What writer, professional or simply personal, has not suffered from writers’ block? For weeks, months, sometimes years. I certainly have and for an uncomfortably long time. You feel miserable, worthless, as though you will never produce another word again. Like depression, you can’t imagine yourself being any other way but barren.
One day, my friend, the wonderful novelist Hilma Wolitzer, having had enough of my laments, sent me a book that saved my life. It is called The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron and though it has now become a bible for many writers, back when it came out in 1992, it seemed like alchemy.
Cameron prescribes exercises such as this: when you wake up in the morning, before you do anything else, reach for pen and paper and write down everything and anything that you can think of. Grocery lists, grievances, opinions on the décor, fears, dreams, anything at all. Believe it or not, it clears the junk from your mind and frees it up for creativity.
Then sit down in front of the computer. And Pray. Hard.
With great skepticism, this is what I did. Within three days, I was writing again. Over the years I have used the various exercises whenever I was stuck and I have experienced now and then the brightest dream of every writer: my fingers flying over the keys without anybody telling them to do so.