What To Write When You Don’t Know What To Write

A young violin student had a chance to play before a visiting maestro. He played his best piece. He put his heart and soul into the performance. Afterwards, he asked the maestro for his opinion. Is he good enough? Does he have what it takes?

The maestro considered. Asked him to play a simple piece, then a complicated one, ran him though exercises. Finally, the great man spoke,

“Technically you are proficient. But that is all. You lack the fire.”

Crestfallen, the young man turned from music to business. He made a fortune in widget distribution. One day, the same maestro came back to town as a guest conductor. At a select sponsors party, the two talked,

“I want to thank you for taking the time to evaluate my playing all those years ago.”

“I didn’t listen. I never do. I tell everyone the same thing.”

The former violin student was thunderstruck. “I changed my life because of you. I change my major because you told me I lack the fire.”

“Ah,” says the great man, “But if you’d had the fire, you would have ignored me.”

This post was supposed to be another fiction sketch. I am having an H of a time – as my grandmother used to say – getting traction on this project. I’ve surfed for writing prompts. I’ve surfed for what to write when you don’t know what to write. One site said, essentially, if you don’t have something to say then you aren’t a fiction writer.


People have been telling me that I can’t write all of my life [Schadenfreude Saturday, My Pain Is Your Amusement]. Why should fiction be any different?

This will happen. I don’t know how, but it will.

Open to any advice on how to jumpstart my inner novelist after a career of writing to order.

Crossposted [Virtual Brush Box]

See you on my book tour,
Katherine Walcott

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