Even prolific writers talk about those moments, after the completion of a book or screenplay, when they wonder whether they’ll ever write again, ever have anything more to say. If the writer is lucky, the thought is fleeting and the next new project is already bubbling up in the writer’s mind, begging to be written.
But, honestly, the well does sometimes dry up. And a dry creative well isn’t the same as writer’s block. The dry well is more like a void–nothing to say, no words, no images. It’s a drought, a dark night of the writer’s soul. And it feels, in the moment, as if it will last forever.
It won’t last forever. But every moment it does last feels like an eternity.
Occasionally, a writer has just pushed the muse too hard, and the muse is taking a vacation. Writers who take part in Book in a Month programs know they’ll need time off at the end of the month’s writing push–and they know their jobs, friends and families will reclaim them and give them that much-needed change of pace.
For writers who are undergoing transformations in their personal lives–deaths, divorces, or the birth of a child, even a spiritual awakening–the well may run dry because the water’s being changed. If dams are opened to drain a reservoir, the reservoir looks like a wasteland until it refills with water. If a writer drains herself emotionally or creatively, the wasteland only lasts until the inner reservoir is refilled.