Fellow Writers: Feeling Stuck, Out of Ideas, Unproductive? Try This! by Nancy Dafoe
I’m a writer, but sometimes I feel at a loss for ideas. To lift the malaise? Read. Read history, poetry, novels in any sub-genre. When you are reading, new ideas or concepts will arise to counter or consider what you are reading. It sounds so obvious, but I’m always surprised to find other writers, particularly young writers who tell me they don’t read. They like to be “original.” They are afraid that reading someone else’s work will influence them, as if that is a negative.
In the words of the great American writer T.S. Eliot in his essay, “Tradition and the Individual Talent”: “No poet, no artist of any art, has his complete meaning alone. His significance, his appreciation is the appreciation of his relation to the dead poets and artists.”