I've reached a place many authors dread - I've got no major projects on, I'm not writing a book, or a short story, or an article, or planning any teaching...
I'm in the land of blank pages.
But! It's not bothering me in the way it used to.
Years ago, when I first fell in love with writing, I used to get terribly uptight and anxious if I didn't have something to actually write. That's what the life is supposed to be about, after all.
These days, however, I feel more relaxed about it, because I've realised that a pause can be good for you. It's a chance to recharge a little, sit back, take stock, and most importantly of all...
... to think.
On the subject of which, time for a quick visual interlude. When I'm teaching, I always say a writer needs a place to think, and here's one of my finest -
The River Exe, happily not far from home, a wonderful place to walk, and a source of pure inspiration when it's needed.
So, as I was saying, I've got time for thinking and I'm very much enjoying it. And I can hear what you're saying, and no! It's not just because it means I can sit in the corner of a pub with a pint to do my pondering.
I've been going back through the teaching of this summer, working on what could be improved, along with new ideas for future sessions. I've also been working on thoughts for new stories or books, and it's been refreshing and uplifting, not to mention productive.
It takes a while to realise as an author, but just because you're not actually writing, it doesn't mean you're not doing the job you love.
So here's to blank pages - empty they may be, but they can be just as important as those pages we fill with our beloved writing.