How many times, as a writer, you've thought to youself, I don't know what to write. We've all been there. I've heard writers say, "I never have to look for stories. They are all around me." Others have agonized for weeks or longer due to lack of inspiration.
So why is it that some writers can write a riveting story about the earthworm they encountered on their walk, while others make majestic mountains and deep, lush valleys sound mundane? I wish I knew. I want to be one of those writers who can make the earthworm a work of wonder for my readers.
During my writing journey, I've written everything from humorous to the dark exploration of the human psyche, with a few stories that are undefinable on the side. With fiction, all I have to worry about is telling a good tale, fleshing it out with a sense of place and "showing" my readers what's happening at any given time. I have to get and keep the readers attention and give them a sense of satisfaction when they're finished. To me, this is fairly easy. I can make up anything.
With non-fiction, I have a little more trouble. Ideas flow like a babbling brook chasing rainbows downstream. I'm filled to overflowing with ideas. But--can I paint a picture filled with verdant green hills echoing with mockingbird songs that will satisfy my reader and make them want to visit that place? Can I describe the day I drove down a country road and saw a man sitting on his front porch, fiddle under his chin? Is it possible for me to explain the deep abiding peace I felt as I pulled to the side of the road to listen to the hauntingly beautiful strains of music that flowed over the valleys and touched the treetops with an elegance not found in Carnegie Hall?
These are my sometimes writing blocks--the fear of being unable to show how much that fiddle player on a back road in Arkansas affected me. Can I loosen up enough to put my innermost thoughts down for all to see--how tears flowed down my face as I listened to that untrained fiddle player make the sweetest music I've ever heard? Can I convey to my reader the mirable and wonder of that lowly earthworm?
As a writer, I must try. There are days I fail miserably, but other days, the words flow freely and I know, as surely as a butterfly emerges from a coccon, that my words will surely touch someone, somewhere.
And, as a writer, this is all I can strive for.