Tag Archives: writers block

Live your questions

I get frustrated when I want something but can’t see the way toward it. I want to write and have something to share with my Restless Writers at each meeting, but lately I’ve been on repeat saying, “I don’t know what I’m writing. I don’t even know what I feel compelled to write.”

They listen and are more patient with me than I am because that’s not one of my best-known qualities.

Maybe that’s why I have this Rainer Maria Rilke quote on my bedroom wall:

Easy for you to say, Rainer.

But, at the last RW meeting, I committed to have a writing date with myself. To create purposeful time to check in and see what might happen. That was yesterday. I found a few hours. Stopped. Meditated. Brainstormed. Scribbled down some letters from the alphabet. Hoping beyond hope my muse would appear and transform the letters into prose.

She didn’t. They didn’t. All I got were random, disconnected words, as if I was playing Scrabble. It sucked.

I abandoned the effort. I went to play the piano and sing a little. Even that didn’t satisfy, so I started watching David Letterman’s My Next Guest Needs No Introduction. The interview with Tiffany Haddish. I didn’t even know who she was, and I didn’t finish the episode.

Later, I went to bed with no progress.

Today, however, I awoke to a rare April 20-degree morning of warming sunshine. With a cup of tea in hand, I cozied up under the trees and with the sparrows in my backyard paradise. With no thought to writing, I randomly opened an old blog I kept about nine years ago and pulled up a post called “Being in Love with Not Knowing. Here’s a snippet:

“..the journey is to decide how we’ll walk our path – in terror of the unknowing, allowing it to paralyze us to stay in one spot, or to become in love with it and embrace the unknowing for all its possibility. The beauty of reaching “no idea” – having absolutely no idea – means you are now open to any idea…Sometimes you need to go through the “I have no idea” stage because the answer cannot yet be given. You have to take one more step and then another one. Let go and trust the path will soon become clear again. Be committed to taking one more step, and with that, become free and open to new possibility.”

Looks like I was channeling my inner Rilke. I read a few more old posts, which led me to read a few others’ posts about writing.

And then it happened.

I wrote!

A new poem released from within. My heart sang as my fingers typed for the first time in months. Look at that. I have something to share with the Restless Writers at our next meeting.

And I’ve published a new blog post!

I had let go and lived my questions. I guess Rilke and my former self were right. Beautiful things can happen when you sit with your not knowing. Maybe not right away, but they do. Release. Presence. Observation. Possibility.

Yes Andrea. Patience 🙄

What do you do when you have no idea what to write? Do share.


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Life Lately

It’s been a minute since we’ve said hello on the blog. That is singularly the fault of this RW who was assigned a new blog post back in May. I’ll also lay some of the blame at the feet of summer. From traveling, family-ing, prom-ing, and gardening, to working (including new jobs!), swimming, house-improvement-ing, relaxing, and vacationing – we activated summer mode in June and have not looked back. 

You may have noticed one important verb missing from the list above – writing. There’s no way around it, in the last few months our RW endeavours have taken a bit of a back seat to the stuff of life. We’re all feeling it.

So, what are we doing about it?

We’re getting crafty

To help fuel our creative brains, we decided to switch things up for one of our recent meetings and pivoted from pages to paint brushes for an art night. Usually reserved for the holiday season, our Christmas Creatives are an annual event the four of us look forward to every year, where we pick one night to make a craft. We’ve made some gems over the years like these wooden signs, paper stars and even a tree made from plastic spoons. For our most recent endeavour, we decided to keep things simple and stick to painting. With no real agenda for the night, other than to create and eat, I’d say we nailed it. See for yourself…

We’re kicking ass at other stuff

Sometimes, when you feel like you might be falling down in one area, it helps to remind yourself that you’re rocking it in others. While the RWs may not be on top of their personal writing projects right now, they are knocking it out of the park in some other spheres. I asked each of them, “what is one thing you are kicking ass at right now?”

Andrea: Great and tough question. I guess what I’m kicking ass at is taking care of myself physically and getting better at taking care of myself mentally and spiritually – letting go and trusting myself more. I would also say I think I’m good at creating space for my kids, guiding them and finding support for their unique needs

Becky: I guess what comes to mind for me is getting shit done. I’ve been a master project manager with stuff at home. 

Maria: Right now, I am kicking ass at…for the first time in my career, finally being able to say that I’m a professional writer and editor. I’m incredibly busy, but it’s wonderful to be able to do the thing that I’m best at and mono-task.

And for me, I’d say it’s looking after my people. The summer has been filled with big milestone life events, birthdays and rights of passage and I have been front and centre for all of them, cooking up some thoughtful and fun celebrations to make each one feel special.

[Side note: This exercise is tougher than it sounds. Almost all of the RWs said they felt stumped by this question or had to really think about it. Were they comfortable saying they were doing something well? Yes. Pretty well? Sure. But kick ass? That made some of us a little less comfortable. Maybe we need to start a kick-ass corner on this blog to exercise that muscle. Hmmm…stay tuned]. 

We’re pushing forward

If I’ve learned anything since becoming a RW, it’s that you don’t give up. There are seasons where you will find yourself writing more and sometimes less but you keep going. So, that’s what we’ll do. We’re breaking out our calendars to set a date for our next meeting, where we will continue to connect, encourage and cheer each other on. And eat. We’ll definitely still eat. We kick ass at that too!

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