When words fail me: A full brain and an empty page



I have writer’s block. 

Now, those of you who ever read anything I write are likely to find solace in my inability to process thought long enough to transfer it to a piece of paper – or, as the case may be, a word document.

But to someone whose entire life has been built around the power of words and communication I often find these cycles to be terrifying.

Like right now.

It’s not that I don’t have anything I want to say, or write, it’s that I have found myself in one of those awful ruts that frustrate me and challenge me to find a way out of it.

My brain, not the smartest one on Earth, has generally served me fairly well over the years. 

It has given me enough talent, and no more than enough, to formulate thoughts and ideas and convey them through words.

I don’t have many skills in life.

I’m one of those people who is in very big trouble when the robots take over.

There is no such thing as “simple math” to me.  It’s all hard.

Yes, I can add, subtract, divide and multiply.

But, get beyond that if you need me to plan your return to Earth trajectory from space I am afraid you are going to be staying there for a long, long while.

As in forever!

I’m not a terribly good athlete, I don’t have the intellect to comprehend complex formulas and theories about anything and I can only put IKEA furniture together because of stubborn tenacity.

So, when I can’t write something about anything I fear my minimal talents are failing me.

For you, that may be good.

For me, that is most definitely bad.

I thrive on thinking about things.  I love turning things over in my mind over and over again.  I am fascinated by human beings and how we work and function and what we do in life.

For me, words on paper are my brains way of releasing the pressure of all of that which is going on in my head.

Right now, there is a lot going on in my head.  Perhaps too much.

Maybe that is the problem I am having right now with my writer’s block.

I want to write about the power of young people after having the privilege to work with many parents in planning and producing the NSCC Twin Cities Squadron Sea Cadet Ball.

The confidence I have in the future of this country after seeing so many young men and women who take pride in their country, themselves, their duty and their Squadron.

Or the awe I have for a young filmmaker named Alec Bircher of Bircher Films who can walk into a room with a video camera and walk out of it creating beautiful art that compels you to watch it.

I’m thinking about the person who won Super Bowl Tickets from Spare Key who is about to do something remarkable and gracious that will make a difference in the lives of many others.

I am reflecting on a person I met on Necker Island who is building a company, creating jobs and futures for others, who stepped forward to help bring two non-profits together to create synergy to help even more people through his energy and passion.

I have stuff in my head from my 24 hours on the roof of Anchor Paper.  The kind heart of its CEO Brooke Lee who humors me when I call her up and say, “Hey, I have a crazy idea!” and doesn’t hang up the phone.

I’m sure she should.

There’s the phone call I got from an old friend from my days working for Mayor Norm Coleman while I was on the roof, sharing stories of blowing Titanic Whistles and how in our day we “…. got things done.”

Always at the front of my mind is the never-ending pride and amazement I want to write about and share about my kids.  Whose kind hearts, thirst for knowledge and sense of humor graces my life every single day.

My thoughts never wander far from the people I work with at Spare Key who do the work of 20 people because they believe in it and because it makes a difference.  And, my Board of Directors who tolerate my long emails before our Groove Gala pleading with them to do more and faster and now to reach our goals.

Far less interesting to anyone is my satisfaction of seeing almost 12 inches of snow fall outside my home and the fact that after a year my snow blower, although hesitant at first, started and allowed me to clean my sidewalks.

I do have writers block.  But, it’s not because my life is lacking in rich texture and experiences and wonderful and complex people and fascinating ideas.

On the contrary. 

So, for now, and for a while, I think, I will enjoy the swirling mess inside my head. 

It will find its way out eventually. 

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