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Scott Lax Blog

Let's Say You Don't Know What To Write

Let's say you sit in front of your laptop day after day and can't seem to find the words for a story. If so, I have a suggestion.

We're carbon-based life forms. So are pens and pencils and papers. If you need to connect, or reconnect to the act of writing, pick up a pen or pencil and write something in a notebook or on a scrap of paper or stationary or something.

As writers - if we are physically able - we need to connect our bodies to the page on occasion. There's something special about the act of writing. Your brain fires up an idea. It travels through you. It comes out of your hand and into your pen and onto the paper. It's physical. It's what our ancestors did.

Computers are wonderful; they've changed the world. But don't lose sight - or feel - of what it means to write. To really write. If you haven't done it in a while, see how it feels. See what comes out of you. See how it looks on the page, how personal, how unique, how non-crashable and unhackable it is. It's not logged permanently in a cloud of ether. It's for you, or someone special, or posterity. You can even tear it up and make it go away if you decide you don't like it anymore.

I write in a notebook. Though I write fiction and nonfiction and blogs and emails on a computer, and am grateful to be able to do as much, I connect - every day - to pen and paper. For me, it's as important as connecting to nature. My primary exercise is walking, and a large part of that is connecting to the sky, the air, the sun, the movement of the trees, the sound of the birds. it's a part of my day that connects me physically to life; so is writing - pen to paper.  Read More