When Your Drive Has Stalled

Photo by Mario Azzi on Unsplash

Earlier this year I decided that I would write five chapters by January 31st. That is not happening. I will not make it to five chapters by January 31st. It is January 24, and I have not made it past one.

I’ve stalled. Sort of like a car does. One moment it’s running smoothly, the next the engine is making an awful, scream-like sound and the car is going to eventually stop moving. Thankfully, I’ve moved past the scream-like sound of being stalled. At this point, my writing, or writing drive, is not making a sound, not even a whimper.

At this point, the specter of “writer’s block” may come up, but this is not what this is. For example, at this moment, my head feels like a bell that has just been rung and the sound is echoing throughout my head and pressing against the back of my eyeballs. At this moment, I have the chance to write, but the pressure and the feeling of echoing sound is overtaking all of my sense and almost all of my thoughts.

For the past few weeks (year), that was what was happening with anxiety and depression. They were overtaking all of my senses and almost all of my thoughts. Most of the writing I got done during this time was because of the assignments from my classes, because otherwise, nothing would have happened, I assure you.

Of course, the extra pressure of my classes didn’t help, which is why I’m taking a break until April. Which is why I felt good enough to give myself the deadline challenge of January 31st.

But, like I said, I’ve stalled. I think after so much time of anxiety and constant pressure (which has not exactly gone away completely) that I am still crashing, my mind and body getting used to the idea that I have more time to rest and that I made it through another year.

I am writing all of this to say, mainly, that perhaps it is not wise to assume that when your creativity and drive to write is not coming, that the culprit is just “writer’s block”. Sometimes your car has stalled. Maybe even literally. Sometimes you need rest, and yes, longer than just one day or a “good night’s sleep”. Let yourself rest, for the love of God. Let your mind heal and recover and regain energy. Read, watch TV, sleep, go outside and smell the trees and the flowers (if your in the city, maybe leave the city and spend the day in some woods), lay in the sun and listen to soft music; whatever it is that helps you rest, allow yourself to indulge in it.

The New Year, I think, often puts pressure on us to rev up our engines and join in the race with even more zeal than before. Starting the new year in a good way somehow means that you have to rush through life, doing as much as you can, as fast as you can.

Here’s me saying I’m letting myself rest. I restart my writing engine next month. This month, I’m resting.

*Originally posted on previous blog on January 24, 2020

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