Setting the Stage 

Let’s get real for a moment. It’s the holiday season, I just finished another term of my master’s program, I had an internship and on top of it, I teach. All of these commitments involve intense amounts of writing and creative thought. By the end of the year, my creativity is completely sapped.

It’s frustrating, because I’m of the belief that your creative well runs dry from to time and you need to take the occasional break to fill it up again. I know this and I believe it, but still, when holidays and breaks roll around, I have this intense desire and need to create. There’s just one problem: I can’t do it!

Woman stressed is going crazy pulling her hair in frustration

Artistic rendition of the writer at this moment.
© wckiw – Fotolia.com

I force myself to sit down and work on comic reviews, prompts, and that graphic novel I keep wanting to make progress on, and I can’t. I’ve already written enough to fill a novel for school and work, so what could possibly come out of me now? I end up in the midst of an internal battle instead of experiencing a creative outpour. It feels bad. It’s the worst.

Right now, at the end of the year, you might be caught in a similar bind. Use this prompt to journal about this empty well, or maybe not. Maybe instead, what you need is a break without writing. Stare at a wall. Watch paint dry. Don’t text or send emails. Watch all the horrible television you never let yourself watch. Grab a fun book you haven’t read in a while. Have sex. Get more sleep. Just do something that will slowly reconnect you with your inspiration.

What Writers Have to Say about Breaks: 

“Each person deserves a day away in which no problems are confronted, no solutions searched for. Each of us needs to withdraw from the cares which will no withdraw from us.” — Maya Angelou

“There is virtue in work and there is virtue in rest. Use both and overlook neither.” — Alan Cohen

“All that is important comes in quietness and waiting.” — Patrick Lindsay

“A little nonsense now and then, is cherished by the wisest men.” — Roald Dahl

“The paradox of relaxation is the renewal of mind; rekindle of spirit and revitalize of strength.”
Lailah Gifty Akita

How to Use This Prompt

If you want to try your hand at non-fiction, journal about your creativity. When does the well run dry? Why? What has helped you in the past to find those sparks of creativity? Use this time to free write. It doesn’t have to makes sense or look good. Hell, just scribble for all I care! At least it’s an emotion coming out.

Maybe indulge in some of the activities I’ve mentioned and see what comes up. Nothing is more helpful than watching shitty fantasy/paranormal romance to propel me to write a story I know is better than what I’m watching.

Young woman eating popcorn and watching TV

Seriously. Go watch some TV. That’s an order.
© rocketclips – Fotolia.com

Or maybe you want to write fiction as you have a little more creativity to work with. Write about a person who’s a workaholic and that damn alarm on their phone keeps going off. They turn it off and yet it keeps ringing. They get so mad that they end up breaking their phone. Still it rings. Something isn’t right. What is going on? Write this story.

Maybe you would prefer poetry this time. Go take a walk or sit outside. Even if it’s cold where you’re at. Bring a paper and pen/or whatever you use to write and stare at an object. A tree, the snow, a moose. Maybe don’t see and just sense what’s around you. Write about your experience and the sensations that come to your mind. It’s a conversation between you and this moment.

Write a short story, an essay, a poem, or even just a paragraph or two based on this prompt. Then feel free to share what you’ve written in comments, post a link to your piece on your own blog, or submit it to our site!

 If you’d like more prompts and can’t wait until next week, check out our free e-book, “A Year of Inspiration: 52 Writing Prompts from the Renegade Word.”