So you come to your desk at the usual time, willing to work, and face the lighted screen of the computer. Your fingers sit on the keys, ready to type, but nothing happens. All the words you wanted to produce have been sucked into a black hole; the dreaded (and some say mythical, but that’s another post) condition known as “writer’s block”.
All writers experience unproductive days. We sit down to work on our next blog post, poem or current story, and barely manage to leak out a few weak sentences; for some reason the customary zeal isn’t there. We’re tired or preoccupied by other events in our lives. We might turn to editing, hoping to produce a spark; instead, we are rejected by our own mind, frustrated by the absence of inspiration.
Relax. We can’t force the words to come, and even if all we do is write a few measly sentences, consider it a success – you made the effort to come to the desk. It’s okay to walk away and return a few hours later, or the next day. Give yourself permission to take a day off.
I’ve known some writers who struggle with the idea of taking a break, but I believe on some level, writers are always writing; so don’t fret if you can’t write the instant you come to the keyboard. The words will always be there, waiting for the opportune moment to be released.
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J.G. Chayko is a writer, actress, and international arthritis advocate who’s been involved in theatre for more than 30 years and has published poetry, fiction, and creative non-fiction.
Absolutely! This applies to all the Arts. Bliss Johnston, one of the best répétiteurs local singers were lucky enough to work with in Vancouver, once pointed out to me that the secret of success also involved knowing when not to sing. My ‘Think Walks’ are proving invaluable when I write, and I often find myself remembering that bit of wisdom from my musical days.