My heart is full of words and stories and pictures and aches to spill them forth. Yet, nothing emerges from my fingertips. The stories refuse to take form, insisting on remaining hidden for the time being, not ready to face the light of day. Here I sit, staring at the screen, realizing I can’t force these words forth before their time.
I recall a day last summer when I ate a peach, resplendent with stunning reddish gold undertones and strong red highlights. However, as picture perfect as it looked, it was not a perfect peach. The fragrance was faint, and although it was no longer hard, it didn’t feel juicy to my questioning finger. The flesh inside was pale and dull. When I bit into it, it tasted like a peach with half the flavor bleached out. The texture was mushy and slightly grainy, not dripping with juice as a perfect peach should be.
Appearances can be deceiving, I reminded myself. There is no way of knowing for sure at the grocery store just how a slightly under-ripe peach will ripen. This one had looked promising, but in the final analysis, it had been plucked from the tree too early. It hadn’t gotten the full benefit of nurturing sap and other fluids provided by the mother tree. The components that would mature into sugar hadn’t been fully formed and the cells hadn’t been fully plumped with water. Peaches can be picked a few days early, but if they come off the tree too soon, they will never ripen properly. The one I ate was of the latter sort.
Perhaps the thoughts spinning in my heart are like that peach, or like a baby, not ready to leave the womb. Neither can realize its full potential to nourish or serve others without the proper preliminary formation. If I force these thoughts into stories too soon, they will be dry and anemic, and they won’t convey the ripeness of the message they are intended to carry. Perhaps I still have a few things to learn and understand. Perhaps the juice and sweetness of love is not developed as far as these stories require to fulfill their ultimate destiny, whatever that may be, or perhaps the readers for whom they are intended aren’t ready to hear them.
I remind myself that these stories are not something I contrive. They are placed in my mind and heart by God herself. I can poke them, prod them, sense their presence and meaning, but I can’t know their final form or intent. That is the gift, not just to me, but to those for whom they are intended. Today I must be content to allow the stories to continue to grow and ripen, eager for the day when they are ready to gush freely from my fingers into the keyboard and out the printer.
This is an example of how writer’s block can turn into a story.
Write now: about your random thoughts when you are experiencing writer's block. Better yet, file this prompt away for that eventual day when you experience writer's block, because I hope that today your muse is generously blessing you with a plethora of great ideas that you are adding to your story idea list.
Sharon Lippincott, aka Ritergal