Why Christian Writers Need A Vacation From Media

Christian writers and media

Most writers would tell you that writer’s block can be a difficult hurdle to overcome. It has a way of soaking into your brain, causing it to short circuit and you’re left sitting in your desk chair, buzzing and twitching while you stare at a blank computer screen.

We often blame writer’s block on an absence of ideas because in the moment, it feels like there is absolutely nothing to write about. We can almost see the tumbleweeds blow through our heads. But perhaps we’re looking at the problem from the wrong perspective. Maybe, it’s not the absence of ideas but rather the proliferation of ideas that causes the traffic jam in our brains.

Every day, we are inundated with information. It makes sense to be connected and keep informed, especially as a writer, but all of that stuff can clog the mind. We can’t decide what to write about because there is too much to write about. We find it hard to sort through all that information in a way that makes sense and so our minds blue screen.

Perhaps it would be a good idea for us to take a break from our electronics, particularly if we’re feeling stymied. Here are a few ways this might help:

1. Finding Our Voice
Trying to write in the midst of a storm of information is like trying to have a conversation in the middle of Grand Central Station during rush hour. There is too much distraction. Disconnecting from the electronics provides an opportunity for us to clearly hear the thoughts in our own heads and there are always nuggets of genius in there just waiting to be mined when we can see past the clutter enough to grab a hold of them. When we stop getting spoon-fed our opinions through the media, we have the time to think for ourselves, create our own opinions and draw our own conclusions.

2. Silence The Critic
We all have a part of us that wonders if we’re good enough as writers and those feelings can be intensified when we compare ourselves to others. It’s easy to start reading blogs, articles and features and worry that our writing isn’t as good. It can also make us start to feel like everything has been written about and there are no fresh angles. When we write without the pressure of trying to live up to someone else, we enjoy it more and end up writing something that is truly ourselves. The writing happens organically.

Incidentally, this I have found that unlike blogs and magazines, books have an infinite capacity to inspire and can be a spring board for new ideas.

3. Hear God’s Voice
We once lost power for a full two weeks! It was so difficult…and dark, but I found that not only was I able to think more clearly, I was able to hear God speak more clearly! Normally, it’s hard to hear his voice over the buzz of the world. Some of the best conversations I’ve ever had with God were when I was being really still. He loves to talk to me when I’m in the shower or when I’m lying in Savasana during yoga class or when I’m sitting alone in the exam room at the doctor’s office.

I’m sure he capitalizes on those moments because they are usually the only times when I am in complete silence and he has my undivided attention. It’s important for everyone, but especially writers who have a heart to write for God, to be still and silent every single day. Otherwise, we will miss what God is trying to teach us and we’ll also miss out on the blessing of sharing that lesson with others.

The next time you feel the writer’s block start to creep in and you’re looking for inspiration, fight the urge to find inspiration online or on television and instead, try turning everything off and look for inspiration within.

QUESTION: How can Christian writers do a better job of turning of the media in order to refocus?

* Image credit: Express Monorail (Creative Commons)

  • http://www.CharlesSpecht.com/ Charles Specht

    Alicia, I like this article. Taking a break now and then is critical to maintaining optimal creativity. Thanks!

    • Alicia Yost

      It’s such a hard thing to balance! Sometimes I feel like I need to set a timer for myself so that I don’t get too sucked in and spend that time in prayer instead!

  • http://rebootingworship.com/ Jamie Kocur

    Oh my goodness I so need to follow this advice. My mind is so cluttered some days I can’t focus. Thanks for a good reminder.

    • Alicia Yost

      I feel the same way! I saw something the other day that said if men want to know what it looks like inside a woman’s mind, they should imagine having 2800 tabs open on their browser at all times. It made me laugh because it’s so true. I already have so much going on without adding extra media stuff in there!

  • Hannah

    This is great advice! :) It’s always good to take a break from the media for a bit to sort things out.