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I've lost my voice...
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For the past year, I’ve cranked out one to two posts weekly on schedule without fail. And then two weeks ago I didn’t. Another week passed with no post, and now here we are at the third week and I don’t really have anything good/worthy/polished to give you.
I’ve lost my voice.
I don’t know what’s happened, but each time I sit down to write, nothing comes together as it once did. Is this writer’s block? Sure, I’ve experienced it plenty of times, but never for this length of time. But I’m not worried. I know the words will begin to flow again if I just keep trying.
I’ve been reading a book (that I’ll share with you next week in the May Collection) in which the author said:
If you lose your voice, be quiet a while. It’ll come back.
She talks about how resting from her life of writing and sharing helped her recover the lost art of paying attention, which brought her a sense of peace and tranquility. So I’ve been practicing the art of being present in the moment and receiving the beauty in it without writing about it.
My friend(who I’ve never actually met in person) reached out via email to see how I was doing.1 I forgot how much I love the intimacy of real letters and notes, physical or digital, as I penned a response then received her reply. Something she said made me consider the idea of resting and paying attention. I know she won’t mind if I share it here:
It was refreshing to take a break this month [from] and not feel pressured to post anything essay-wise (I did cancer updates only). It gave me a little space to let a few ideas simmer and also to just be present in other creative ways like gardening and reading an actual book. I often forget how important it is as a writer to take in and absorb beautiful things -- whether it's art, nature, music, books, inspiring conversations, whatever -- in order to maintain creative output. It was good for me to stop creating for a while so I could better experience creation.
While I didn’t announce a formal break, I gave myself permission to skip posting the last two weeks. I hope you don’t mind. I’ve been reading, enjoying the great outdoors with this tiny bit of mild weather we’re getting before the raging Southern Summer hits, listening to albums on my new record player (are you so proud of me?), connecting with people in my community, and just being. My creative cup was further filled when Mike and I enjoyed “An Afternoon with Sean Dietrich,” a delightful show by the writer, musician, and storyteller known as Sean of the South. If you’ve not heard of him, please do yourself a favor and visit his page.
This weekend we’re visiting our son Noah and future daughter-in-law Pam (and that’s not a title I just gave her because I like her so much—she actually agreed to marry him) before we head to a really cool Airbnb in Llano, Texas, to spend a couple more days of rest, relaxation, and exploration to celebrate our anniversary. I’m taking Jen’s advice and absorbing beautiful things.
I’ve lost my voice, but I’m working on finding it. Thanks for sticking around!
How do you refill your creative cup? Do you struggle with taking time to process the moments of life before moving on to the next thing? Do you intentionally schedule periods of solitude into your days or weeks?2 Join the discussion in the comments!
So many of you reached out to me via email because of my absence—THANK YOU for caring!