Posts tagged ‘writer’s block’

January 29, 2014

Michelangelo and an Analogy for Writing

by limebirdvanessa

Michelangelo said “Every block of stone has a statue inside it and it is the task of the sculptor to discover it.”

Michelangelo, David

I think this is a wonderful analogy for writing. Often when we think about writing, we know that the ideas, the motivation, and the ability are all inside us and yet we can’t quite get to them. How did Michelangelo discover a statue inside a stone? He didn’t sit and wait for it to emerge, he got on with removing all the bits he didn’t want until he was left with what he did want. Can you see where I’m going here? Maybe in order to get to what we want, we should turn our attention to what we don’t want, and work on getting rid of that.

How would this work in practice? I’m going to talk through one of my writing projects, and we’ll see what happens…

I have written the first draft of a short story. I know it’s a good story, I have no doubts about the story, but I also know that it’s not written well at all. It’s based on a true experience from my childhood with my grandmother. It wasn’t a big life-changing experience, but I’ve had it in my mind for years as being something that would make a great story if it was turned into a piece of fiction. I finally got around to writing it about eight months ago. Since that first draft, and despite receiving some really helpful feedback on it, I have been unable to touch it again. I’ve looked at it. Several times. I’ve wanted to redraft it, but I find myself completely stuck. If this story is my stone, how do I get to the statue inside? What don’t I want that I should aim to get rid of?

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