The words and ideas come fast and furious. I can’t get them down on the laptop screen fast enough. They spill out of me bucket after bucket, more defined than the one before. I string two phrases together and two more replace them around the bend. I finish with one blog and before I know it I’m stockpiled with two more.
When this happens, life is good. I can’t help but smile. I mean really smile from the inside out. When I’m in this zone, little can get me off the track. A horrendously long commute home in the snow, no problem. A higher-than-normal heating bill, “hey that’s the way it goes sometimes.” I’m laid back and I feel good about life.
And then without warning, without cause, the words and ideas disappear in the night. They run off on a whirlwind island vacation, leaving me stranded, lost in the desert night. The air becomes cold. I gulp for breath and come up empty. I stumble over something on a boulder. I pick myself up and fall again. I put my head back and suck in the air. I take a swig of water and thirst for even more.
I’m the lonely child that’s been abandoned, the lover that’s been jilted at the alter, the friend that’s been maliciously cast aside without rhyme or reason. My past experience and my faith tell me stay strong, to believe in myself and to push forward.
When Lebron James or Step Curry misses a basket, they keep on shooting. Quarterbacks Tom Brady and Aaron Rodgers keep throwing. They understand that the next basket, the next touchdown, the next hot streak is around the corner. The great ones naturally understand this.
I’ve never been one to buy into writer’s block. I’ve bought instead into writer and activist Mary Heaton Vorse’s wise words that “The art of writing is the art of applying the seat of the pants to the seat of the chair.”
But still there are those moments, when I wonder: Will the ideas ever come, will the phrases come, will I ever be able to write the way I want to write?
My writing problems are minuscule in the grand scheme of things. I sit in the restaurant area at a Wegmans Grocery Store and look up in the span of five minutes to see three others with bigger problems than me: a lonely business executive who look like he’s one strained vein away from a heart attack; a father on the phone who is desperately trying to find after-care for his sick daughter; and a mother limping with a prosthetic leg.
Faith of a child
I know like I know that God loves me that the words will come again. Like the many times I’ve fallen, I need to once again pick myself up, put one word after the other and see where it takes me.
I suspect it will lead me out of the stark desert and back into the promised land. If I just have faith.