When you write fiction and have a writer’s block, that’s fine. But if you have nothing to write about in a non-fiction blog then you’re just boring.
Just look around, see what inspires you… Here you go, that wasn’t hard:
On the bookshelf, I have a non-fiction book by Roddy Doyle, something about his parents falling in love.
Here’s my Roddy-Doyle-non-fiction-book-inspired post:
My name-dropping creative writing teacher, Howard Norman, was on a train once with this Doyle fellow, on their way to a writers’ conference, and from the train window they saw an interesting billboard or a hotel sign or whatever, something that made the writer in them get excited, and Doyle said he had to get out at the next stop to investigate, so they got off and walked toward that billboard or that sign. I wasn’t really listening, to be honest.
The point of the story is not what two authors actually found in a random New Jersey town, but that there is such a thing as an author’s life, and Howard Norman was living it. We had that story, and we had other stories about dinners with Leonard Cohen, and meetings with what’s-her-face who used to go out with Jack Kerouac, and disparaging statements about the interviewing techniques of Diane Rehm. Every class, someone new popped up and became a real person. The man who wrote The Commitments was chasing signs, Diane Rehm asked set, inane questions, and even Tommy Dorsey was there, somehow related to the family, playing trumpet in the basement.
To be honest, when I was trying to be a rock star I was never looking forward to the rock star life. I mean, once you throw the TV out of your hotel room window, you can’t watch TV anymore; the hotel is not simply going to give you another set, after all. But when I heard Howard Norman's literary anecdotes I thought that a writer's life had to be the life for me: writing, teaching, criticizing, meeting Leonard Cohen, and more importantly, telling people about meeting Leonard Cohen. Maybe it’s not so much about writing and getting a novel published, but actually about looking out of the window from a fast-moving train and searching for signs.
Look at that, I just created a metaphor without even trying. There’s hope for me yet.