What is the cure for lack of inspiration?

I don’t know why, but for the past 24 hours or so I’ve been gripped by the worst case of writer’s block I’ve ever experienced. Ever. Maybe it’s my current work: I have in front of me a deadline project that I find so difficult and uninspiring, I’m practically at wit’s end. For the first time, I may have to call a client and tell them I just can’t do it. (I suspect that won’t happen; knowing me, I’ll probably find enough to work with come the 11th hour, and I’ll pound something out minutes before the deadline — 24 hours from now.)

I mean, how can I write thrilling copy about a photography business? The one thing that speaks to the reader are the photographs, not copy that describes the photographs. Pure torture.

There is so much to blog about — the new bad news about Abu Ghraib and the charge that the military’s covering it up, the audacity of Tom Ridge raising the threat level to orange based on evidence that’s 4 years old, the forgotten war in Iraq, complaints that Chen is provoking war with China…. But all I can think about is this brochure and how I can possibly fill up four pages with copy about how great a photographer is.

Work brain, work. You’ve had more difficult assignments in your life. You can do it….

The Discussion: 3 Comments

Take something similar that you like and wish you’d written yourself, familiarize yourself with it enough that you internalize its structure, then copy out the first sentence (or the first 2 or 3 sentences) word for word, and then try to continue on your own.
Then after you’ve written this derivative work, go back and rewrite the whole thing once or twice, especially the first sentences, to make it truly your own work.

Always worked for me…

August 3, 2004 @ 6:37 pm | Comment

Ever read Robert Pirsig’s Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance? There’s a section in there about “stuckness.” Very good reading. Might not unstick you, but good reading all the same.


August 3, 2004 @ 9:29 pm | Comment

Kevin, thanks for the tip — I’ll definitely check it out.

Boo, what you recommend is basically what I did — I fianlly broke through and it all fell into place. Thanks for sharing.

August 4, 2004 @ 8:22 pm | Comment

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