Putting Writer’s Block to Rest

Fallow Land

The muse and I…

Have you ever had times in your life when you needed to get something done, but you just couldn’t? You knew you ought to be doing it and yet your mind/body refused to take action.

As a writer, I know just how frustrating this can be. Recently, I wanted to write a post for my blog, but the more I tried, the harder it was. I was unable to construct a complete sentence, much less a whole post.

My muse was not being cooperative. I looked through my writer’s cupboard for an idea, but this didn’t work either. Just when an idea seemed to be going someplace, it would peter out. It was like trying to find water in a desert.

After staring at a blank page for some time, I finally gave up.

Learning to be fallow

I sat down on my couch and my cat Agatha jumped up beside me. It wasn’t long before both of us fell asleep. When I awoke, one of the ideas I had been working on started to twirl around in my mind. Before long, it grew and developed momentum.

I went back to my computer and my fingers couldn’t type fast enough. The story was just there!

This reminded me of how farmers let a field go fallow, or left unseeded during a growing season. By giving the field time off, it can restore itself. Then, as the next growing season rolls around, the soil is ready to nurture the new plants.

I like this concept.

I think it applies to people as well. Maybe when we feel stuck, we need to let ourselves go fallow for a while. We need to give ourselves permission to take time off to restore our minds and bodies.

That’s what my nap with Agatha did for me. It let my mind restore itself, if only for a short time. Then when rested, my mind was ready for an idea to grow and thrive into a story. My muse was back.

Have you ever experienced a time when you needed to “go fallow?”

What did you do?