Thursday, July 17, 2014

When You Can't...

This post is hard for me to write.

Lately, it's been hard to write. Period.
No inspiration, no muses, no beautiful words filling my head, my heart, my pen.

I can't even read. I've begun seven different novels, but I've put them all down, unable to slip into their pages. Even the final book of a trilogy I had been dying to read...sits dusty and sad on my bookshelf..for the past three months. I can focus on Archie Comics.

I try to read the posts on this wonderful blog - these beautifully written, encouraging, honest, exciting blogs that my 'friends whom I've never met', share with all of us.  But partway through my brain fogs and I'm looking out the window or staring at the spackle on the ceiling.
My focus is gone.

I thought perhaps that two weeks vacation would help. And it was wonderful. We saw many beautiful things in New York and I visited the Waldorf to sneak around and write out more ideas for my next novel.
But now that we're home...
I'm exactly like this gray, foggy day outside, that is void of fresh air. 
I'm not sad or depressed, I don't think.
I'm in a state of 'Can't'.

Oh, I've tried writing. But the 'voice' is missing. I'm bland and I'm having a hard time coming up with the right words. I can't write.

I've been praying. For protection, for guidance, for rest, for a path to follow. But my heart and head are mushy and I'm just...leaking out weird emotions to God, asking Him to figure it out. I can't.

I can't even cook dinner. I peek through my recipe cards and I can't remember what I used to feed the family. We've been eating sandwiches quite a bit. I can't cook.

I'm on auto-pilot with housework, playing with the boy, talking to hubby about our future.

I know it'll pass. And I'm not seeking sympathy. I'm not self-pitying because frankly, being in this state is annoying. And exhausting.

So I guess what I'm writing today, is that you're allowed to just 'can't'. I know that at some point, God will poke sunny rays through the sky and you'll feel it on your insides. I know that this is a just a phase and that maybe it's not time to write. And that's ok.

And I apologize to my fellow writer friends. I have been reading your posts, and I'm sorry I haven't been commenting. It's not nice of me and I'm sorry. I do appreciate your writing, and I think you are all lovely.

Jenn Kelly is not a writer, right now. And this is her dog waiting for attention.


  1. Appreciate your honesty, Jenn. I think we can all relate in some way to this at various seasons in our lives. Praying you'll find joy in the moment.

  2. Every life has many seasons. If this is you season of "can't" then live it and find the blessing in it. Remember God knows what He's doing.

  3. Wish I could give you a hug, Jenn. I had such a rotten period some years ago and all I could look forward to were those Bible words, "and it came to pass." It does and thank the Lord for that.
    The Lord is always near even when we can't feel His Presence.

  4. I think a lot of people romanticize writing novels and while there is joy in the journey, that's exactly how I see it. As a journey. Sometimes you might make it to the mountain top, but there are also valleys and roadblocks and detours. And sometimes--most of the time actually--it's just hard work. Sometimes (again, a lot of the time) life is just hard work. Thank you for your honesty and may God give you the protection, guidance, and rest you need for each day!

  5. Some years ago I was priveleged to witness sunrise at Colhurra Beach, NSW. It was dramatic. It could not have happened if it hadn't been preceeded by darkness. As the sun rose its rays spread out illuminating the entire suround. I knew I was witnessing a miracle which happens continually every minute through the world and has been happening since time began. So too, Jane, your sunrise will come and we look forward to reading the warmth of the words you will again write.

  6. Oh, Jenn, we've all been there at one point or another. I'm just inching out of a period where I was feeling my mush brain ooze out in drips and drabs.

    We will survive. More than that we will overcome and thrive. Saying a spare prayer for your re-invigoration. Grace and peace to you.

  7. Jenn, I looked up your picture and sent up some prayers for you. Thanks for sharing the truth. I think it happens to most of us some time or other, and it is not permanent. Speaking to myself too, as I try to rev up my writing again in summer mode. So many interruptions.

  8. This may be a double comment, I'm posting again as my first attempt to comment disappeared.

    Jenn, I'm praying for you. God will bring you safe through this. We do have these fallow seasons as part of His plan for our lives. Winter balances Summer, Sabbath rest balances a busy week. All we can do is be gentle with ourselves and trust.

    But I'm concerned that you say this is affecting all of your life, not just writing. Sometimes, God works in our lives through other people's hands. Please, consider having a check-up with your doctor to rule out a physical cause.

    It could be a creative fallow season. Or it could be something easily treatable like anaemia causing this, that won't get better on it's own.

  9. Ditto to Autumn's comments, Jenn - and to all of the above. Something is going on that is not nice for you at all and I don't like that! God be very close to you, protect you and show you the way forward.

  10. Y'all are very sweet! I am ok. I know it's a moment in life when I'm at the bottom of the Valley and it is ok. You guys are very kind with your comments, and do know that I pray for y'all. Cause I do! And I value your thoughts, prayers and encouragement. I didn't mean to cause alarm. Love to you all!

  11. Jenn, like the others I can also say "been there, done that" and I long ago stopped collecting the caps and the tee shirts. May I suggest you read my devotional message that's up right now (about the Pink Elephant)? This is NOT a promo but rather an encouragement for you. Maybe it's time to stop looking at what "you can't" and concentrate on what "you can". You can make sandwiches? Great start. Maybe you can't write a novel right now, but you've touched our hearts with your honesty. Praying for your even as I type. Blessings from South Africa - and cyber hugs!

  12. Hi Jenn. I so know this feeling! A little while ago I had put myself under pressure on a bunch of fronts and felt like I was trying to slog through glue. I would open my manuscript and try to write and couldn't even string a sentence together. Two weeks before I'd told my agent he would have it and I hadn't even finished the first draft!

    I felt God clearly tell me to be kind to myself. To let it go and trust Him. Not something I'm good at! So be kind to yourself, my cyber-friend. And, like Shirley says, focus on what you can do, not what you can't.

    Remember, for all the people who say they're going to write a book, most never even start, so you're already streaks ahead of the pack!

    1. Thanks Kara! You are so right. And I'm secretly hoping that people will feel it's ok to just 'can't' after reading the post. Cause sometimes, you can't! Thank you!!!