Monday, March 7, 2016

When the Canvas is Blank by Linda S. Glaz

What keeps writers going when they wake up, look at the monitor, and absolutely nothing is there? Like a blank canvas staring. Not a thing.

Some call it writers block, others…names I won’t repeat! But it means we suddenly have a disconnect when it comes to our work. Frustrating and oftentimes debilitating, to say the least, we have to find a way to push through it. To make the words come.

What would Van Gogh do?

I’ve asked this question of writers and the responses are as plentiful as the blocks: I grab for the coffee, dig in my desk for chocolate, take a walk, put the work away for a couple days, work on something else, go to a movie, read a book, EAT! 

In my own writing, I’ve found that I tend to make more of a glaring monitor than it deserves. I might be worrying about paying bills, grocery shopping, or any number of daily things that pre-occupy the mind. So I work on something else even if for a few minutes. Other days, I’ll simply push through it. Keep writing.

What do you do when the canvas is blank?


Rick Barry said...

My observation won't fit every occasion, but I think that in light of life's unexpected curve balls, it's reasonable to give yourself permission to back away for the screen for a while. A death in the family, unexpectedly being served divorce papers, moving to another city or state... At times, changes in life make it difficult or impossible to sit calmly and practice word smithing. Real life demands priority. Rather than hit the panic button at the lack of productivity, give yourself permission not to be creative for a while, just not forever. Winter passes, and the green ideas of spring time will return.

Diana Flegal said...

I agree with Rick, give yourself permission to walk away- just not for forever :-)

Linda Glaz said...

So hard to do sometimes. Especially when you're at a crucial point, but yes, we have to learn to walk away.