they say a picture is worth a thousand words.
i don’t know who they are, and i don’t care for the cliché this phrase has become, but it does bring up an interesting discussion.
there are times when the words run dry in the well of writing and my ability to produce anything worth reading turns into a barren, desert wasteland. and i wonder when it’ll end, when i’ll be able to write again.
i’ve written two novels, and this feeling has come after both of them, stolen over me like darkness claiming the land for its own for the duration of a night. i can’t write fiction. i suppose it might best be termed literary paralysis. ideas may come, but the words won’t. and persuading them is useless, because you can’t persuade something you can’t find.
i’ve already recommended that instead of forcing the writing, you do something else, and i suppose that’s what i’m advocating here also. that sometimes, you admit that whatever strategy you’re using now isn’t working, take a step back, reevaluate, and formulate and implement a new one.
i usually post my pictures for project 52 on sundays, and they’re usually wordless. words aren’t needed. what could i possibly add to the thousand that are there? perhaps there are less if it’s visually simplistic; more if it’s visually complex. but why force words that are unnecessary?
there are times when you might try to describe the beauty of a flower and come up short. the words won’t come. in that moment, take the picture. let the words be read in the contours of the petals, in the slender elegance of the stem, in the vividness of its color. let it soak over you, drowning you, resurrecting you, as a baptism in beauty, and when you arise from the water, look at it again with the new eyes beauty gives you.
i imagine then you’ll know how to read the words the flower writes, and they will come of themselves, so quickly your mind will spin and rattle and flip like space mountain, mission 2.
it is there, in that moment, that you will learn to write your own thousand words.