Authors & Speakers Network Blog with Larry James

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Like Skipping Stones Across the Water…

Filed under: Author Tips,Writers Block — Larry James @ 7:00 am

When you write, don’t wait for the right words to come. Don’t wait for inspiration. When you sit down to write don’t procrastinate. Just write. You can always edit later.

Stone skipping is a pastime which involves throwing a stone with a flattened surface across a lake or other body of water in such a way that it bounces off the surface of the water. The object of the game is to see how many times a stone can be made to bounce before sinking. Spin, speed, shape and angle are the crucial factors, with angle being the most important.

skippingstoneWhen I write I have a specific angle. I imagine that I am skipping a stone across the water. I imagine that some new thought or idea pops into my head at each skip. When the stone slowly sinks to the bottom of the pond, it becomes time to collectively focus all those relevant thoughts and spend some time putting them into words on paper. The rich entanglement of random words that comes to me are usually many of the right words that I will later edit into the right form.

Obviously thoughts and words rarely come as fast as skipping a stone across the water, however I find that I get more when I expect more. Some ideas stick and others are edited out. Some I file away for use at another time. At least I am looking for thoughts and words to write about rather than sitting there bogged down in what some call “writer’s block.”

Deepak Chopra once said, “God speaks to us in the space between our thoughts.” When I write it feels like a spiritual experience. It’s like a higher power is actively sending me the right words to write.

When you are looking to buy a house, you will notice for sale signs everywhere. If you are not in the market for a home, you seldom notice the for sale signs.

The same is true for writing. When you are actively seeking the next thought or word to add to your writings, the appropriate thoughts and words will come. If, on the other hand, you are concerned as to whether they will come, your mind is so focused on that that what you were thinking becomes your reality.

“Writing begins with language, and it is in that initial choosing, as one sifts through the wayward lushness of our wonderful mongrel English, that choice of vocabulary and grammar and tone, the selection on the palette, that determines who’s sitting at that desk. Language creates the writer’s attitude toward the particular story he’s decided to tell.” ~ Donald E. Westlake

You don’t need special talent to become a good writer. However, you must have discipline, persistence and patience and be slightly creative. You can’t force yourself to have ideas but you must be open to them. Make sure you have a dictionary and thesaurus available whenever you are writing. Join a writers’ group so you can gain support from the writing community and enjoy comradery in your craft. In Scottsdale, AZ, where I live, one group I recommend is the Scottsdale Society of Women Writers hosted by my friend, Patricia L. Brooks, President/Founder.

throw_away_paperHow do you decide which form or genre is right for you? Write about what you want to learn more about. I now have four blogs and a Website to go with each blog. I have a passionate interest in the topic of each blog. One for personal relationships, one for those interested in Weddings (brides & grooms & wedding vendors), a Business Networking blog and a blog for Authors and Speakers. Something NEW is posted on each blog every 4th day.

Website: http://www.TenCommitmentsofNetworking

I gather material constantly. I believe if you want to be a writer, you have to write something every day. I have files with little tidbits of information and ideas in my computer that I wrote 5 to 10 years ago but never finished. When I need ideas I often reopen those files to see if any fresh ideas come to me. It has become a great piggy bank of ideas. I’m always looking for words. I believe that is why I seldom ever experience writers block.

Always remember: for every story or article written there is a reader awaiting. By the way, practice does not make you perfect, it only makes you better! Now get busy!

BONUS Article: Scribble, Scribble, Write, Write!


Authors & Speakers Network Blog

Copyright © 2012 – Larry James. Larry James is a professional speaker and the author of three relationship books, “How to Really Love the One You’re With: Affirmative Guidelines for a Healthy Love Relationship,” “LoveNotes for Lovers: Words That Make Music for Two Hearts Dancing” and “Red Hot LoveNotes for Lovers.” His newest book is “Ten Commitments of Networking.” Larry James also offers “Author & Speaker” coaching. Contact:, P.O. Box 12695, Scottsdale, AZ 85267-2695. – More than 110 articles especially for Authors & Speakers at:

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  1. […] Article: Scribble, Scribble… Write, Write! Authors: Maintain a “Thought Starter” File Like Skipping Stones Across the Water… The 10 Types of Writers’ Block (and How to Overcome […]

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