We all have these days. Part of my problem is that I didn’t, as I typically do, take the time earlier in the week to do preliminary brainstorming and mind mapping for the weekend edition. This means that I came to my desk without a plan – a speed bump, to be sure, but not usually a deal breaker. Despite my lack of preparation, I expected that something would pop into my head. (It usually does.) No such luck.
It has just occurred to me, that the bigger issue at hand is that I’ve let myself get worn out. I’ve been extremely busy with freelance projects for the past couple of months and keeping up has required a sustained level of hustle that’s a bit more intense than I like. It’s no wonder I’m having trouble finding a writing topic! Not only am I physically and intellectually exhausted, I’ve also been running at top speed for so long that I haven’t had any time to think. And, writers need time to think.
Sometimes we need a gentle reminder that some of our most important “writing” time has nothing to do with keyboards or notebooks. When we sit down at the computer or pick up a pen, that moment is the culmination of many hours engaged in the non-writing part of writing. It’s the moment when all the internal work that we’ve been doing – daydreaming, questioning, ruminating – is transformed into words on the page. It is the moment that our work becomes tangible to someone living outside of our heads.
But don’t be fooled. Those words on the page are only the tip of the iceberg. The real work of writing includes everything that brought you to that point where you felt ready (and inspired!) to put those words down. So, don’t beat yourself up for a lack of “inspiration” if you haven’t given yourself the opportunity to do all the work that must come before the words. Slow down. Step back. Give yourself the gift of stillness and solitude and time to think. Breathe for goodness sake!
And then see how creative and inspired you feel. I bet you’ll see a world of difference. Good luck!
My Favorite Blog Reads for the Week:
- The Spine of the Story by @SPressfield
- Examples of Great Set-Ups & How They Pay Off by Cory Milles via @savethecat
- Internal Dialogue: The Greatest Tool for Gaining Reader Confidence by @ESimsAuthor
- FROZEN: The Phantom Edit by @speechwriterguy
PUBLISHING & MARKETING
- Seven Ways to Start a Blog Post … and Seven Ways to Finish It by @aliventures
- 3 Unexpected Ways Writers Deliver Value (So They Can Charge More) by @pamelaiwilson
- Think Long Term. Create A Body Of Work. by @thecreativepenn
- Writers read by @robbinphillips
- Books I Wish I Wrote: On Writerly Jealousy by @kaulielewis
- The Importance of the Heart by @sarafoley76
- Be a Great Storyteller by @99u
THE WRITING LIFE
- Sisyphus, Happiness, and the Abyss by @DavidCorbett_CA
- What I Wish I Wrote by Allison Williams via @brevitymag
- Helpful Tools and Sites for Writers by @elizabethscraig
- Writing (in the) Happy Middles by @HeatherBouwman
··• )o( •··
Finally, a quote for the week:
Here’s to giving your creativity some TLC by making time to play. 🙂
Jamie Lee Wallace Hi. I’m Jamie. I am a content writer and branding consultant, columnist, sometime feature writer, prolific blogger, and aspiring fiction writer. I’m a mom, a student of equestrian arts, and a nature lover. I believe in small kindnesses, daily chocolate, and happy endings. Introduce yourself on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or Pinterest. I don’t bite … usually.