Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Feeling "Blocked"? It May Be Time to Add a Little Life to Your Life

Photo by Valerie Koop
When I started this blog back in 2010 (has it really been that long?), I remember stating a fear to a friend of mine:

“I’m going to write this for a few months and then I’m going to run out of things to write about!  Then what am I going to do?”

And here we are.  Almost a year and a half later.  And I’m still typing away.

I don’t really know why I thought that.  I mean, I have years and years of memories of a life well-lived (or at least attempted).  It’s just not possible that all of those years can be summed up in a few months of blogs.  And if it that’s the case…then that probably meant that I’d stopped digging deep enough.

I started to notice a pattern with myself.  That if I suddenly got stumped or hit the inevitable writer’s block…that meant I’d been inside too long.  It meant I wasn’t doing enough with my life.  It meant that I wasn’t living enough in the present to even successfully remember the past.

I know that sounds odd, but part of remembering the past, remembering the people that we loved who are now gone…is living in the present.  It’s going on a walk and feeling the sunshine on you and either wishing your spouse was with you…or knowing that he is.  It’s going to places you might have been with him and remembering what you did.  It’s going to places maybe he never went to and wishing he was here…but also recognizing that you are. 

I know what I’m suggesting might sound painful.  And it can be.  But I firmly believe that part of the grieving process is getting out there and living, feeling what you’re going to feel, so that you can keep moving forward and start feeling new things.  I’m not suggesting that you visit the church you were married in, your in-laws, and the hospital your babies were born in all in the same day.  But a little bit at a time is what might start helping you through this process.  I won’t lie to you.  There will be times when you cry and when you feel that unbelievable tug in your chest that only someone who has been through loss can feel.

But the truth is, you can’t shut it out.  Unfortunately, for many of us, the grieving process is just a part of us now.  And it will be whether we sit inside alone or go out to dinner in a restaurant that either our spouse loved…or would have loved.  That’s what I’ll always have to write about:  The life I had before and the life I have now.  And how they’re working together to create the new me I’ve become.

Just like you.

The bottom line is:  If you’re starting to feel like you have nothing to “write” about…it may be time to get out there and start living so you do.

Happy 2012, everybody.


  1. I was suffering from writer's block as well. I hadn't written in my blog for weeks. Recently I did...and it was for the same reasons you mentioned here...I hadn't been living. I decided to do a little living last week...and it felt good to be alive...but for some reason I felt a pang of guilt to put positive words on my blog...so much easier to acknowledge doom and gloom. But your words have made me feel so much better about my small attempts at living again. If I could quote you..."It meant that I wasn’t living enough in the present to even successfully remember the past."

    Just wanted you to know that your blog helps so much.


  2. Sean,

    Thank you so much for your comment and I looked up your blog and you are a FABULOUS writer! You express yourself so well. I'm so glad I've found a good "guy" writer to follow!