Jack of Many Trades

The Empty Soil

Originally posted: 2015-02-22

For any writer, there are periods in inspiration and periods of slogging work, periods when your story comes clear as crystal and periods when you're left with radio silence. What do you do with silence when your faith is in writing? Is writer's block a kind of dark night of the soul?

It certainly can be. There are times when I am unable to write, though I itch for it. These are the times when it eats away at me that I'm not writing. The best solution for these periods, paradoxical as it is, is to force myself to write. I go back to basics, focus on things that are light and fun and come easy.

There are also times when I am tired and anxious and distracted... when I am busy, essentially. There are dozens of things that need to be seen to, including my writing. I may squeeze it in, but sometimes I need to let it go, and it is in letting it go, and letting go of the guilt that goes with it, that I'm able to come back around to it.

How do I know the difference? I don't always, but I do my best to listen to myself and my instincts. Do I want to write? Do I have ideas but no spare brain for words? Or is it ideas themselves that elude me?

The act of tuning your radio for theos logos requires that you do more than just skim past static to land on something with noise. You also need to learn to listen to the static - listen to your voice, your mind, in the silence. Without knowing what you sound like when everything is still, you won't be able to sort your voice from the story you're telling.