Writers conduct extensive research for the papers that they prepare. Whether a review of related literature or previous studies conducted on the topic of interest or an interpretation of an empirical observation or a summary of qualitative interview or statistical data, written documents must always have a basis whether from authoritative references or simple scientific observation. This is especially important for written documents that proposes an idea or urges its audience into action such as all forms of academic papers, advertisements or propaganda.
In our modern world, the primary approach used in generating ideas is the scientific method of observable investigation and experimentation in generating conclusions. (Payne, G. and Payne, J. , 2004). In philosophy however, two major schools of thought basically delineate Epistemology or the study of human knowledge. Aside from the empirical approach that posits that perception is the prime source of knowledge on which is based the scientific approach, there is rationalism.
Rationalism is principally founded on the Platonic philosophy that adhered that the mind or soul is ultimately the human faculty that interacts with the real world of abstract concepts from which is derived tangible particulars i. e. the factual world via the deductive process. (Engel, S. , 2001). This intangible reality is beyond our perception and can be attained through contemplation and reason. Following this idea, writers can also write original topics or ideas by reflection.
Whilst in a derogatory sense, writers can actually generate ideas by philosophizing in a vacuum. Pragmatists however added that such philosophical writing must have practical purpose. Descartes’ Skeptical approach used doubting as the process of inquiry that allows a person to obtain relative certainty. The process of contemplation and reflection brings us to the next chief reason for having nothing to write about which is the lack of inspiration. Contemplation and reflection is difficult if not impossible if writers lack inspiration or objective.
In the case of Descartes, his objective to prove the logical intuition of one’s existence and certification of one’s consciousness through self experience served as his inspiration. It is not a simple rational inquiry but is focused on discovery of the foundation of knowledge. For creative writers, the source of inspiration can be about anything i. e. a person, object, experience or a simple thought. This results to written forms of art such as poetry, stories or other written expressions of emotions and thoughts.
However unlike other forms of art like painting or sculpture, writing as an art must always be geared to communicate ideas/ notions and express emotions. Hardly are there written forms of art that is for pure aesthetics or is created for its own sake. This is because writing is the textual representation of communication in which ideas are at its core. Without idea or message, there is no communication. In writing, this idea is tantamount to the topic. Without the topic, there is no writing. Thus, having no reference, source of such topic or the lack of inspiration to source that topic is the worst experience that a writer can ever have.