Do you ever run out of things to write about?
Q&A With Shay Each Sunday
Last Sunday, a friend asked if I ever run out of things to write about. Another friend then said, “That can be your question for next week. The post will say: Thanks to questions like these, no I don't. End post.”
Now, I won’t leave you quite so abruptly. They probably didn't think I’d actually use this as my post this week either, but it got me thinking about running out of things to write about, which of course isn’t possible, even if the same stories and topics get told many times in different ways.
Q: Do you ever run out of things to write about?
A: In my blog posts, sometimes I feel like I’m scrambling for questions that people will find relevant to my life as a writer. I could post tons of questions that have nothing at all to do with writing (which I sometimes do) but I like to link my Q&A to writing somehow. It’s not even that I run out of things to write, but sometimes my posts just don't feel or seem interesting. This is one of my struggles in life though, especially being extremely shy, is the constant battle against feeling irrelevant. I typically decide for other people whether what I have to say will be interesting or not, and I have been told: Let them decide. So, that’s what I am attempting with these posts. I know not everyone will connect or find them worthwhile, but that’s okay. We’re all different. So, no, there’s not a shortage of things to write about, but I like some topics much more than others. There have been a few of my posts where I’ve been like: meh.
Now, when it comes to fiction writing. I NEVER RUN OUT. I think of ideas for stories or books or poems, even personal essays ALL THE TIME. That doesn't mean I write a lot of them, but oh the ideas are there. I had a teacher in my MFA who had a running joke where any time someone brought up a certain topic she’d go, “Oh, I have a book about that.” (The book was in her head.) That’s what writing and creativity is, an abundance of ideas and we simply can’t get to them all. I can talk more about writer’s block in a later post, but I don't so much believe in writer’s block as much as I do in project block. Sometimes I’ll be working on a book or story and feel completely stuck, but that doesn't mean I don't have a ton more things I could write about. Some stories are more suited for certain people to tell than others, even if we think of a bunch. And most themes are recycled in different ways, which is amazing. There are so many different ways to tell essentially the same story and they resonate differently with everyone. This is just one of the reasons I love writing.
So, thanks to those friends for the question about running out of things to write about—that’s simply not possible! Which is why I hope you’ll keep joining me on Sundays. Until next week!