Friday, August 21, 2015

On not writing

"Writers write." "Write every day." You may have heard these or similar sayings, and there's truth in them. Writers cannot only talk about writing, or dream about it, or plan to do it; at some point, actual writing must be involved.

But not necessarily every day or all the time. Many writers have variable schedules. They write regularly, but not every day. Or they write in intense bursts, with rests in between.

Many writers also go through phases of not writing--by which I mean a time when they are not just "between projects" but depleted, out of ideas or the desire to write, or needing to attend to something else in life--health, family, career, whatever. Often, writers enter such a period not sure whether they will ever write again.

Most writers do seem to return to writing eventually. The well refills and starts flowing. If it doesn't, they may turn to other activities or creative outlets.

When I recently interviewed several writers who debuted with me in 2010, one question I asked was whether they had taken a break from writing within the past 5 years. Many had, including me. I suspect it's very common.

Writing is a creative act that takes energy. No surprise that we may need a hiatus, a wintertime, a break, a retreat, a leave of absence, a rejuvenation, or whatever you may call it. It can be a time to reevaluate what we've been doing, and where we want to go next.


  1. This post comes at a very opportune time. Thank you.

    1. Glad to hear it's helpful.
      Writing, and life, go through all sorts of cycles.