One of the classes I’m teaching this quarter is a Creative Writing elective. Hardly a day goes by that one of the students declares he or she is unable to write anything because of “writer’s block.” My response is generally one of amusement, since they appear to have plenty of ideas to talk about. And I also look at my writing for the last couple of months and find I have not put many words on the page. It is May 22nd and I have made four entries for the entire month.
I’m an not without ideas and have ample time, I suppose. I am also reading more these days and giving a good deal of energy to all that is involved with moving Ginger’s parents here to Durham to live with us. Yet the words don’t feel ripe, somehow.
Somewhere along the way, in a book on writing, I remember the author quashing the idea of writer’s block, or at least the inclination to feel guilty because the words weren’t making it to the page. A writer, the author continued, is either writing or getting ready to write; both take time and energy. I continue to turn those words over in my mind. These are days of preparation for, attending to, and listening.
I’m getting ready.
I’ve never had writer’s block. Probably because the idea of sitting in front of the paper trying to think of something to write about is so…comical. Such a waste of energy. You never waste your creative energy trying to think of something to say.
Preaching taught me that. A preacher who wastes his or her time trying to think of what should be in a sermon is not going to last. All of your energy must go into the collision of your life with the text. Out of that collision, a sermon always comes. Give yourself to the text.
With writing I think we give ourselves to living and paying attention and daydreaming and making little notes. Out of those things will come plenty to write about.
Writer’s block is – I believe – nothing more than misplaced energy. I like that you have found this too. Blessings on this time of paying attention and getting ready.
I’ll call you about camp. No really. 😉
Thanks to both of you, Milton and Gordon… for your words here.
And for camps past. I miss those days sometimes!
Blessings to each of you in these days of transition, listening, and living.
I needed these thoughts. I’ve been stuck, not necessarily with “writer’s block”–but not writing.