You must have noticed the sudden re-emergence of (mostly) regular content on this blog. I’ve been working on some issues unrelated to writing and much to my surprise, the words have come back as I begin to resolve those things. In fact, some days I just want to throw everything else aside and get back to my computer. (Don’t worry, boss; I’m working!)
Following the initial inrush of words and ideas, I’ve found that some days I still come up empty.
Oh no! It’s happening again. I can’t write.
Wait a minute. Yes, I can.
Like most things, writing requires discipline and practice. Just because I don’t feel it doesn’t mean I can’t do it. Or shouldn’t do it. In fact, those are precisely the times when I should. That’s when growth happens.
I used to run a lot. Most of the time it was a labor of love (meaning: I enjoyed it but it still hurt), but there were always days when I just didn’t want to lace up my shoes. Sometimes I succumbed to my inertia, but other times I pushed through it and ran anyway. I always felt better afterward, but more importantly, it got me to the next run. It quite literally kept me moving forward.
Many people say there’s no such thing as writer’s block. You might get stuck, but that’s part of the process. You just have to keep pushing to find the next sentence.
If you’re an accountant and your ledger is off, you don’t just walk away. You keep working to make it balance.
If you’re a doctor and find yourself stumped by your patient’s symptoms, you don’t leave her to suffer. You consult colleagues or journals or specialists.
If you’re a baker and your cake falls, you bake another one.
People are counting on you. Whatever your calling, some days you just have to do it. You may not have a breakthrough, but the work you do on those days gets you through to the next.
Just keep writing. Or baking. Or healing people. Or crunching numbers. Or whatever it is you do.
Just keep swimming.
Hard work beats talent when talent doesn’t work hard.