When Life Pauses, the Ideas Flow

It’s ten o’clock at night and I’m staring at a screen, staring at the things that I want to write—but nothing’s coming to me because I know there are things that I have to write, and they’re clouding my mind. And on top of all those things are classes, a job, money, food, cleaning, laundry, showering…. The list goes on. It never stops.

Sometimes, though, it’s kind enough to slow down or even pause.

Today was one of those days. Vermont finally clawed its way to a breezy 75 degrees and I would have kicked myself in the ass had I not made time to go 50 feet to the river that rushes outside my window. All of the snow has melted, making the river as high as I’ve seen it—and even though my favorite spot to sit was taken by the water, I could still get close enough to touch it. Unfortunately, it was too risky to take my lovely little journal to and scribble down some poems. I took my fiance instead—partially because he humors my love of anything nature-related and partially because he could take photos of me in front of the water.

I spent the time outside thinking. Not of the stories I had planned or the poems I wished I could write, but of the sound of the river and the smell of the trees. Things were starting to grow, to warm up and make the Earth a little bit more beautiful. I spent my time living in the exact moment I was in—something writers struggle to do when we’re creating plots and characters—and it was just what I needed to unblock my mind.

Ever since I got back to my apartment, my head’s been reeling with ways I could write certain things and form certain characters. There are three short stories about fox spirits that I’m trying to work on for a class. For the last few days, I was able to see the idea in my head, feel the characters and their movement and plan out the events of the tale. But when I sat down to write it, nothing came out—well, nothing good, anyway. It was jumbled and seemed haphazardly thrown together. And, let me tell you, there’s nothing more frustratin for a writer than being able to see your idea and not making it come to fruition.

After pausing for a moment, venturing outside, and soaking in the peace of the river, I feel almost replenished. I have the ambition and motivation to sit down and write at least two of the stories, and there’s nothing more satisfying than feeling like I can accomplish a task in what I’m making my career out of.

Unfortunately, my fiance and I have already planned a date night to watch Hush. It’s supposed to be a psychological thriller about a deaf writer in the woods. So, naturally, I couldn’t stay away.


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