August 25, 2015

Silence of the Mind by Vickie Stam

Have you ever opened the refrigerator door only to find yourself drawing a blank? You stand there and study its contents without the faintest idea what you were looking for? It usually only takes a moment to remember though. It might be that you simply glanced back at your kitchen table or to the counter next to the fridge where you suddenly see your coffee mug sitting there. It's just waiting for you to add that delicious hazelnut cream you love so much. You chuckle inside as you pour the cream. 

And sometimes there is no explanation at all for the things which suddenly steal our train of thought. Still, I think it's safe to say that this is something that happens to all of us at one time or another. But when it comes to writer's block, that is something that can last for more than just a fleeting moment and it can leave a writer feeling very frustrated.  

If you're anything like me, you might find yourself searching through your beloved sticky notes, reading over the words you scribbled down on paper last week or even yesterday. Maybe you find yourself reading your story over and over in a desperate attempt to find the one clue that will leap from the pages like a beacon in the dark putting you back into the writer's seat once again. 

But in those times when I just can't find the words, my first instinct is to try a change of venue. Write in a different place. I tuck my lap-top in my book bag and drive to the library where I find a quiet corner and hope the distractions of life's daily events at home have been the true culprit behind my writer's block. 

If this change fails to produce even a morsel of fruit, then I know I need to let the story sit idle for a while. Take a much needed rest.  

But I must confess, that when that time comes I wince from the agony of leaving it alone. I wonder when my story will go on to reach its highest peak; the point where it seems it could almost touch the sky. I look it over one last time hoping I can breathe just a few more words so I can dance with joy when I conquer the silence.       



  1. "I wince from the agony of leaving it alone." Vickie, you talk of your story as though it were a living being that you've abandoned. When I put that picture in my heart, I get a deeper understanding of why writer's block is so devastating to many. Thanks for this insight.

  2. Each of your analogies was fantastic. The one about opening the fridge got me hooked. I also like the idea of changing locations to see if it can spark some inspiration. Good post!

  3. I also need a change of venue at times to get the creative juices flowing, usually at a coffee shop somewhere. It usually works to unlatch doors in my brain--and sometimes I find myself writing about something totally different than intended. Funny how that works. Thanks Vickie.

  4. Thank you ladies for your encouraging comments!

  5. Thanks, Vickie. I was also hooked by your fridge story, as most of us can identify with that that kind of blankness. Our minds can feel just that blank when the words don't come in our writing. I too rifle through papers, yellow stickies, markings in the book(s) I am referring too. And how many times have I been here: "Maybe you find yourself reading your story over and over in a desperate attempt to find the one clue that will leap from the pages like a beacon in the dark putting you back into the writer's seat once again." Sometimes we have to walk away from it for a while, pray about it, wait for the lightbulb to go on--even if we "wince with the agony of leaving it."

    I could so relate to your blog, and it felt good to know that other's sometimes feel like they've been demoted from the writer's see. May God bless your writing, Vickie.

    1. Thanks, Sharon. It feels so good to know as writer's we are not alone. We can turn always turn to God, before, during and after our story is complete and we it's always a blessing to have friends who write and know exactly how we feel in the midst of the words that flow and the words that won't.

  6. Vickie, I loved your phrase 'searching through your beloved sticky notes'. Got lots of those everywhere too.

    I too like to change venues and projects if I get stuck, even if I do 'wince'; I do something totally different like playing the piano or even folding still-warm laundry.

    Thanks so much for a wonderful post.


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