Earlier this year, Spring to be exact, I unwittingly and unintentionally went on hiatus from not only this blog, but all of my writing pursuits. A severe case of writers’ block, imposter syndrome, and every other malady that prevents writers from doing what we do descended upon me like a long, dry summer with not a drop of rain in sight.
Over two years ago, I left a stable job and career as a lawyer in pursuit of this long held dream of mine. Unencumbered by long work days that left me far too exhausted to even think about writing, my new working life started out with a bang. I was not only able to finish a novel I had been working on (for what seemed like forever!), I was able to land some writing gigs that seemed to justify my decision to try and actually earn money doing what I love to do.
And then, it happened. I was finding it harder and harder to put the finishing touches on the novel. I was having difficulty coming up with things to write about for this blog, and my overall interest in creating took an unceremonious nose-dive. What began as a frustrating inability to put even the simplest thoughts into any sort of coherent prose quickly morphed into a serious questioning of whether I was truly cut out for this writers’ life. The inevitable doubts crept in, which made it that much harder to put pen to paper.
So what did I do? What any respectable writer does. I procrastinated, I avoided, and gave every excuse in the book as to why I couldn’t write that day. Days turned into weeks, and suddenly my writing self was officially on hiatus, albeit unplanned.
Hiatus: “A pause or gap in a sequence, series or process.”~Oxford Languages
As I pondered this ebb of the creative process, and with the help of my amazing mentor, I decided to lean into this gap and mine the golden opportunity of time and space that was being presented to me. I realized that there was a reason for this season, and it had nothing to do with my worth as a person, or as a writer.
So I traveled. A lot. In-state, out of state, and overseas. I traveled with friends and I traveled solo. This summer started with a fun girls’ trip to Miami Beach, and ended with a solo trip to Portugal and Spain to walk the Camino Portuguêse (more on that adventure in a future post!).
What my hiatus has taught me is that creativity comes from living creatively. These gaps in process, however frustrating they might seem at the time, allow us to step outside of ourselves and our routine to experience that which feeds the creative process. Allowing yourself to wander necessarily infuses your heart and mind with new experiences and ideas–the perfect antidote for a creative hiatus.
So if you are suffering from writers’ block, or its equivalent in whatever pursuit you are on, my advice to you is to embrace the gap, get out into the world, and allow yourself to breathe and reunite with your creative force. I cannot help but think of J.R.R. Tolkien’s proclamation that “not all those who wander are lost,” knowing that those who wander are in reality discovering that place where the magic lies and the heart speaks the loudest. That is the providence of hiatus, the blessing of the gap.
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