The page is open. The computer screen is on. Hands in position. The cup of coffee at right side. A dictionary and thesaurus on your left side. Pencil and sticky notes at your center, usually taking a place next to your bedside in case something comes you in the middle of slumber. Your web browser is open with tabs on Wikipedia, How-to, About and wherever else you need a quick reference. The kids are sleeping. The husband or wife has had their sexy time and are tuckered out. The pet have been fed. The homework has been done. You managed to get everything done to set the perfect time for your writing endeavors. Nothing is in your way. All obstacles have been dealt with. Everything is stacked in your favor to maximize your writing potential for today.
So why… won’t anything come?
Minutes pass. Hours pass. And soon all that time left open is gone and things are just as they began. A blank screen. The same process happens again for a few days. Maybe a few weeks. There is one obstacle. Creative exhaustion.
There comes a time in every writer’s life where that raging flame of inspiration is drowned out by the waves of deterrence. The boiling blood in your hands are frozen stiff by hindrance. That once fervent beating heart has stopped like the undead, silently releasing apathy into the veins and arteries. This is one of the toughest barriers for a writer to overcome. This is not a lack of imagination or having a drought of ideas. The ideas are there, but are being chocked from reaching physical form. In one way you could look at it as writer’s depression. There is a lack of will to write.
Now how does one cure themselves of writer’s depression? There is no easy answer and one answer for everyone. Similar to depression it differs from individual to individual. For some it could just last a few days. Others it can unfortunately be for years. One way I’ve found to combat is with change. Change is no guarantee, but by doing something new or doing something different it opens your mind to possibilities and experiences you may have not considered before. Also sometimes one may need to put down their creative pen and take a step back. Explore other things and not think about writing and then return like the Jedi in 1983. Sometimes we need to change and grow away from writing to eventually make our writing better and stronger. And most of all to make it fun again. There is no guarantee but don’t let burnout become absolute defeat. Think of it as strategically retreating for preparation, reconstruction and enhancement for the future. Just as a fire can be blown out, all it takes is a spark or an ember to restart it.
That spark ignites. A flame is rekindled. Reborn like a baby phoenix from a molten egg. Blank pages and screens are now armies of words and letters. The flame grows quickly. It spreads. The power of creation warming up your will, it begins shine bright enough that you barely notice anything else. All of a sudden is doesn’t matter where you are or what you’re doing. You have to write, you have to create. In between carrying the kids to school you write. At work during your lunch. During work in between filing papers or handling a client. On the train going home. In between the scenes of the movie. While driving in your car (let’s try not to do this one. Driving safety first!). Soon enough it’s a firestorm of creativity in your brain, burning away the stagnating sea.
No matter how long it takes all you need is just a spark to rekindle everything.
~ Nu Tael