Sunday, October 23, 2011

What to do When Your Mind is Writer Blocked

My mind is writer blocked, and I need a story worth writing.

Fresh air and a change of scenery ought to do the trick. I pack a lunch and take my family to the state park. Perhaps the trees have secrets to share?

My husband straps our preschooler to his back, and I nestle my baby against my chest. The four of us set off on a trail under a canopy of shimmering gold. Spruce, pine, and black walnut's stretch their arms and fingers toward the heavens.

I crane my neck and my baby's eyes follow. Yellow blends into blue. There's no telling where the leaves end and the sky begins. All of a sudden, I'm two feet tall in the presence of the majestic trees. I'm awed by their age and wisdom.

Is that the rustling wind? Or are the trees whispering tales of past visitors? My feet, hands, and mind are all ears.

I hear sonnets of lovers as they etch their names on bark; laughter of children as they make believe high up in branches. I hear a woman's cry over loss of pattering feet, and an elderly couple's musing of past regrets.

And was it a tree such as this where Sir Isaac Newton discovered gravity or chicken little a falling sky? Is this the one that holds the young girl's secret or the sick man's dying wish?

There are thousands of stories in this forest. Yet, I can't find one to write.

For even the greatest intrigue or conflict doesn't seem worthy of these stately trees. Are my words worthy of the lumberjack's saw and wood pulp fiber paper?

A twig snaps under my shoe and it's then I realize why I'm lacking inspiration. I'm as dry as the severed branch. I'm trying to pen stories apart from the source. It's only when I look to the author of life that His words flow through me.

My breath forms prayer, "God grant me stories worthy of these trees. Stories that point others to you."

My husband leads us to a clearing where a blending of colors paint one glorious canvas. We pause, drink in the beauty. And in that moment, I know what I must write!

Didn't the Savior die upon wood that held his nail pierced hands and feet. Didn't the timber hear His victorious proclamation, "it is finished?"

When I have nothing to say, I must go back to the greatest story ever penned--the living Word etching the story of grace and love upon a tree.

At the foot of the cross, I find transformational stories.

Melanie N. Brasher is a full time mama of two boys and wife to an incredible husband who understands her bicultural background. She moonlights as a fiction and freelance writer, crafting stories and articles toward justice and change, and contemplates faith, family, and writing at her personal blog. Though she’s an aspiring author, she’ll never quit her day job.


  1. LUV how you wrote this in present tense -- so refreshing. . . :-)

  2. Have you ever pondered how, out of all the millions or billions or trillions of trees that have existed on our planet, only one of them had the ultimate privilege of supporting the Savior during His most painful moments?

    Twice in human history trees have played a role in saving mankind: once, in the form of an Ark during the Flood, and a second time in the form of a Cross, where the Savior of the world took the punishment for our sin.

  3. Wow JOY! I love when His creation speaks to you!! My favorite nuggets from heaven come through trees!!! love love love them!! But love their Creator all the more…of course!! :)

  4. Thanks, Loree, Darren & Suzanne!

    Millie, I love the present tense too much. :)

    Rick, yes I thought about that as I wrote that post. It's truly amazing, isn't it? I wonder if the Lord preserved a special one for that purpose? Wow, I never thought about trees playing a role in saving humanity--the ark and the cross. Great thought!

    Raj, yes God's creation can teach us so much, no? Thanks for visiting again. :)