Tuesday, March 9, 2021

The Writer's Life?

9th March 2021

What Do I Do, Now That I’ve Finished My Memoir?

Staring at a blank page is disheartening, especially when I don’t know what I am going to write.

But, here I am. I stare out of the window, watch clouds move quickly across a grey sky, watch trees sway as if they’d uproot themselves at a moments notice and walk away.

Back to the page, that white space that my eyes don’t want to focus on. I don't give them the choice. I make them. Right. Now. What to write? How do I begin?

Since finishing, for the present, with the memoir, I’m at a loss as to what to write about. My Ideas don’t seem to want to know me. They left without saying goodbye. I’ve no clue what I’ve done to deserve their scorn. We were getting on fine when time was limited for them, when I'd keep them waiting, saying, I'll get to you soon. But now, the focus is all on them. Seems they don’t like all the attention. 

But, you know, It’s a peculiar thing, that when I was working on the memoir, I spent a very small portion of my time actually working on the memoir. Somehow, the fact that it was in the background, waiting for me to turn up, day after day, made me use that very time for “procrastinating”, not staring out of the window, but writing. Like it was another way to avoid doing the harder work. I mean, I actually had a few things published, for goodness’ sake! Also, I spent a good deal of time replying to comments on Slack, again , not doing the work.

Do other writers have this problem, I wonder?

Is it that I need a big project on the go, whirling around, lurking at the back of my mind, before I can allow  myself to play with and enjoy my own creativity?

I mean, with this time now, I could write those personal essays that I’ve been talking about. I could write more poetry. I could write a blogpost, I could...See what I mean?

So, what’s the matter with me?

Why am I unable to settle into any writing that I consider worthwhile?

I have slowed down.

I don’t like it.

I need help.

In a Zoom catch up session with other wonderful writers from the London Writers Salon, I explained my predicament.

“I’m at a loss,” I said. “Since finishing my memoir, I find I don’t know what to write, or how to write, or sometimes, whether I have anything worth writing at all.”

They all sympathised with me for a few minutes and if they could, they would have put the kettle on and brought out the chocolate biscuits. Until one writer in the room spoke to my problem.

“Write about it,” she said, “use it to get you started again. Use it to get you unblocked”

It was like I'd been hit on the head with a broom. All of a sudden, the sun shone again, the ink in my pen made itself ready, working its way down to the nib, my journal sat next to me, expectantly, presenting a clean page.

“Sounds like I’ll be needed,” I could hear them say.

Then for the rest of the day, I didn’t write. Well, except for a letter to a grandchild and some comments on other peoples work. Yes, sad, I know. But the thought was planted, and my mind ruminated in the fresh compost.

Now, this morning, I thought, what have you got to lose. At least give it a try.

So, here you have it, my fellow writers.

So, my advice to you, for what it’s worth and that’s for you to decide, is , if you are stuck and can’t find your creative self, even after looking in all the usual places, just get started with that. Start with where you are. And at least you’ll have started.

— — -

If you’d like to stop by the Writers Hour at the London Writers Salon, here is the link:


There are 4 hours throughout the day. ITS FREE. We turn up, put in the chat box what we’re going to work on, listen to an inspirational quote and write for 50 mins.

No pressure, no accountability. Just writers writing together. It’s wonderful and has made all the difference to my life.


  1. Sometimes it helps to go to one of the sites that gives writing prompts and just do one. Once you open the flood gates, things come back.


Please feel free to comment with advice and critique.