In the last five days I’ve had four feature stories due—three of them on the same day—two editing projects, plus I had to turn in a PowerPoint for a speech I’m giving later this week. For the first time in my life, I’ve felt like I might actually run out of words .
All creative people, I think, feel like this at one time or another. You go back to the well too many times, you’ll find it dry.
Hair stylists stare at another mop of hair and wonder where to start. School teachers sit in a classroom filled with apathetic teenagers and struggle to find a way to reach them. You don’t have to be an artist to recognize that one more blank canvas might just push you over the edge.
And I’m not talking about writer’s block, either. As a journalist, I’ve always felt that writer’s block was a luxury that I could not afford. If I don’t make a deadline, I don’t get paid. So no, I wasn’t blocked. Just depleted.
I did the only thing I could do. I got up from the desk and took a walk. My husband, Rob, came with me.
The blue sky greeted us, a rare winter gift here in Washington State. The air was crisp but the sun was shining. We didn’t talk much as we climbed the hilly sidewalks near our home. I studied the shapes of frozen puddles in the roadway, noticed the outline of bare tree limbs.
I had exchanged the tapping of my fingers on the keyboard for the pumping of my legs, the beating of my heart. It felt Good.
When we got home, I went back to my desk and wrote with a renewed energy.
I realized that all I really needed to do was stop, in order to start again.
Stacie Zinn Roberts is a nationally recognized, award-winning writer and marketing expert with more than 25 years of experience. She has won more than 40 national awards for her work including the United Nations Environmental Program for retail environmental marketing, as well as from organizations such at the Public Relations Society of America and the Turf & Ornamental Communicators Association. She’s written for industry publications such as Golf Course Management, Sports Turf, Golfdom and PR Daily. She spent eight years as the president and director of marketing for Environmental Turf, where she developed the branding for SeaDwarf Seashore Paspalum, the grass that eventually became the greens grass for the Rio Olympic Golf Course. Stacie served for six years on the Board of Directors of the Florida Turfgrass Association as Chair of the Research & Scholarship Committee where she worked closely with the scientists from the University of Florida’s turfgrass breeding program. Stacie founded What’s Your Avocado? Marketing & Public Relations in 2012.