July 24, 2017

It's Not Fatal

By Deanna K. Klingel

Everything we do naturally, in our lives, is cyclical. Some days are better than others, right? All kinds of creativity are cyclical. How does the potter, after weeks of mediocrity, suddenly in one day, create something astonishing? Think about the song writer who muddles along, then, one day, by a stroke of genius comes up with a winner. The writer, who fills the wastebasket to overflowing and then awakens one morning with a bestseller; it’s a mystery, isn’t it? Some days we are naturally more creative, other days we’re in a slump. Writers often refer to this slump as Writer’s Block. They look for cures. They talk about it as if it were a fatal disease.

In truth, it isn’t even a setback. It’s an opportunity. It’s a chance to slow down, breathe, learn something new, all of which will help us get better at our craft, in the long run. Take a class during your slump time; learn something new. Take time out to read for pleasure. Read a genre you don’t normally read. The more we read and listen the better we can produce fluidity in our own work. 

When the flow of words slows down, just stop. Don’t angst over the betrayal! Don’t look for a foundation to fund your recovery. Take time to refresh. And listen. Sit in a food court at a mall and listen to the dialog around you. Click on YouTube and listen to great American orators speaking about anything. You don’t even have to understand the subject matter. Just listen to the flow of words. Listen to poetry readings; listen to the rhythm of the words. Go for a walk and sing great lyrics for a song you’ll probably never write. Enjoy nature; describe what you see to yourself. I’m not a poet, but after reading poetry, my prose is more fluid. These are all ways to get your words flowing again. You can call it writer’s block if you want. I call it opportunity to be a better, more fluid writer.

No one can be productive every day, every hour. We need to refresh, re-energize, rest and breathe in fresh air and fresh words. The slump is normal.
Deanna K. Klingel is an award-winning author of children's literature, writing for the young and the young at heart. She lives in western North Carolina. She's a member of SCBWI, NCWN, and Catholic Writers Guild. She speaks in schools,museums,and at conferences, traveling with her books around the Southeast and beyond. Her social media links are:
@deannakklingel   and

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