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Inspiration for Writers

When You Feel like You Have Nothing to Say

Jeanette Hanscome
Jeanette Hanscome

Happy Tuesday from Jeanette, your CAN President!

We’ve all been there. (At least I hope I’m not the only one.) The calendar says it’s time to post something on a blog and we have absolutely nothing insightful, intelligent, or new to say. Or after meeting a series of deadlines we finally have time to work on the novel that we’ve left on the back burner for far too long and now that the free hours are available, the creativity just isn’t there. Again, nothing to say. What do we do?

I ran into both of these scenarios last week and, I’ll confess, it freaked me out. I was dealing with a situation that so consumed my thinking that creative thoughts were frozen. Seriously, I’m not exaggerating. My brain literally felt ice cold. On top of that I feared revealing something that I was not at liberty to share with my huge list of followers, (yes, I’m kidding), which froze me up even more. How could I write when I had nothing to say?

So I did what I’d been taught—I wrote anyway. I wrote about having nothing to say and how it frustrated me, but how, in the process God had shown me something: when I have nothing to say (or just feel that way), God still has plenty to say to me. This unsettling process of struggling through how I would squeeze nothing onto a page reminded me that there are times when we need to let that be okay. “Okay for right now,” as a friend and I discussed later. Maybe there are times when we have nothing to say for a reason, because we’ve said enough and God wants a turn. It’s time to let Him refill and refresh us, or show us what He wants written to our dear readers. Once I made sense of what was going on, having nothing to say felt less scary, less capable of destroying my career forever. And in the end, I did have something to share—what I’d learned through waking up to a frozen brain.

Are you in this scary place today? Do you need to write but are fighting against frozen creativity or an empty mental file of new ideas? Try allowing that to be okay for right now. Take some time to sit quietly and ask God what He wants to communicate. You might find that He has something to say through you, much different than anything you would have come up with on your own. It’s also possible that He doesn’t want you to write today or even this week (oh, the horror) because you need refilling, or because it’s time to listen. Do this knowing that it won’t be forever—that when you return to your laptop with a mind refreshed by the One who called you to write in the first place, you will definitely have something to say.

Something amazing!