Worded Out

This isn’t about writer’s block. I may compose a post on writer’s block someday, because it’s an interesting topic. Personally, I think it is a term used to cover a variety of states. This post isn’t about that.

Sometimes I get worded out. No, not weirded out, although I get that way too sometimes! No. I just run out of words. I’m word-exhausted. I’m not out of stories–ideas and characters still swirl around in my head, but I lack the strength, or the will, to put words on paper.

Sometimes I adjust for this state, which is short-lived, by writing “lite,” or by revising. Sometimes the state is so profound I don’t even have enough words for that. This state has never lasted more than a few days.

The quickest fix is to do something else, unrelated to writing, that gives the word well a chance to refill.

Sometimes this is reading. Back before the pandemic, going somewhere (even for a day trip) replenished my words. Often, photography does the trick.

This week I was worded out. By Friday afternoon there was nothing I could write. Nothing I wanted to write. I needed to let another part of my brain have some fun. I spent Friday and Saturday taking pictures. I gave the busy tenders of my mental word farm a chance to work unimpeded, tending the immature crops that needed to ripen up a bit. In the meantime, I saw highland cattle, a mama deer and her twin fawns (no photos–I was driving); smelled the ocean and felt its breeze on my face. I studied a many-times-painted wall in our town and deciphered the ghost signs it held. I walked. A lot.

And by last night, the words were trickling back in.

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