Tuesday, August 9, 2011

When the Words Won't Come

There is a prompt I saw on Poets and Writers which suggests that a writer type up a story from an admired author, carry it with them, and read it over the course of a week.  It feels so freeing and easy to type up something that was already written, to feel as if they are almost your own words as you are typing them, and to really enjoy and savor the lines when you read it again and again.

I noticed how much I skim and scan while I read, hardly reading the same book, poem, or story twice.  This exercise brings relief and allows me to soak in the words as if in a bath, admire them like a fascinating museum painting or a symphony, not rushing away so quickly.  With each reading I gain a new perspective; I observe something I didn't see before in my chosen piece of writing. 

When I begin to write again, I don't do so by merely copying what I read as if I don't trust myself to write something from my own self.  Reading others' work carefully and with appreciation for each detail and image sets the mood for my own honest writing that comes from the truest part of me. 


  1. I observe something I didn't see before in my chosen piece of writing.
    It's so exciting when this happens!

  2. This seems like wonderful exercise. I don't think I've done it with a written story before, but I do find myself noticing new things about my favourite stories simply because I think about them often. I absolutely love when you can think about one story for hours and still find new things!

  3. This is so true !
    I, as well, find myself doing that a lot every time I read a story. I love learning things that I didn't know before, it feels like more doors are opening. ♥

  4. I think I am forever thankful and indebted to wonderful writers. Because they give so much inspirations and hope that maybe, I can write as beautiful as them. But in fact, can not.
    I can relate with the first paragraph <3

  5. Sounds like a good idea. For me though, it's poetry. :) Need to try it and see how my experience evolves! Thank you!

    Nice photo by the way. I fold cranes a lot as I'm an origami enthusiast (I do other models too). :)

  6. This is a great suggestion. I like the idea of soaking in a piece like one soaks in a bath :)

  7. Sometimes when I read something amazing for the first time I just gobble it up (both poetry and stories). Often I make myself read it slower and several times; I never regret taking the time to do that. It is like bathing! Soaking in a long, luxurious bath.
    That's a good idea for an exercise. Nothing inspires me as much as the writings of others. :)

  8. I remember when I was younger I would copy down things I wanted to learn word for word. It forced me to pay attention to the words and meaning vs skimming it like I am inclined to do.

    God Bless you!