Tuesday, May 7, 2013

My Writing is Starving

By Laurie Epps

When we don't know what we're going to talk about, it's important to get back to basics. Don't stare at a blank screen. Instead, actively think about what we all need every day. We all need to breathe, eat, and be loved. Our experiences bring a unique array of senses, and as writers it's our job to bring forth those moments. If we get back to the basics, we will become the writers we are meant to be.

I've been dieting since I was 14-years-old. I've been on almost every type of diet there is, but I still have an innate need to be filled with something. Something beyond food. Emptiness of the soul is why I'm a Christian, but those blank moments in conversation are why I am a writer. I crave to fill those silent, and awkward gaps with words.

As my followers can tell you, I have been journaling since I was nine-years-old. I found that sometimes my writing lacked the pizzazz I wanted. The trouble I found was that I'd stare at a blank screen without writing anything. I didn't know how to get past it, especially when my separation from my husband was fresh. All of a sudden, I was a solo act, and people were asking me personal questions. "What kind of music do you like? Do you like to go to movies? What do you want for Christmas?" All of these questions had the same empty answer. I just didn't know. 

However, after all my years of dieting, I could always tell you exactly what I wanted to eat. After being on the Zone, Adkins, the Hollywood Diet, the South Beach diet, Slim-Fast, Weight Watchers, and just plain starving myself, I could tell you exactly what I wanted to eat. I had been starving for so long to taste something, and to tantalize my senses was at the forefront of my mind. 

The senses. That can be our most powerful tool as writers. Think about your favorite meal, and explain it. If you're a dieter, make it, savor it, tell us about it in detail. What did the steam feel like on your face when you made it? What did it smell like? What does it taste like? Keep going. We want to hear about it. Tell your readers everything you can about those moments.

The best example I can think of is from the book Eat Pray Love. Watch the following clip, and see if you can tell what I am talking about.

So don't feel guilty. Boldly live life and enjoy yourself. Now it's your turn, tell us all about a favorite meal, or the way the sun shone in your child's hair, anytime you've described any of the five senses. How did it taste, feel, look, or sound? We want to hear all about it. Join the conversation. The Write Conversation.

Laurie Epps is a non-fiction author, essayist, editor, and poet living in Anderson, South Carolina. A seeker of beauty, her is dream is to travel the world one day and tell their many stories. To read more of Laurie's stories visit her Monday Morning Book Club column dedicated to writers everywhere, or her Thoughtful Thursday column dedicated to the art of Poetry at: http://1writerlaurieepps.blogspot.com


  1. Love this post. So totally understand the guilt. But right now I'm using Sensa and it's working. Lost 4 pounds in 3 weeks. I'll take that. Plan on doing a blog post about it tomorrow. ptbradley.com/blog...

  2. That's great Patricia. I have lost 42 pounds, and it didn't come off till I stopped dieting. People are starting to notice, and asked for my secret. So I simply tell them, "Stress and a divorce, I don't recommend it." Thanks for stopping by, and I look forward to reading your blog!
    Laurie Epps

  3. I'm with you, Laurie. I gave up with dieting - I eat reasonably and pay careful attention to portion control. If I want to blow it for a meal, I do. No guilt and no stress. I'm convinced those two things cause weight gain!

    I walk my greyhound every day but I never saw any results. Once I started the portion control, the two things together helped me lose 12 lbs in 4 months. Hurray! I think I'm on to something!