When the words just don’t come.

Sometimes life overwhelms us.

When things get tough, writers can rally. After all, for an author, sad times can provide a wealth of inspiration for future stories. We can often use the emotions raging in our souls. In fact, I’d say we need to.

And then, at other times, life just makes us numb. It’s during those moments that the words just don’t come for me.

writers-block

When families experience trials, something my family is dealing with right now, writing has to take a back seat. As much as it feeds and nourishes me, there are times when I stare at the blank page, wishing for paragraphs to miraculously appear. Hoping those night-time elves will scribble in my notebook when I’m asleep.

It doesn’t quite work that way.

I’ve learned there are moments when a writer must put the pen away, when she must bid her characters adieu, knowing she’ll see them soon. It isn’t easy but it’s important.

And like so many writers who are forced to take a break to deal with real life, I often beat myself up, wishing I could write through the struggle. That I could forge ahead, even if only to put the next chapter heading on the book.

We shouldn’t chastise ourselves for taking a breather. Stress is difficult in any profession, but deadly to a writer. You can’t create while filled with anxiety. And while I try to put a brave face on things, I need to remember that I’m only human and that tomorrow is another day. As my friend author Cameron Lincoln wisely reminded me, “Words can wait.” Very good advice.

And so, for now, I will put my words away and breathe. I will connect with family and support those who need it, while asking for support when I need it. Trusting, all the while, that my words will be there the next time I go looking for them.

22 thoughts on “When the words just don’t come.

  1. Stopping to deal with live may help you with your writing. A week ago, my hubby had to stop everything to fly out to San Diego to possibly say goodbye to his mother for the last time. He took his guitar and spent the week with her. Yesterday, he received a text from his sister showing him, his mother walking around in her hospital room. Sometimes life needs your presence. Your readers will understand.

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    • Thank you for sharing that, Cora. I’m so pleased your husband had the opportunity to say goodbye to his mom in a way that meant a lot to him. My sympathies to your family.

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  2. It makes sense to have that shut down period when you need to step away and refocus. I do it all of the time. Becoming grounded and letting the mind settle makes you better able to look at your work from a fresh perspective. πŸ™‚ Enjoy your break!

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  3. Hugs, Rosanna. I relate to what you’re saying since I’ve also had to step away from my current book to deal with real life. But families are are far more important than anything else.

    Your fellow authors and fans will be here for you through thick and thin. Just yell if you need anything. And once you’re ready, the computer will still be there and the characters in your head will speak up once more.

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  4. *hugs Rosanna. Sending good thoughts for you and your family, and hope you’ll all come through the rough times OK. We’ll be here ready to gobble up whatever words you give us when you’re ready to write them again.

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