Writing on Wednesdays: Breadcrumbs

January 9th, 2013

Overcoming writer’s block

The boys went back to school this morning, after almost a month-long break. As soon as they left, I cleared the breakfast dishes, got in the shower, and was fully dressed and made up by 9 o’clock. Ready for…what, exactly?

I could barely remember. I perused my inbox. I wrote in my journal. I ate an egg. I made a list. I caught up with some of my regular blog reads, waiting for the fog to lift, the neon sign to light up above the Castle Grail. Then I saw this:

I woke up this morning feeling like my priorities were unbalanced as January has suddenly turned more hectic, and I feel like I have too much to do.  Just writing this post, just reviewing my favorite important little moments this past week has helped me reprioritize.  Little pleasures should never ever get lost in the shuffle of big important routines.  They are what’s big and important because they fuel everything else.

from Enjoying, by Kelle Hampton

That’s what I love about blogs. There is always another wanderer on the same trail, carving out messages to say, “This way” or “Caution ahead” or simply, “I was here.”

I read those words, and I remembered what I already know about overcoming writer’s block, but always forget: the little moments are the breadcrumbs that take us into the deep places. It’s easy to lose courage and direction in the shadow of all the Big and Important Things you want to say. When you get lost, try picking up a small detail right in front of you and writing about that. And the next small detail. And the next. Lose yourself in the details. They know the way.

One Response to “Writing on Wednesdays: Breadcrumbs”

  1. Kelly says:

    I felt *exactly* the same way yesterday morning, when my kids went back to school. This is supposedly my Year to Write (or else) and what did I do with my day?

    The bread crumbs analogy reminds me of another helpful one from Julia Cameron, about just laying down track for the train of your story. Chug, chug, chug and edit it all after the train has somewhere to go…

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