Can you sleep with yourself at night? What have you done during the day that may give you pause at night? Have you given it your best shot during the time you have? Have you done what you think is the right thing to do? Did you help anyone today? Did you cheer someone up? Did you let someone know they’re not alone? Or, that there are other people who feel the same way they do? What have you done today that is worth remembering? Have you made something that is worth keeping around after you are gone? Whether it is artistic, or handy, or just thought –provoking, what have you done?
If you haven’t done anything, why not? Don’t you think you should? What would you like to do? It doesn’t need to be mind-blowing does it? Couldn’t it just be something fun? Or just a small thing to entertain people? Will anyone remember you? If so, what for? What about your family? What memories will you leave for them?
“And When I Die” by Laura Nyro… “And when I die, and when I’m gone, there’re be one child born in this world to carry on.”
When writing, sometimes it is best to get away from the writing to see and experience other things. This is especially true if you are having a writer’s block. By seeing other things, you might get a new perspective on the object which has consumed most of your focus. This new perspective may be the breakthrough to help you overcome your writer’s block.
Sometimes watching/reading the news will give you an idea, or sometimes you need to get out and talk to people. Perhaps go to a nearby bar to find the local color as Faulkner and Hemingway did. Or, possibly, you should do the opposite; go somewhere completely alone and commune with nature as Thoreau did at Walden. The snap peas get lonely too. (Thoreau is rumored to have talked to his vegetables.)
Whatever method you use, the point is to set aside what you are working on completely. Don’t think about it at all. Give your brain a break. Just like any part of the body, the brain gets tired.
Eventually, you must come back to the writing that you want to get done. At this point you put on your favorite thinking music, cozy up to your word processor, and work… Just sit there a while if you must. The words start flowing and you find yourself writing things that you weren’t thinking before. They may be a little rough, but get them down on paper while they are there in your mind. You can clean it up later when it’s time for editing and polishing.
Before you know it the sun is coming up. You find you’ve written several pages and bits and pieces of other scenes that you can fill in later. You feel successful. It’s a good day’s work that took all night long to accomplish. Now, when the rest of the world is waking, it’s time for you to go to sleep.