By the way, this doesn’t solely refer to writer’s block. That’s just how I, as a writer, call this general state of meh-don’t-wanna-just-wanna-sleep-leave-me-alone-everybody which every single person experiences on occasion. You don’t want to get up (who came up with the idea of half past seven in the morning anyway), you don’t want to cook (because you’re too tired to be creative about it, so it’s always the same and you don’t even want to eat anymore), you don’t want to settle yet another quarrel between your kids or kick them into finally doing their homework… you get the picture. In my case, this means I can’t write, because it’s not worth it, the story’s no good, why even bother putting it in words.
Now how to get out of a state like that? Sure, you can try to be all positive about everything, kick yourself into a healthy exercise routine, read inspiring quotes and cook books and be grateful for all the things you have… let’s be honest, that only gets you so far.
There’s another way. An easier way. Only… yeah, here’s where the ‘if you’re privileged enough’ clause comes in.
Just. Get. The Fuck. Away.
A few days will do.
And no, I don’t mean a family vacation. You need to get away from it all. No responsibilities, no worries, no burdens. Clean slate.
The problem with this is, it only works if you have someone who’s willing to, for just those few days, cover for you. Willing to get up, make breakfast for the kids, sort their quarrels, kick them into doing their homework… I’m lucky enough to have such a person. I’m even luckier to have married him.
Over the past years, on two occasions, I seized (or maybe abused) my husband’s generosity, snatched my best friend, and ran off, to London one time, to Spain the other. And each time I came back with new stories, new books to write, and sufficient energy to last me another year or two. A good part of this is also owed to that best friend of mine – she’s like a soulmate to me, our thoughts run along pretty much the same lines and we don’t even have to agree on any course of action on our trips, we just let things flow. She’s also the most amazing sounding board. She doesn’t read English, so has never read my books, but on each of our trips she insisted I tell her the stories, and in doing so, in bouncing the old stories off her, she helped me create new ones – not by suggesting ideas, but simply by forcing me to sort the jumble of my thoughts enough to get things straight inside my head.
We’re off to Amsterdam next. I’m already looking forward to the stories that will bring.