Buying new books to stave off writing ruts

I really believe writing is only difficult if you make it difficult. Sometimes you don’t want to write, but that doesn’t mean you hate it–it just means you have a momentary lack of passion. Life happens. A good rut-buster is to find some sources of spark to get your interest back in the right place.

As such, I bought a big book filled with writing quotes called Being a Writer by Travis Elborough and Helen Gordon.

Part of the synopsis reads:

“The joys and challenges of being a writer are explored in this inspiring assemblage of wit, wisdom and hard-won practical advice from some of the world’s greatest authors musing on the art of writing and how they came to define themselves as writers.”

It’s good. It has a lot of quotes from writers talking about writing and it has a lot of cool pictures to go along with the quotes. It can certainly serve as an entertaining collection for passing some time, and it can definitely help you see writing from different angles, which can help you fight a rut.

However, I often find that writer quotes can be unreliable as it concerns sound advice, because we all hold opinions that change across our lives. So do famous writers. I would also argue that because somebody is a famous author and they are saying something doesn’t really mean anything as far as one’s own writing process.

Nevertheless, it’s a fun book.

Additionally, I also dug out my copy of Elements of Style by Strunk and White; likewise, my copy of On Writing Well by William Zinsser.

Sometimes it feels good to seek out inspiration for those low times of productivity (the winter). If you are stuck in a rut, maybe buy a new book about writing, or grab one of the old ones from your shelf. You might find something useful.