When the words don’t come, the best thing to do is write about how the words don’t come.
We’re an endless supply of energy, vitality, and voice. We have a consciousness in us that is constantly thrumming, constantly alive with thoughts and ideas and dreams. The job of writing is just to get a glimpse of that consciousness onto paper.
But so often, we get lost. Lost in thinking that there is something that comes from outside that we then implant onto a piece of writing. So we scrunch our faces up and push and push, hoping that something worth hearing will come out.
When it comes from outside, though (and I’m not talking about “outside” in the way people describe spiritual revelation in creativity, which is, even then, still coming from within), it is this dry husk of what it could be. It’s like using paper to construct a house: technically it will have the same shape and function, but it’s not a home.
The solid bricks of writing and creativity are the words that are already inside of us, the truths that bubble underneath because they need to be heard.
Think about how you feel when you are holding in a secret. How it creates an anxiety within you. How it builds and builds until you want to burst.
That’s what all your wonderful, deep, explosive thoughts are until you let them out. They might come out in conversation, or in a Facebook post, or in a piece of writing. Either way, the point is that those thoughts are always swirling, and we often underplay their importance because they don’t always come out as literature.
But when we understand that this is all creativity is, and especially writing, we can start to find a peace with it, and start to let go of all that scrunching we’ve been doing. Because all writing is, all self-expression is, is us having a conversation. It’s a more structured form of a conversation, of course. Like when you write a letter to a loved one because you need them to be able to hear your thoughts without the interruptions, misunderstandings, and conflicts that may come from a face to face chat. That’s what writing is: an opportunity to clearly outline your thoughts in a place where no one can interrupt you.
Of course, they’ll come in later and interrupt. They’ll write in the comments, or they’ll send you an email. And who knows what they’ll have to say.
But the point is that until you put it out into the world, you’re just talking in a sacred space where nothing and no one can tell you who are you are and what you have to say. Only you. Only the thoughts already inside of you.
The good news is that this thinking is occurring with or without your intervention. It is the reality of being human. The effort, then, is in finding how to exert the least effort in bringing those thoughts to life. The trying is in the not trying. The creating is in the channeling of creative energy, not in the creation of the energy itself.
Because, ultimately, we are all energy. We are surging with untapped, unbelievable energy. What we need is to find the way to plug our writing and creating fingers into the right outlet.
How perfect, then, that we call creativity an “outlet.” It works just like an electrical outlet. The energy is within, just waiting to be tapped. We don’t need to create electricity. We just need to plug the lamp in.
And suddenly, light.