After The Calm Comes The Writing

The writing storm that is.

I’ve been thinking about this ever since a hurricane left me without internet connection for almost three months. But of course, when the thing that takes the longest to go back to normal is the Wi-Fi, it could have been much worse. You can count yourself one of the lucky ones.

The literal storm that passed scattered our lives, shuffled routines and thrust us into unexpected family dynamics. Inspiration and progress weren’t totally gone. Yet the pace of work and life had to slow down. The focus was on waiting without losing one’s mind.

Cloistered within four walls and one television channel, I read a lot. I fell in love with the quiet luxury of reading, again. I wrote little bits of a second draft. I came up with a whole new storyboard of ideas. I gained a new appreciation for the moments of simple contemplation. That all led me to find new ways of filling the ordinary days with small but meaningful moments. Or simply with nothing at all.

All natural disasters should make us pause, reflect inwards, give outwards. We should come out of the experience humbled, grateful and willing to make a fresh start. Just like nature wipes the slate clean, we have an opportunity to do the same. Just like after the storm, nature calms down, rests and moves on anew, after the calm of our inactive writing periods, comes the storm of inspiration, anew.

What we must remember:

1. Periods of inactivity can have surprising results. When it seems nothing is happening, inside your mind, a storm is brewing.
2. Life happens. If we can’t sit down and write because there’s a more pressing matter, that’s call life. And, what if life is what’s actually missing? at some point, we all have to put the pen down, turn the laptop off, go out, interact with our fellow humans (future characters??)
3. Exercise patience with yourself. It’s okay if progress is slow, if words are not coming together, scenes are not clicking if you need a little time off the project. You are in charge. Give yourself permission to have human moments.
4. Enjoy the anticipation. What’s coming is going to be amazing and you know it. Get excited for it! Be ready to receive the idea, the insight, the opportunity.
5. Read. (period)

Tell me about your most recent writing storm!

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