When You Can’t Write (A Love Letter)
A client/friend emailed me. (Hi, Shari). Due to things happening in life, as they do, she hasn’t been able to write for a while. And this got me thinking—shit happens. And sometimes you find yourself without a single second, or a free brain cell, to write.
Maybe you just had a baby, or a death in the family. Maybe you moved from one city to another, or changed jobs, or had surgery, or have an illness. Maybe you are planning a wedding or an around-the-world journey. It could be anything, good or bad. But the fact remains that you’re in a spot when you just can’t write.
It happens to all of us at one time or another. It is not fun to endure such a fallow time, but think of it this way—you’re giving your creative brain a rest and when you do get back to your writing, you’re going to be able to look at it with fresh eyes. And in the meantime, here are some things that might help:
Don’t beat yourself up. It happens to all of us. I repeat, it happens to all of us. It is not personal, it is just life. The worst thing you can do is berate yourself about it. So don’t.
Remember that this too shall pass. Writing is your passion and you’ll return to it as soon as you can. There will come a moment when the brain fog or the schedule clears and you’ll get back to it. I promise.
Don’t let the bastards get you down. This is for those of you who have been walloped hard by rejection. I remember A friend told me about a time when she got rejected by a publisher and couldn’t write for six months. Remember, this is a subjective business. If you’re not writing because a rejection shook your confidence, you’ve let them win. Don’t!
Stay positive. I was driving earlier this week and saw this hand-written sign tacked on a telephone pole. It’s a cliché, but it’s true. It will not do you any good at all to think about what a lout you are for not writing. Instead, tell yourself repeatedly, and I do mean repeatedly, that you’ll get back to it soon and it will be there waiting for you when you do.
Keep your hand in any way you can. Take notes when you have an idea or think of something germane to your WIP. Read writing blogs (ahem), or magazines, or books.
Those are simple things that have helped me when I’m in a fallow period because of life happenings. Do you have any to recommend? Leave a comment and let me know.
I would be remiss if I didn’t tell you that there are still a couple of spots left for the France writing workshop. One of my all-time most favorite things is France. I got to spend the whole month of March there, and I’ll be returning again in September, this time to the beautiful village of Collioure. Think sun, sea, vibrant Catalan colors, heavenly fish, wonderful wine, great hiking, fun shops and cafes, daring commandos training…and oh yeah, writing! Lots of it! Get inspired—come with. Click here for more info, or reply to this email and I’ll tell you all about it.