The desert.

The desert.

One of the benefits of writing on a daily basis—whether it’s the Morning Pages or a daily blog—is that the question is never if you’re writing today.

The question is what you’ll be writing about.

Over time, it gets easier to get your thoughts down. There’s no more writer’s block. No more procrastination. Only clear and deliberate action.

Inspired, you write. Uninspired, you write. Regardless, you write.

Still, there are days, weeks, months, and even years when writing can feel tedious. When your ideas don’t flow, your words have no pulse, and your intentions are unclear.

Like a desert, these fallow periods can feel like they’ll stretch on forever. Hopelessness sets in and it gets easier and easier to give in to discouragement.

Seth Godin calls this the dip. Julia Cameron calls this a drought.

You can call it whatever you like. What’s important is that you get through it.

What’s important is that you show up and write. Which means giving yourself permission to write poorly. To be unclear and to risk sounding like a fool.

You got into the desert by writing and you can get out of it the very same way. In fact, it’s the only way out.

Here are some possible ways to make it through the desert:

  1. Write lists. Let go of the need for your narratives to be flowing. Capture what feels important in point-form.

  2. Write about money. Let your financial calculations mix with your stories about your financial reality.

  3. Write about what’s going on in your body when you sit down to write while in the desert. Note the sensations, desires, disconnections, and restlessness that’s present.

  4. Write “I don’t know what to write” over and over again until you get bored and figure out something else to write.

  5. Be empathetic. Give your boredom or fear or other feelings a voice. Let them show up on the page and listen to what they have to say.

Inspired, you write. Uninspired, you write. Regardless, you write.

The alternative is to stop writing. It’s to give up because it’s taking you longer than you would like to express your creative genius. It’s to leave when the going gets tough instead of using your craft to mobilize your creative genius.

So what’s it going to be?

What can you do to make sure you keep writing?

Community support.

Community support.

Writer's block.

Writer's block.