Over the last few months, I’ve started to compile an ever-growing list of essay and article ideas. About my kids. About travel. About people I’d like to interview. It’s not a long list, but it’s an eclectic one and one I’m usually excited about.
I’m just not excited about those ideas today, because today is about my blog. The ideas on my list are reserved for pitching third-party outlets, as I’d like to eventually parlay them into stories I can sell for REAL money. But in trying to come up with an idea for this blog post, my brain decided to go on strike.
Have you ever tried to think of nothing? To rid your brain of all thought? I’ve attempted this trick lots of times since I was a little kid. It’s stupid, really. You just end up thinking about trying not to think about anything.
My brain hit a dubious milestone this weekend. Without even trying, it came as close as it’s ever come to empty. Empty of inspiration, that is. And I’ve reached the conclusion that I don’t like my brain when it’s empty.
Since the beginning of the year, I’ve been fairly busy with client work, which makes me happy. But it’s also mentally exhausting. I am in awe of writers who are able to continuously generate engaging, well-crafted content day in and day out. I admire their drive, their organizational skills, their efficiency and their creativity, especially since the delicate balance I’ve been trying to achieve between personal and professional writing continues to elude me.
I’m not sure how to get out of this funk. Do I accept that it’s ok to give myself a short break from time to time? Do I try to seek inspiration beyond my usual sources? Do I try, yet again, to adhere to a strict schedule that leaves room for one or two days a week of personal writing time? Do I escape to a deserted island and write about the philosophical epiphanies I experience when I swim with clownfish and watch the sun set over the turquoise sea?
While talking to my dear friend earlier today about my inability to come up with an idea for this week’s blog entry, she suggested I write about my inability to come up with an idea for this week’s blog entry. I pooh-poohed her. Yet here I am, doing exactly that.
My smart friend figured that I’m not alone in this dilemma. I’m sure she’s right – so my dear writers, what do you do when you’re in a writing funk? Do you give yourself a pass for a period of time or do you proactively try to defeat it? Where do you turn for inspiration when your go-to wells run dry?
Please share your brilliant ideas in the comments. If you’re game and I get enough responses, I’d like to compile them into a future post about how to overcome what I’ve baptized the dreaded “empty brain syndrome.” Thank you, my dear hive mind!