Writanon dot com logo

A community helping writers grow skills, advertise successes, and build networks.

Writers Anonymous

Blog of the Bartender

search 2013 adfgs

Writing like a Spider

Outside my window, a spider has built a small web. Curious, and looking for a bit of inspiration, I decided to watch the arachnid for awhile.

My conclusion? Spiders are lazy, inefficient, and just like most writers.

Before you get too offended, hear my explanation.

The spider in question built its web between the window screen and the glass. This spider sat for a long while–it remained still as long as I watched it, and when I checked a couple of hours later, the creature still sat in the same spot.

Apparently this spider (we’ll call it Susan, since I dislike the ambiguous pronoun it and, since it was sitting in a web, can be assumed to be likely female) had constructed her web, probably in the course of a morning, and decided to sit in it, waiting for some creature to stumble into the trap.

Yet, what was Susan doing as she sat in her web? While she may have been composing a new ballad or contemplating writing a sonnet on the difference in taste between crickets and grasshoppers, I have a feeling that she was simply sitting around, waiting for her meal. She also made no effort to capture the fly walking on the screen, even though the fly was just a few centimeters away. The big, juicy meal was within grasp, but because that meal required extra effort (it didn’t land in her web), Susan was not willing to reach out and catch it.

Why is Susan the spider’s behavior similar to the behavior of most writers?

Most writers make the mistake of waiting for inspiration to strike, complacently waiting for ideas to fall into their web. While waiting for ideas to strike, however, you may miss many opportunities, some of which are just hovering out of reach. What if Susan continued to build her web while she waited for something to fall into the trap? What if she had simply reached out and grabbed that fly?

During those idle periods between your great ideas, try something new. Try rewriting an old set of dialogue from a different character’s perspective. Look for that interesting story you thought of while working on something else (for example, a conversation between some of your characters mentioning another event that you think might be interesting).

Build your own web by preparing your mind…research the area you want to write in. The more you learn, the bigger your web is to catch those big ideas.

Build your catches by keeping everything you write. Even if you think the idea is a loss for now, you might be able to use the concept to catch a bigger, juicier fly later on.

Don’t be like Susan the spider. Keep working, keep moving, and keep growing as a writer.

Tags: , , , ,


Visit our: Community | Services | Store


Liked this blog entry? Vote up on Reddit or Tweet the URL!

Tweet this

Buy us some coffee!

One Response to “Writing like a Spider”

  1. Poetic Jargon says:

    Although I absolutely agree with the overall message, I couldn’t help but see Susan’s actions in a slightly different light…me being different and separate from you and all. 😛 What if this was only one of many webs Susan had created in her short life? Perhaps there was another in a bush near by or in some shed around back. What if she just happened to be sitting at the one by your window because the other two were already full of plump, tasty insects? My point is, each web that Susan spun is different and unique because of what surrounds each of them. In my opinion writers shouldn’t try to create one all-encompassing ‘web’ for their entire life because the when, where, why, and how of each web’s construction is always different from the previous attempt. So I see Susan’s inactivity as maybe just a conclusion to this particular web and the beginning of a new one. She didn’t need to reach for that meal just out of her reach because that would make the time spent spinng this web meaningless and unimportant. If she could just grab near by insects, what is the point of the web in the first place? Now I am not saying to just sit and wait for each new inspirational meal to fly unexpectedly into each writer’s web we call our own, whether it’s one tremendous, life long masterpiece or several, small individual endeavors one after another. But I would say that there is a time when the only thing we can do, as a writer or as a spider, is to simply stand there and marvel at the beauty which can only be seen from the vantage point of a web.

Contact Us | Privacy Policy
Free Domain Registration! Green Web Hosting Need a website?
Register your domain today!