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I Thought I’d Never Write Another Word

I Didn’t Want to Use My Computer

I Thought I Could Not Write Another Word
I Thought I Could Not Write Another Word

I know you’ve heard of writer’s’ block. For the past two days I have been dealing with what seemed even worse — brain block. It’s not  just that I couldn’t write. I couldn’t even seem to think. I didn’t want to make decisions. I couldn’t seem to make myself do even simple household tasks. I thought maybe I was coming down with something, so I spent a lot of time in bed or just reading simple escape stories and watching a bit of TV.  I did not feel like I could deal with life. I thought I’d never write another word. 

I Thought I'd Never Write Another Word
B. Radisavljevic

This surprised me because for the two days preceding this period of depression, I had been very  productive. I had sorted through all the paper on my desk and other places to get ready to enter data for my taxes. I had listed and packed ten boxes of books to donate to Goodwill to help get some of my book inventory I’m no longer selling out of my house. I had taken a short photo walk to get pictures for future blog posts.

Maybe I just wore myself out on Wednesday and Thursday, and when Friday came, I seemed to have crashed physically and emotionally. I could not write a word, not even for my daily blog, on Friday or Saturday. I didn’t feel anything. I didn’t care about anything. I wondered if I’d ever  write another blog post.

By this morning I was wondering if I was on the verge of clinical depression. I could not face the thought of another day in the house or the idea of cooking.  It’s as though my sense of responsibility  had ceased to exist. I told my husband I needed to get out but did not want to have to think about  where. So he decided to take me to lunch, and then we drove to the coast.

I Thought I'd Never Write Another Word
Leffingwell Landing, Cambria, California, © B. Radisavljevic

 

What a difference a bit of sunshine and nature can make when you feel depressed. It has worked for me before, and I was hoping it would work  today. It did.  Something inside me told me I needed a break from the routine or I just might crack up. Have you ever felt that way?

I Thought I'd Never Write Another WordI was overwhelmed by learning about approaching changes that affect bloggers and website owners that I’m not sure I can  handle technically myself. Then there are changes in social media that make me feel I’m obsolete because I don’t like publishing or getting my information on mobile devices. I don’t “get” Periscope, yet I’m hearing that’s the direction marketing is going. It makes me wonder if blogging itself will become obsolete as video and audio take over and desktop computers become obsolete.

I still don’t know how I will face the changes in the online world. Sometimes I’m tempted to just leave the virtual  world. But at least I got over my brain freeze after an hour on the coast seeing God’s beautiful creation again. Somehow seeing the waves swell as they approach the shore and crash and splash against the rocks has a healing effect on my spirit. I know they’ve been coming to  shore  since the dawn of civilization and they will continue their endless journey long after I am gone. Somehow knowing that steadies me, since God looks after me as he does his creation.

I Thought I Would Never Write Another Word
Leffingwell Landing, Wave Crashing Against Rock, © B. Radisavljevic

 

Are you stuck inside and can’t get to the ocean? Maybe this DVD of ocean scenery and sounds will help.

What is a Writing Life?

 

Each writer’s life is different,  but Annie Dillard describes accurately the process we all go through in her book The Writing Life
.  Writers are constantly building with words, and then demolishing what they have built to create a more desirable piece of work. We ride waves of inspiration and translate them on our keyboards or notebooks. And then we get cold water dumped on us when we realize we need to delete and rewrite.

Living the writing life means that all else I do in life  contributes material for writing. I always learn and  observe as I live out my roles as wife, bookseller, photographer, cook, gardener, and the rest.  I write nonfiction exclusively, with an occasional bit of poetry. What I do, where I go, and those I meet often turn up in my articles, since I’m always asking myself which of my interactions or activities someone else would find entertaining, informative,  or thought-provoking.

The writing life is a curious life. I often ask questions such as

  • What if?
  • What else?
  • Why?
  • Why now?
  • Why not?
  • What is she thinking?
  • What is it?
  • How did it get there?

My writing life is one with plenty of solitude. It takes time alone to think, to reflect, to read, and, of course, to write. Perhaps others can write with people nearby. I can’t. I need uninterrupted time to organize my ideas and get them written. I also need quiet.

Quote: One can write in solitude, but not in a vaccumMy writing life is  a reading life.  One can write in solitude,  but not in a vacuum. Conversations and books provide ideas for me to interact with and build on.

My photographs are also an important component of my writing life. The camera lens often shows me what my eyes don’t .  My photos often suggest topics I hadn’t considered writing on, and motivate me to learn more about what I have captured with my camera.

Of course, that one thing all writers need is time to transfer their ideas into writing.  I am learning to be flexible and see interruptions and unscheduled activities that take me away from my computer as opportunities to learn something new I might be able to write about.

How do you handle interruptions in your writing life?