I have been faced with a new problem the past few weeks. I am out of words. I am never out of words. I love to talk, to write, to sing. If it involves words, I am good to go.
There are times I will wake Pookie up in the middle of the night because I can’t sleep, and I just want to talk. Over the years, Pookie has developed a unique and magical talent of being able to sense when I am in such a mood, and he can carry on full conversations in his sleep. It is a win-win. I get to talk, and he gets to sleep.
But suddenly I find myself short on words. Not in conversation, but in anything written. In blog posts, on Twitter and Facebook, but especially in my writing. I couldn’t figure out why. I could always write. And I have ideas I love, but I can’t come up with the words for the story.
Then, this afternoon, Kaye and I were standing on stage for rehearsal for Willy Wonka. We were rehearsing the opening of the second act and Wonka was singing, when we were both struck with the appropriateness of the song he was singing:
You will find in your mind
There’s a world of endless fascination—
No more fun place to be
Than your imagination
(At the Gates, Ronald Dahl’s Willy Wonka 2-Act, page 48)
We both agreed that we should post this somewhere on our blog, since it is very fitting for our new journey. (It being part of my post, on the other hand, may be a complete surprise to Kaye. SURPRISE! 😉 )
When rehearsal ended Pookie and I did some shopping and made dinner, but I kept thinking about this line. After dinner, I sat down to write this post on a completely different topic, but the words wouldn’t come. I kept circling back to this quote. Then it hit me—that ah-ha moment! I know my problem! I know when I the words stopped flowing.
About two months ago, I decided to write full-time. At that point, I started looking at it as a job, no longer something I do for fun. I looked at it simply as an obligation, not as something I wanted to do. And the words stopped flowing. What I realized tonight is that, regardless of prior experience, “fun” and “work” do not have to be mutually exclusive.
In other words, just because writing is now my “job,” it doesn’t mean that I can’t still have fun. I was drawn to a career as a writer because writing is fun. The song is right—your imagination is an amazing, exciting place to be. I lost sight of that, and writers block set in. That’s my theory, anyway. So, this week I am going to focus on having fun with my writing, in hopes that the words return. *Crosses fingers* 🙂 We’ll see how it goes.
What are your thoughts? Can work be fun, or when you start doing something as a job, does it cease to be fun?