Posts Tagged ‘generating ideas’

Have you ever been hit with an urge to write?
I don’t mean the motivation that writers pine for, but the sudden desire that makes you say, “I have to get this down” or “Where is my pen?  My laptop?”

It’s quite a different feeling from gritting your teeth and grinding out text.  Baring down and gritting and grinding certainly have their place.  They can move you from the state of not writing to writing

But the intense urge to write happens when something touches you and you come alive.

One of my incredible coaching clients has just finished her manuscript for a book.

Even though she has a book contract with a good press, she still has had some fallow times over the past year of struggling to give life to her book. 

The latest came not so long ago, during the writing of the conclusion.  She had written ten pages and just could not generate more text.

But one week, she finally was able to write. She wrote 13 pages, and those were the pages which she had been looking for, the ideas which she felt were crucial before she could say “Now the book is finished.”

How did it happen?  She was close to backing off from the conclusion she had wanted since it seemed beyond her.  During this restless, uncertain time, when she had moved away from her computer, she happened to come across a book on a related subject– actually a book taking a critical perch opposed to the one she had taken. And that was it.  Reading the book stirred a response within her, and she was eager to write.

Sometimes we forget what we know to be true—that we need to be awakened and re-awakened. Reading someone else’s analysis, like hearing a political critique or reading a poem, awakens us, stirs us, and makes the engine go. It can make us long to write.

What makes the engine go?
Desire, desire, desire.
The longing for the dance
stirs in the buried life.
 —Stanley Kunitz

Until next time,


Nancy Whichard, Ph.D., PCC
Your International Dissertation Coach and Academic Career Coach


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