Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Wednesday's Word: Blank

I've got major writer's block today.

I sat down at my computer this morning to read my e-mail and realized I had nothing ready to post on my blog today. My mind drew a total blank. Nothing of substance came to my mind about which to write. Nothing had impressed me this past week. Instead, my life had been barraged by discouraging things happening to people close to me. My brother-in-law lost his job and was forced into early retirement at age 60. My teenage daughter has mono and is in her second week of staying home from school, struggling to keep up with her homework. My son, who is on a mission in Alaska, after five months in Barrow with -50 degree temperatures and little to do because the town didn't allow tracting, just got placed with a companion who has the dubious title of being the most disobedient in the mission. To top it off, my son's  girl friend sent him a dear John, telling him she's getting married in April.

No wonder my mind is blank. It's trying to rest; it's seeking for a pocket of calm. Nothingness is better than turmoil.

Is this possibly why we as writers run up against writer's block? Is it maybe our creative preservation saving us from putting junk down on the page, making us wait until our brains are ready to function when we finally have something worth sharing?

Having taken some agronomy courses in college, I understand the value in letting farmland lay fallow periodically. It makes the ground more productive for the following season, even more so than any amount of added fertilizers can do. Perhaps the seeds of our imagination are the same; before more can be sown, our brains need periods of rest; rest from being forced to make sense of the crazy world around us--or the fictitious one we're creating.

If something is blank,
that is not always bad.
If the page is empty,
it's not really sad.
It's just taking a rest,
waiting for something worthwhile.
To be empty is better
than to be lacking a smile.


  1. This is an amazing post - I love the anaolgy to farming. You know, I've never really thought of writer's block this way, but I think you may be on to something. Looking back at my own experience, I see how this can be true - sometimes taking a break is better for my writing than plodding drearily through.

    Thanks for the thoughts....

  2. Carolyn, I found this post delightful! Thanks for reminding me it's OK to draw a blank and take a rest. I've been thinking about your two youngest a lot and praying for good things ahead soon.

  3. I love the poem. It's true. I usually watch movies or read books.

  4. Reading really does help with the whole writer's block thing. Nice to meet you - found you through Ali's blog. New follower :)

  5. Thanks, everyone, for your thoughtful comments. You've made my day.