Monday, April 4, 2011

Allergies are to spring as writer's block is to creativity... RIGHT?

by Donna Earnhardt

Yellow stuff is everywhere and mass sneezing has commenced. It's official...spring will soon be here! If you have allergies, you know the pain and yuck that the pollen brings.  

Red, swollen and itchy eyes, scratchy throats and sneezing (at the most inopportune times) are signs of the times. If you have allergies, yardwork becomes more than a chore, it is a nightmare. Hiking is out of the question. And outdoor acitivities come to a halt. UNLESS, of course, you take your medicine. Yep. Medicine. If you don't take your medicine, your allergies might keep you from doing all the things you usually love to do.
So what does this have to do with writing?

Stick with me for a minute...

When we get "writer's block", we are stuck somewhere other than where we want to be. Staring at the blank computer screen is no longer a challenge, it's an "I can't take this anymore" frame of mind. Character sketches? Not gonna happen. And writing an outline? FUGGETABOUTIT!

When our creativity is blocked, we are stopped from doing what it is we want to do...write!
But we have to remember - We don't always feel inspired. We don't always feel like writing. We don't always have grandiose ideas that will change the world.

So if allergy-sufferers can take medicine to help with their issue - why can't we?

Who says we can't? And what does the medicine look like?

I have a theory. I believe the medicine - the cure - is found in the very thing that seems to elude us... WORDS.

So how does that work? Here is the rest of my theory and solution...

1. PRAY. Yes. Pray. God cares about your life. He cares about your struggles. He cares about how you use the gift He has given you! Use your words to share your struggles with our Creator! Write Him a letter of prayer. Yes, He already knows what's in it. But what are you doing when you write down what's going on? You are WRITING...the very thing that eluded you and tormented you! (See what I mean?)

2. Apart from your letter writing, sit down and just write something everyday- anything! A line of verse, a random thought, a paragraph that sounds like it was written by a first grader vamped up on mountain dew. If it turns out to be gobbly-gook - who cares? You're not submitting it the next day, are you? Write. Don't stop. Set the time for 5, 10 or 15 minutes a day and write, write, write. Don't throw away your work, either. Keep it in a folder that says, "Fighting Back" or "Writer's Block No MORE". You need to remind yourself that you are a writer and this is your job. (Even if none of those things end up in a book, you have a written record that you didn't take the easy road out. You fought back!)

My hubby doesn't always feel like going to work when his allergies kick in...but he does. He takes his medicine and gets back to his job. The days aren't always the best and sometimes, he wishes he could have a "do-over". But he doesn't let his allergies keep him cooped up. He doesn't always feel like biking when the pollen is sticking to his bike seat. But he does it anyway!

3.  Repeat 1 and 2 as necessary.

That's my theory and I'm sticking to it.

What do YOU think of my theory? Do you have one of your own?


  1. Hi Donna,

    I don't have a theory on how to solve Writer's Block, but yours sounds good. Instead of Writer's Block, I think I suffer from "Lack of Block of Writing Time." Any theories on remedies for that other than learning to say "No" to some things? Perhaps your two theories listed above apply just as well for this ailment too. What do you think?

    Linda A.

  2. Great "medication"! I need to take some of that myself! By the way, I picked up a couple of books (when Borders was going out of sad) to give me that daily boost of writing exercise!! One is A Writer's Book of Days. I need to check on the title of the other...which I like even better...but I loaned it to a girl in my writers group. I'll try to remember to get back to you on that!

    Linda, have you watched the interviews with Kate DiCamillo on youtube? She gets up at 5:00 every morning and writes 2 pages. Are you a morning person? I would love to have that gusto!

  3. Wonderful advice, Donna. Just write--that's what the great (aka famous) writers all say. Just write.

    B-I-C time.

    When I'm stuck--really stuck--I write poetry (which is usually very bad poetry) or I re-write some of that really bad poetry. It gets my creative waves swelling.

    When all else fails I do something totally different from writing yet creative. I garden or bake or paint some pottery.

    It reminds my brain (I think) that I AM a creative person created in the image of our Creator God.


  4. Hi Kristi,

    I'll check her out. Thanks! I already get up at 5:30 but I usually email friends, respond to blog posts, etc. before work. I actually am blessed to have time to write. I need to be more focused on my projects is all.

    Thanks again,
    Linda A.