August 17, 2015


I’ve been reading with interest responses to writer’s block, which appears to be the experience of most—Glynis excepted: way to go, girl!—but providing varied responses to the phenomenon. Most feel it is a battle to fight, especially if it impedes deadlines or commitment. Both Bobbi and Tracy have some good tips on that.

Even then, we fight not against bricks and mortar, or more close to home, blocks and writer, but against spiritual opposition from the highest levels. But some, like Sandi and Connie, have suggested writer’s block is part of the ebb and flow of a writer’s spiritual life.

Perhaps we can garner support for that idea from Solomon: “There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven . . . ” Ecclesiastes 3:1. Ann and I penned a devotional in our book, Happy Together, showing how this “interference” is really part of earthly life.

There’s nothing like a day of accomplishment when everything goes according to plan and is complete. But we also have frustrating days of redo, repair, or failure, achieving nothing of significance.

Upon reflection, we realize that there must be times for preparation, planning, and evaluation; times for correcting previous work or adapting to changing circumstances; even times for rethinking and renewing the way we live.

In the big picture both the time of advance and apparent retreat are all part of the same process. To advance tomorrow as we did yesterday, we may need to retrench today. Today’s reading (Eccl. 2:9–14) gives some rationale to this process. In it we recognize a bigger picture than we can see, even when questions are unanswered: “the burden God has laid on men.”

This is particularly true of the setbacks of life, which baffle us. At those times Ecclesiastes exhorts us to find satisfaction in the daily routine, recognizing that every day has meaning in God’s bigger picture beyond our grasp.

Relationship in marriage is much the same. The conflict and abrasion between partners discourages us. Stopping and dealing with interpersonal relations seems an unnecessary disruption in other important areas of life.

But in the larger picture, it is part of the process, as necessary as the times of joy and companionship together—and in the end deepens the relationship.

It’s often necessary to leave the big picture to God and trust him with what we can’t figure out.

So let’s put that infernal writer’s block in its place. It’s an opportunity to recharge; perhaps to read, wander, smell the roses. Above all, enjoy the pleasure of His company and so deepen the well from which inspiration springs.


  1. Thanks, Bryan, for this blog that has such a ring of truth and wisdom. I especially appreciate your conclusion.

  2. "... dealing with interpersonal relations seems an unnecessary disruption in other important areas of life."

    You're singing my song, Bryan. As one who likes to check my way down my to-do list, those life-disruptions are particularly annoying. But in hindsight, they were the grist that drew me to God, that deepened my testimony, and gave me content for my writing. Left to my own devices, I would have prayed away all those disruptions,. It turns out they were the building blocks, not the writer's block! Great post. Thx.

  3. Eccl. 3:1 may need to become Inscribe's theme verse, as it seems every month we are drawn to reflect on this wisdom. Thanks for putting it all in perspective again, Bryan, and reminding us to relax into His presence, where inspiration wells up, no matter our circumstances.

  4. Bryan--I love how you, once again, have put all our thoughts together in one concise post and offer hope and wisdom from His Word. Sometimes I find the daily routine dull, so I need to learn to find satisfaction in being faithful in that. Thanks for the challenge.

    "To advance tomorrow as we did yesterday, we may need to retrench today." Excellent word picture for me--a reminder that I am on the front lines and that retrenching is as important as advancing. I needed those words today. Thanks.

  5. Wonderful and sensible, Bryan, as always.


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