My husband has worked in the grocery business since he was 16 years old. Through the years, as our three girls were growing up, we all knew there were places – grocery places – you never mentioned. And you definitely didn’t set foot in them. They were the competition and, therefore, bad words in our house. Heaven forbid if we ever had a competitive store-brand item in our cupboards. “Support the hand that feeds you!” became a family watchword.
Unlike Connie, who thinks of blocks and gets creative, I have heard the phrase “Writer's Block” and decided it wasn’t going to be part of my vocabulary. It’s a bad word, and too scary a concept.
What if it happens to me? What will I do?
The stress of the what-ifs is just not worth it. How in the world is buying into the term “Writer's Block” supporting the concept of using the gift God has given me?
So I refuse to use it (except for this blog post). And that works for me.
When I go through seasons when it seems I’ve been halted in the middle of writing, or I can’t get started, I’ve always taken that as a sign to take a break. It might be a short break - a nap, a walk. Or a long break - like an entire summer.
This summer God has taken me on retreat – to a place of restoration and refreshment. I believe He saw how burnt out I was by the end of May and knew that for me to be my best self I would need a full summer of R & R.
Like the sheep in Psalm 23, I have been made to lie down in green pastures – the most perfect grocery place a sheep could ever ask for. He has led me beside still waters and restored my soul. He has fed me with understanding, through prayer and reading, and friends like you fellow Inscribe bloggers, and helped me to realize that it’s okay if I’m not writing right now.
I am learning that to get stressed out when nothing is flowing only makes things worse. It’s like getting frustrated and mad when you can’t sleep. Getting mad only pushes sleep further away. Stress builds stress.
At least, it does for me.
And so, I have been reading, and observing, and reading, and enjoying my family, and reading, and biking, and doing crossword puzzles, and reading, and enjoying my family, and sleeping, and reading… You get the picture.
I don’t make a living by my pen. But I know God has called and gifted me to write and so I know that when the time is right, He “will stir in me and the words will flow” (Connie).
I don’t go near the competition, that other grocery place. I don’t use that bad word.
Writer’s Block? Nah. It’s not the hand that feeds me.
Joylene has spent her summer in and around Edmonton, where she lives with the Cowboy, Babe, and a cat named Calvin. You can find her joy-infused perspective on her blog at joyousmi.blogspot.ca and maybe someday in that novel she is working on.