Writers Write — Gore Vidal & Other Thoughts on Writing..

“That famous writer’s block is a myth as far as I’m concerned. I think bad writers must have a great difficulty writing. They don’t want to do it. They have become writers out of reasons of ambition. It must be a great strain to them to make marks on a page when they really have nothing much to say, and don’t enjoy doing it. I’m not so sure what I have to say but I certainly enjoy making sentences.”

— Gore Vidal

I agree with GV wholeheartedly on this. Me.. I’m not much of a dancer, I don’t find any particular joy in it unless I’m good and hammered drunk.  I have no desire to stop my day and break into dance, not even if someone offered to pay me to do it.

But writing? For a writer, time spent having to eat or sleep is time lost that could have been spent writing. Seriously.  I’ve gotten an urge to write at 10pm and written straight through the night until the dawn.  I’ve pulled over my car in the rain and grabbed whatever paper was in the car to write in the rain for an hour because it’s like a need for air to breathe that cannot be postponed.

Some writers may write sporadically.  Some write slowly, but consistently.  But over the long run, their desire is always to find more time to write.  It may be the short story, poems, a screenplay, the novel, articles, blogging.. but one thing a writer cannot fathom is to stop writing any more than a Mother could consider leaving it’s children abandoned to die.  To even think such a thing, for a writer, to never write again is anathema.  He would consider no more than a person to rip out their own tongue or eyes.  Even if he finds himself satisfied with some piece of work he creates and it receives glowing reviews.. immediately a hunger festers within him to create something even better.

It has been said so often, “The writer’s life is the most loneliest of occupations.”  During the time of actually writing, I’d agree.  But during the time spent researching and ‘living’ experiences from which to glean for future, unknown projects.. it is a catalyst that can send the aspiring writer to places and people he might not otherwise think to go or meet.  But when it comes time to sit down and do the actual task.. there is no room for distracting conversation.  Each writer has his own criteria for the environment he can best produce his work in.. but focus is predominantly key.  Many a wife or girlfriend has found herself looking on from a distance as the writer’s widow for the afternoon, weekend or late nights, knowing that even the most loving intention to bring food or conversation would only result in a disruption of that personal process the writer is wholeheartedly engaged upon.  And no sleep ever felt so good as that which follows hours of penning some new character or world as it was first imagined.. now upon paper or electronic bits for the reader to now interact with and experience for themselves.

As to motive.. what writer would ever refuse to earn money from his creations?  However, money is not the drive for a real writer.  He will write that novel even if he alone is the only one who reads it.  He gives it birth because it wells up within him.  If there be any two great enemies to creativity I believe it is resting upon former achievements or large pre-payments on future works.  Take the money, but do not spend it for with each dime you sell your soul to ‘produce’ rather than to ‘create’.  Set it aside as your reward for later.  But never let money be your inspiration or you will have ceased to be a writer and fallen to the level of a common whore.  Inspiration comes from within.. not from a dollar put on a table whereupon a voice then says, “Now.. dance for me you typing monkey.”   No, take the money.. yes, but set it aside and CREATE at your own pace for your own reasons and if that not be satisfactory to your sponsor then toss his money back at him and tell him to, “Fuck off.”  Your innate desire to write is a gift given you from your very first sleep in the womb.  Keep it pure, groom it and protect it.  But never let someone think they can own your talent on command.

The only real problem for a writer is either the requirements or distractions of this life intruding upon writing time. But even the distractions taken for pleasure.. to go somewhere you’ve never been, talk to people most people would avoid, put yourself in not so wise places.. even the time spent in these experiences give you the sights, sounds, smells and soul of life that you later bring with you to the solace of your craft when you sit down to do that which you love.

To summarize, “writer’s block” is for pussies. There is always something, real or imagined worth creating for the pleasure and disrupting of the reader’s mind.

My desire is that each person, whatever their innate talent may be, finds a life satisfactory where they can give to others via their natural talents.. doing what they do best. For some, perhaps writing. For others, perhaps music, painting, photography, science, medical knowledge, charity, kindness, love, parenting.. whatever your talent is, don’t waste it. It’s the very air you need to breathe and thrive as you were meant to.

— Henry Velez


Author: Henry Velez

Henry Velez is a writer, traveler and vlogger currently living in the Philippines. He has written extensively on social issues, relationships and travel.

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