Dealing With an Un-Welcome Visit From an Old Acquaintance
How I am learning to overcome writer’s block
I spent an afternoon with an old acquaintance today, not necessarily one I enjoy hanging out with, but one who often visits me
This old acquaintance usually shows up when I am trying very hard to be productive, and most of the time the visit leaves me drained and empty of words. Not because we speak so much, but because we don’t, and any productivity that I had seems to fade away in the presence of this old detractor.
I might compare the visits of this old acquaintance to a cloud of gray hanging over my head, threating to rain on my parade of thoughts, or to a shadow that creeps in to block the sunshine keeping me from seeing the inspiration around me.
Our visits are always uncomfortable for me. Neither of us communicates.
I usually just sit and stare blankly into space, my mind completely void; wasting time, hoping my un-welcome visitor will leave. I have tried ignoring him, hoping he would get the hint he wasn’t welcome and leave, but he never seems to notice.
At times, I’ve even come right out and asked him to go away, but he must be deaf because he always continues to hang out as if he doesn’t hear me.
I have come to realize the more frustrated I become the longer he sticks around, so I have learned to leave instead.
I take my mind and go someplace else, away from the keyboard and the blank screen, to search for a place where this old acquaintance can’t find me, one where I can live surrounded by syllables that speak, words that rhyme, and pens that write and write and write filling blank pages with inspiration that will satisfy the most critical reader.
Along the way, I paint flowers or draw birds, read scripture or short stories, take a walk in the park, or turn up the music in my room and dance, playing my tambourine to the music’s beat, hoping somewhere in all of that, my muse will join me and bring me back to where I was before that old acquaintance visited.
— Leona J. Atkinson