The deadly hush is something each of us as a writer experiences. The wall of Silence that stares ominously from that blank sheet of paper or empty computer screen we long to fill can seem an insurmountable obstacle. Just as the artist often encounters emptiness and the musician hears only quietness, the flat calm of the creative tides can be as terrifying as the darkness without a single flicker of light.
I’ve always known that my own creativity ebbs and flows cyclically, and I’ve learned not to panic when ‘low tide’ occurs, but recently I suffered the longest period of silence I have ever experienced. Upon completing Dark Fey, my creative tide was not only at its lowest point, but seemed to be entirely absent. Like the phenomenon of water rushing away from the shore before a tsunami, the tide of my creative energy was displaced.
You may have noticed. Not only my writing grew quiet, but my entire essence became hushed. I neither commented or participated in many of my social media activities. I found myself staring into the void, wondering if the words of music that had filled me for so long would ever return.
I hadn’t realized it, of course. When you are doing something you enjoy so thoroughly, it is often the case that you fail to notice the energy and effort you are expending. Words have always flowed so easily, it was difficult to imagine that utilizing them would drain me so completely, but that is precisely what occurred.
Writing Dark Fey consumed me for nearly 4 years. If I wasn’t physically writing it, I was thinking about it. If I wasn’t thinking about it, my mind was still engaged on it, working through problems; setting up scenes; doing work I was barely aware of, but the process demanded far more creative energy than I was consciously cognizant of and when I finally wrote the last words, the silence that followed was nearly cataclysmic.
When the body is tired, we sleep. When we are hungry, we eat. When our Spirits long for nurturing, we Pray, mediate, or find some other means of renewing ourselves. Yet, for whatever reason, when our creativity ebbs, we panic. I can say that with certainty because when I Googled ‘Writers Block’ About 7,160,000 results were returned.
I’ve often been asked how I deal with writer’s block and my answer has always been, “Enjoy the Silence”. In the numbing stillness that I experienced, I heard these words repeating; quietly, to be sure, in whispers I easily ignored, but the repeating refrain finally broke through my fear.
When the body is tired, we sleep. When creativity ebbs, we need to Rest. Recharge. Renew. How? Enjoy the Silence. Allow the stillness to saturate you, imbuing peace rather than trepidation. Take in the calming vista. Read an author you truly enjoy and find Inspiring. Listen to music that feeds your Spirit. Take a holiday from the hard work of constantly creating and allow yourself to be re-inspired.
The Words of Music shall return. Softly, at first, like the turning of the tide, but just as inevitably, just as inexorably, and you shall find yourself sailing the seas of creativity once again.
Beautiful image found on Google. Credit Gratefully Acknowledged to the original photographer. Thank You~