Lake Atitlan, Panajachel, Guatemala

“Reading and writing are acts of empathy and faith. Guard that trust carefully — in this rapidly changing business, it’s the only sure thing.” ~Erin Keane
"Never give up. And most importantly, be true to yourself. Write from your heart, in your own voice, and about what you believe in." ~ Louise Brown

"Write something to suit yourself and many people will like it; write something to suit everybody and scarcely anyone will care for it."
~Jesse Stuart

"A writer's job is to take one thing and make it stand for twenty." ~ Virginia Woolf

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

The Creative Pause

I don't believe in "writer's block." Although of course there are days when one's creativity is in full swing and others when it seems to disappear, when the writing doesn't go well for whatever reason.

I like to think of those periods as a pause in creativity. No block. Nothing I can't change when I'm good and ready, just a slight pause.

There's plenty to do when it happens, things that are part of a writer's work. Update the website. Read articles about the publishing business. Stay involved on social media. Organize files. Read books!

One nice thing about a creative pause is feeling like a normal person instead of a slave to whatever book is after you, pushing itself to get written. You can relax and enjoy life instead of agonizing over every "wasted" moment not spent writing.

Writer's block has negative connotations. The creative pause is rather nice. It can be a welcome respite from the intense productivity that comes when creativity is in its fullness with its prodding, pushing, unrelentless attack on your time, talents and energy.

No need to dread the creative pause, is what I tell myself. Welcome and embrace it, enjoy it, make the most of it. Like all good things, it will come to an end in its own good time.

15 comments:

  1. Spot on Karen. If we just wrote all the time, where are we re-fueling our fires? I walk, I read, I travel and write. All fun. Don't understand the term 'writer's block' at all. :-)

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  2. The glass is half full with a creative pause. I do think breaks help you see things you would not notice otherwise. Less is definitely more.

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  3. I heard someone on the radio say there is no such thing as writers' block, just writers who are afraid of writing badly!

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  4. I so love your outlook on this topic. We all need that little bit of down time to recharge and refuel our imagination, even if it is in the middle of a project. I definitely like the phrase creative pause so much better than writer's block.

    Thoughts in Progress
    and MC Book Tours

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  5. I'm with you. Love to be one of those folk who writes every day no matter what, but after 64 years on earth I know that's not me. I've been in a discipline free zone for several weeks due to a perfect storm of boring reasons. Last night I read a Harlequin romance for instance. Why? Because it is set in this remote village where I live! And I experienced zero guilt. In a couple of days I'm off on a 3 week road trip. I won't be writing, exercising, or meditating. I'll get back to it all in September. A long creative pause.

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  7. YES! I think maybe we should embrace the pauses instead of fighting them :) good point.

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  8. You've got the right idea. Pause and take care of other things. I think what people get stuck on is sitting and staring at the blank page and becoming frustrated. One must learn to take that time to switch gears, then like magic the words come.

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  9. Funny you should mention days like these, Karen. Today I spent the day re-leaning how to do some things in WORD 2016 that I'm not sure I ever knew. I made fixes to my WIP, and called it a productive day...

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  10. Hi Karen - time to take stock and do other things - are essentials in life ... at whatever stage of life one is in ... I remember just standing in a supermarket queue just minding my own business (dealing in my head with my mother and uncle - both seriously ill) but for that brief moment - I had clarity of brain space - helped to rejuvinate me ...

    But doing other things - so essential too - as I do now both have gone ... cheers Hilary

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  11. I don't believe in writer's block either. Pauses are good. I've taken a really long pause lately and enjoyed it.

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  12. I stopped by your blog today. What a beautiful banner picture.
    Ann

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  13. Great advice for writers who may tend to panic when the creativity leaves them, even if only temporarily. Good to see you too, hope you are enjoying your expat life.

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  14. I like that line of thinking. I have been on pause for some time now with the new job and the new baby. I scarcely have time for anything else including sleep. As things begin to stabilize I find myself in my writing room more and more. I am eager to get back to my book and get it finished. I think that will be a major milestone for me. I can stand back and say I finally did it. I finally finished one! LOL

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  15. My creative pause has lasted about 10 years now.

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