Many writers have commented on how they are having a tough time getting one page of writing done lately. They berate themselves with tons of ‘shoulds’ and ‘have tos’ all the while wondering if they really are a writer at all.
What we all tend to forget, in any area of life, is that fallow (inactive) periods are a normal part of life. Everything has a natural energy cycle – spring, summer, fall, winter – so to speak, including writing or creativity.
You need time each year, or maybe even each month depending on how demanding your other jobs may be, to clear room and make space for new projects or make space for new ideas on old projects.[more…]
Fallow times provide this opportunity to clear out the old and make way for the new. Very often writers hang on with dear life to every idea they have ever had, filling the back of their minds with the clutter of many ‘have-to-writes’.
Where does that leave the space for the muse to come in? There’s no room for inspiration.
If you still have that idea from childhood to write a certain mystery, rolling around in your brain perhaps it is time to let it go? Or at least write it down and file it away in a separate box to get it out of your mind?
The key to getting through a fallow period is in allowing it to just ‘be’. Accept it and go with it. Enjoy the time off. Maybe pick up a hobby that has nothing to do with writing, catch up on how-to books about writing, assess what interests you, figure out where your creativity is taking you. Are you on the right path?
Fallow periods can be frightening and depressing unless you look at them as an opportunity to clear out the old ‘junk’ and make way for something new.
Clean out your closets, your files, your computer files and get rid of old goals that no longer serve your current path.
Trust that you are still in creative flow and the muse is just asking for more space to grow.