(Brief aside: you know how you can remember the difference in spelling between dessert and desert? You want more of dessert, and thus it has two of the letter s in it. My seventh grade teacher, Charles Nakvasil, taught me that. He owned movie theaters after he quit teaching.)
Last week I was out of town. This was not the usual kind of travel I do, to writer's retreats or workshops or conferences or meetings with clients. This was for fun only. My nephew graduated from Pepperdine law school and two days later got married in Malibu. Yeah, he's kind of nuts. Runs in the family.
We, all of us, went to the wedding. Kids, grandkids, the whole shebang. Long-lost brothers and sisters-in-law. Stayed at the same hotel, congregated for breakfast, hung out by the pool, like that. We spent a day in Santa Monica (on the beach!) and wandered around the Venice canals. And then, when the kids went home, my husband and I played tourist, taking the best Hollywood star home tour ever, and wandering along Hollywood Boulevard to see the Walk of Stars and Grauman's Theater. You gotta love all that.
And now, I'm home. Have been for a few days. Came back to appointments and laundry and family duties and tons of errands to run, as one does.
But I haven't done a lick of writing.
I've not written down a single idea.
Taken even the tiniest note.
I can't seem to land on anything. My brain is full up, that's for sure. But nothing is coalescing. When I think that I should sit down and write, I can't seem to remember any of the projects I was working on before I left. (Um, that would be the novel, and the two stories, and the idea for novella.)
I can't connect with anything. My brain is as dry as the desert.
And, of course, I know the antidote for this. Say it with me now:
Write something. Anything! Just put words on paper!
And so I will. Because I'm familiar enough with the creative process to understand that this happens sometimes, and while it's often important to just go with it, as I have been, it is also important to break the spell at some point with activity.
In other words, writing.
It's gone on long enough, and so I shall get to it. Because if I don't get to it, the Not Writing may become a habit, and I can't allow that to happen.
What about you? How do you break dry spells? Leave a comment!
***For fun, some other posts I've written about southern California:
Here's a post I wrote about attending a party on the Venice canals a few years back.
A post on why travel is good for your writing.
A post titled, Ah, L.A., in which I discuss how its illegal to be anything but thin and blonde and tan there.
There are no doubt more, but that's all I can find for the moment. Enjoy Memorial Day Weekend, everyone!
Photo by Wolfgang Staudt.