Fluffy clouds, Warm sunshine. The children are napping or possibly in school. Maybe there are no children at home. Maybe you are at an age when as an empty nester, the house seems quieter and your time is more your own. A slight breeze is wafting through an open window. Your favorite beverage is sitting next to you on an uncluttered stand. The gentle aroma of a sweet cinnamon candle is slowly burning. Your computer is open or the blank sheet is laying bare, ready for the next fantastic creative notion to flow and ————
That’s right. You look at your page or screen with a blank stare on your face. Picture one of these:
- A scrunched nose with eyes staring into the sky looking for inspiration.
- Pursed lips with eyes roaming back and forth as if searching the room for a clue.
- The pen tapping on the empty page for a secret code you are trying to understand.
- A cocked head leaning on a raised hand gazing past the windows, hoping a word will pop into your head getting the creation on a role.
Ah the life of a writer!
Why do we put ourselves through this type of endeavor over and over? Isn’t there an activity, a pastime to keep us occupied which would be less agonizing, frustrating?
As a writer, there is something inside which says we are to at least try to put pen to paper, tap words on the screen. It is our duty. An inner calling. We must express.
Does agony rise up when all is prepared and there is absolutely nothing inside to flow. An emotional trauma has sideswiped the words right out of you. Can there be other unknown reasons your regular word stream has met a dam?
You have crashed and burned with nothing coming out.
Can you still celebrate when you can’t write?
This is the time to be part of a writer’s small group. I belong to two. One is a small group at our church called the :
I also belong to an online writer’s group : ¹
There is a difference between only reading about a situation and being surrounded by people with a similar vision wanting to help me succeed. The main goal in the two group I belong to is to create and help each other use the gifts God has put inside us.
Even though both groups have a different approach, if there are problems and the words for creating will not come, the doors to the inner barrier are gently met, with support and encouragement and if wanted, prayer.
Can you celebrate in who you are even when no words come to the surface?
No words are coming! I claim to be a writer! If I cannot write, who am I?
As a Type 4 in the Enneagram, I am given to a wide range of emotions. Can I celebrate who I am as a Child of God when words are not coming to the surface? Type 4’s have a Primary fear of being unnoticed.2 If the words do not flow, or the outcome does not reach an expected bar, can I still celebrate in who I am? If I have nothing to write, what will I have to post? If I don’t post, how will I get read? If I don’t get read, I will be unnoticed. A vicious cycle.
To add to the emotional battle there can be SHAME. As a Christian writer, there seems to be this idea stating :
I have to have it all together. I am the author people are reading and looking to for guidance.
If there are no words, there must be something wrong with me. I am not doing what I am suppose to, but who can I tell? 😦
Writing is truly a community effort. If these little lies, (yes, the previous statements are lies) make so much noise yelling at how bad a writer I am, I also hear the words ” you are a bad person”. I am surrounded by friends who know me I have been really honest in my fear. I am secure enough to share my dreams. They in turn are authentic with support and guidance and prayer in my time of uncertainty. It is the care I need keep me going in a healthy manner.
These are the words I hear and can celebrate:
You are a Child of God- He made you a Creator.
You are a Child of God- He made up a Writer.
You are a Child of God.
Can you celebrate in you when you cannot write?
Reading and researching gives helpful tools on this journey. Realizing experienced authors go through the same pain and frustration you are going through. It can help you feel less isolated in your battle. (here is a list of my personal favorite right now: Emily Freeman, Luci Shaw, Ann Voskamp, Madeliene L’Engle and Anne Lamott).
Do not make your writing a Lone Ranger affair. There are many personal ways of support to help you celebrate in you when you can’t find the words.
This blog is meant as one of those places. I would like you to feel this is a place for you to share thoughts, dreams and hopes for your creating. I do not have all the answer, but I can encourage you to follow your dreams as I am following mine.
2 Marylin Vancil, Self to Lose Self to Find ( A Biblical Approach to the 9 Enneagram Types), (Enumclaw, WA: Redemption Press, 2016), 104.