August 31, 2015

Clogged Pipes by Brenda Leyland

I have come to the conclusion that writers don't actually experience writer's block as a result of running out of ideas. After all, how can we run out when we're connected to One who thinks wildly beyond what we can dream or imagine, and He's always happy to share his creativity with us.

So why do we find ourselves stuck or dry? One reason, I believe, is because we don't use the ideas we already have -- and when they aren't being used, they begin to harden -- clogging the pipes of our imagination like a backed-up kitchen drain.

From my personal experience, this seems to happen during the times when I haven't done much with the ideas I received last month, last week, or even yesterday. I'm thinking the idea man upstairs must scratch his head wondering why he bothers to send more when the old material is still in limbo.

Jotting down the ideas in a notebook, I'm sorry to say, is not putting them into action. That's just storing them up. And that's where, I believe, the clogging starts. New material can't come through until some of the old stuff moves on to its destination.

So, I've been asking the Lord to help me. I'm trying to implement in the present as much as possible. I am also learning that it doesn't have to be a large action -- bite size is perfectly okay. But it's important to work with the idea while it's still vibrant with possibility. Why do we think we got that particular idea or thought today? Perhaps it's because today is its moment to shine. Yesterday it wasn't quite ready, tomorrow it will be stale. Of course, we also understand some of our ideas are percolating for another season, but I do believe He gives us fresh material every day, for each new day, if we want it. And taking that one idea and doing something, anything, will keep things in the flow.

Now that you've read this, what is one idea you can work away at today? I'd love to hear about it.

Brenda Leyland enjoys writing on her slice-of-life blog at It's A Beautiful Life and continues to whittle away at various other writing projects.


  1. Thanks for your post. I have been frustrated in the past, with too many ideas, and a lack of discipline to get them down. You've hit the nail on the head here!

  2. This is so true. I have so many "story" ideas that gets clogged but on some other days I sit down and yell - WHy can't I think of anything to WRITE! What a brat.. :)

    BTW, thanks for your comment and visit, I wrote a response BLOG here:

    What a lovely blog for writers you have here, I feel rewarded yet again to find it...

  3. What an interesting insight! I think you may have something here!

  4. I absolutely loved this Brenda! What a wonderful analogy - and I actually never considered this before

  5. I liked your clogged pipe analogy. It makes so much sense. Today I read a section of "The Art of Work" by Jeff Goins. So inspirational that I used it for a poetry prompt. Thanks Brenda.

  6. Oh, Brenda. That's it exactly. By not acting when the idea comes or shortly after, we are cluttering our minds or "clogging our pipes." Guilty as described. Clutter and clogging do not work well. We need to empty our minds regularly so those good ideas our creator allows us to see in glimpses can be developed and sent out to speak his message. We need inflow and outflow, and not always in tiny dribbles. Springs and fountains, not drips and dribbles. Thanks for saying this so well with your analogy.


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