Writing: From Nothing to Something

Updated on November 13, 2019
lynnes75 profile image

I have been writing poems and short stories for years, some of which I have published independantly. I also blog. Writing is a loved hobby.

"Either write something worth reading or do something worth writing."

--Benjamin Franklin

A Blank Page

Have you ever had the much-dreaded writer's block?

Well, that is a silly question. Of course you have. In the words of Oxford, writer's block is "the condition of being unable to think of what to write or how to proceed with writing." It happens to the best of us. There are moments when we all have a blank page before us.

Am I going to write extensively on how to overcome writer's block? No, for two reasons:

1) There are already lots of tips from so many esteemed writers out there writing on this very topic. Check out the ones from Reader's Digest, for example.

2) I am such an inadequate writer to be giving other writers tips on this very subject. But, I do try my best, just so I don't bring my own self-confidence down. However, experiences vary, and each point of view matters, I believe. Which is the reason for this very article.

You make something out of nothing.

Fill It Up!

What do you do when you have writer's block?

If you're like yours truly, there are only two options to deal with it :

1) Take a break from writing.
Perhaps the block is a sign that you need to take things easy for a while, to stop writing and just focus on other things. Like, gardening, or carpentering. Get a new hobby, such as doing arts and crafts. Paint your room, or redecorate your room. The things we can do aside from writing are many.

It could be that when you do other things, you will then get new inspirations on what to write about.

The downside (if it is even one) with this option is, you never know when new ideas might come, or if they even will come. It could take as short a time as days, to even years.

There was a time when I went through a few years without writing. Sure I was busy then with other things, but part of the reasons was also because I absolutely had no inspirations. My pen was dry, and my pages were barren.

But when things start to look up in other areas of your life, then you might get the inspirations you need to start writing again. That was what happened to me. What drama? The Sun is more of a motivation, in my opinion, to give that much-needed jolt of electricity to get the brain working again.

So, take a break, give the brain a chance to travel and find itself again, and see how the ideas flow again.

2) You create something out of nothing.

Why DID The Chicken Do That?

The famous question remains ever popular, "Why did the chicken cross the road?"

The answers remain equally popular and vary, ever creatively given. Yet, the keyword yours truly would point out here is, "creatively".

How is this relevant for this particular article on 'writing'?

Once when I had a dry spell, writing-wise, I was just shooting the breeze so to speak and not being particularly industrious in looking for new ideas. I figured, the idea will come when it does. However, as time went by, I grew rather restless and frustrated with the lack of inspiration.

Then one day, while taking a walk with my niece, just hanging around and spending time with her, she suddenly asked playfully, "Why did the chicken cross the road?" There was no chicken in sight at the time, so that came out of the blue.

No doubt my niece already had a cheeky answer on standby in case I botched the playful moment, but then my cheeky side came out and I replied with something like, "Well, you see, my dear, one day, father rooster woke up on the wrong side of the bed and....", and off I went on a long-winded but rather entertaining 'made-up-on-the'spot' tall tales about said rooster and his family of sassy chicken.

If the peels of laughter which came out of my niece were any indication, I think I did rather well with the impromptu story-telling. And imagine that, it all came out of a chicken, no eggs in sight.

I never did find out what her answer to the question would have been.

My point being, you can make something out of nothing. Let me explain further. I had literally nothing, no idea on what to write about, but then out of the blue, my niece gave me the jump-start to get my creative juice flowing again. With the story of the chicken, suddenly my will and inspirations came alive, and in the following weeks after that day, I managed to write two short stories and several blogs which I published on my site.

Creativity matters, and you just have to catch that very moment when your brain 'clicked' and is raring to get going. Let it happen.

"Ideas are like rabbits. You get a couple and learn how to handle them, and pretty soon you have a dozen."

— ― John Steinbeck

Your Something Is Everything

In conclusion, I find that when it comes to writing, you can make a lot of something out of nothing.

The thing with writing is, it is hard to do when you consider yourself a writer, but it is only because you care. Writing matters to you. You think you have nothing sometimes, but it's actually just a 'time-out', perhaps one which you really need. It doesn't take much to get the idea anew; you just need to think, create, write. Pluck your chicken out of the air, and write on it. I did. It turned out great, even if I do say so myself.

It was something, alright.

"Don't bend; don't water it down; don't try to make it logical; don't edit your own soul according to the fashion. Rather, follow your most intense obsessions mercilessly."

— Franz Kafka


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    • lynnes75 profile imageAUTHOR

      Lynne Samuel 

      9 months ago from Malaysia

      Indeed, Devika. It is one's choice to step away for a breather, or plod on in determination. I think either is okay. Thanks!

    • profile image

      Devika Primic 

      10 months ago

      One does have those days of not writing or have nothing to put down on paper. It is however, a time that many writers pass before they get down to writing something of value to readers.

    • lynnes75 profile imageAUTHOR

      Lynne Samuel 

      10 months ago from Malaysia

      It is amazing that you never suffer from the dreaded writer's block, manatita. Truly love of the art is very inspiring. I wish you the best and may you never run out of things to write.

    • manatita44 profile image


      10 months ago from london

      I rather like Franz Kafta's advice. If one is passionate enough about writing, then it will come.

      Writers block? I hear of this all the time.

      I never feel this. Love is my muse and Supreme Artiste and from Her eloquence, everything comes. I'm sure you would be fine.

    • lynnes75 profile imageAUTHOR

      Lynne Samuel 

      10 months ago from Malaysia

      So true, Denise. I didn't know my entertaining her then would help overcome my writer's block, but it did! That is exactly the key, thanks for pointing it out. Be blessed.

    • lynnes75 profile imageAUTHOR

      Lynne Samuel 

      10 months ago from Malaysia

      Exactly, charity. When the mind is relaxed, it is receptable to more new ideas.

      Thank you, friend.

    • lynnes75 profile imageAUTHOR

      Lynne Samuel 

      10 months ago from Malaysia

      Thank you, John. I always appreciate your comment, always thought out. I'm glad you took the time to read my post.

    • PAINTDRIPS profile image

      Denise McGill 

      10 months ago from Fresno CA

      What a great story you must have told your niece to make her laugh. Maybe that's the key. You wanted to make her smile and in doing so your creativity jumped into overdrive. Good advice even if you didn't want to give advice.



    • charity mtisi profile image

      charity mtisi 

      10 months ago from Johannesburg

      I can relate to that......And when the spell is dry there isn't really much to do except wait for inspiration to kick! Thanks for the pointers, getting busy is a sure way to relax the mind.

    • Jodah profile image

      John Hansen 

      10 months ago from Queensland Australia

      This was a very enjoyable article, Lynne, and I can relate. I do have periods of writer.s block, or at least times I want to write something other than poetry and for me that doesn’t come easily. A good way, is what you have done, and actually write about how you personally deal with the lack of inspiration, another is by accepting challenges or prompts given by others. Good job on this.


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