Have you ever reached a point where you felt like you couldn’t write another word? That’s where I’ve been for about 2-3 weeks now. I’ve barely written at all. Every word I do write is painstakingly squeaked out, after which I almost run away and hide from the laptop.
As a writer, this isn’t good. Writing is my life. And yet, I feel like it’s eluding me at this very moment.
I network and chat with enough writers to know that I’m not alone in this. Some writers call this writer’s block. I’ve always preferred not to call it a “block” because that seems so cold and bleak. But that’s precisely how I feel right now, so perhaps “block” is the best word after all.
So what is a writer to do at this point? Some writers really do run away from writing altogether. They throw away their notebooks and pens and swear off writing forever. This isn’t the answer.
Is writing enough? Only you can answer that question. Maybe you’ve reached a pivotal point in your life where writing isn’t enough. Maybe it’s time to step up and reach out for another life dream. But if writing is enough for you, and you just need a break, then take one.
I just had a thought. If you know writing is enough for you, but you feel drained and can’t write, romance the writing again. Here are some ideas for you to try:
Read a book in a genre you wouldn’t normally choose. I love self-help books. If you see me in the library or a bookstore, you’ll most likely find me perusing the self-help section. When I was younger, I read contemporary Christian romance books. I would devour a book in as little as two hours, uninterrupted.
Reading from the same genre all the time almost makes you zone out until every book begins to read the same to you. Pick up a book in a genre totally opposite of what you’d normally read. If you like mysteries, try a book on self-improvement. If you enjoy motivational books, read a historical fiction.
Only write in your journal. If you don’t already keep a journal by hand, you don’t know what you’re missing. Writing on the computer makes writing fast, which is why you should keep an offline journal. Writing by hands slows you down. It slows down your hand, but it also slows down your mind and thought process. Try writing just three pages a day, by hand.
Ask yourself this question: Why do I write? Sometimes you get lost in the words until you lose sight of the core reason for the writing. What was it that drew you to writing in the beginning? Why did you enjoy writing? How did it make you feel? Why was it so meaningful? Get back to the basics and remember how you used to feel about writing.
Ask yourself this question: What will happen if I don’t write anymore. Close your eyes and imagine your world a place where writing is no more. Maybe you’d pursue another dream career. Perhaps you’d spend more time with your family. Maybe the stress that constantly nags at you would suddenly be removed. Imagine your life without writing. If you imagine it to be a better place, then maybe you should listen to your heart and say good-bye to writing. But if you feel a deep, empty spot where the writing once was, you probably just need a break for a bit.