer? To be the slave of the market, so as to make enough money to justify your labours, eventually?

    Or do you write to satisfy the inner urge? From what you say, it's the latter. If so, the question of readability is only part of it. (Readability has many aspects, but let's pass on that for the moment.) More important is being true to that call within you. It calls: what exactly does it say? Find out. Not necessarily by just writing, as Lisa suggests. If you write something or anything, and it doesn't feel good, doesn't catch fire in your imagination, then you are not being faithful to the call. Trial and error - thinking, agonizing, writing - will aid the task of establishing your true voice.

    I've had a thought for a long time, but dared not mention it to you. I've felt that the format of your blog - in which you must always frame what you say with quotations from other authors - actually diminishes your own voice: its delicacy, its strength, its content.

    The beauty of a blog for a practising writer is that you are always, each day, submitting your work to a publisher, always getting published, always exposing your writing to the entire world. It's not so much the feedback that you get in the form of comments, but the delivery of your soul (selected parts of it) to an audience, that supplies the discipline and self-criticism.

    I think you should be kind to yourself and see that the lack of direction and grand inspiration is an indication to seek diligently for your true voice. When you find that the task becomes more and more effortless. The effort in fact is to compare what you have produced with what you intended to produce and edit till they are the same. At any rate that's how it is for me.

    I'm so glad you're deciding to do something solid with your manifest writing talent.

  3. Thanks, Lis!

    Vincent, I see clearly your point about the use of the quotes of others; but, the format was set in the beginning and I run with it. Thank you for being an encouragement.


"Stranger, if you passing meet me and desire to speak to me, why should you not speak to me? And why should I not speak to you?" ~Walt Whitman


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