What do you do when words don’t come? How do you speak when you don’t know what to say?
These are questions you start to ask yourself sometimes, whether you’re communicating with people around cubicles or in classrooms, on the phone or at the table, as old friends or among new acquaintances. And honestly, it’s never more apparent an issue than on the Internet, when you blog.
Read any blog for some stretch of time, and you’ll hear the author mention it, whether they’re asking themselves whether or not to keep blogging every other day or lamenting when the words don’t come or, like I did a few weeks ago, just stepping back to take in for a while. How should you handle these stretches of silence?
How do you keep talking when it isn’t easy? Some say push through it, say what you can right now, keep talking until something makes sense.
Others say to wait, wait for the words, wait for the right way to say them. And I think it’s funny how these responses parallel reactions in real life.
When you’re in an argument, when your friend does something to upset you, when you don’t get the job or the date or the answer you were hoping for, what do you do? How do you deal with it: immediate reaction or slow response?
Which is better? Which makes sense to you? I’d guess that your answer to this mirrors your answer to dealing with writers’ block.
Do something now — write through the uncreative moments. Wait and process — take some time away.
It’s interesting. And thinking through these things recently, I’ve come to the conclusion that just as my blog reflects my life in so many other areas, so it should in this one.
I like to process, think through, wait for words to come on things. And so that’s what I’m resolved to do here.
When the words come, I’ll share them with you, and when they don’t, I’ll just be listening. There’s no schedule, no deadlines, just the opportunity to put down thoughts when wanted.
The alternative would be giving up — just like I’ve started and ended blogs before, just like I’ve lost touch with friends — and I like this place too much to do that yet. So for now I leave you with waffles.
If you’re like many people, you might have had it in pancakes, so waffles aren’t a far stretch. And listen to me: buckwheat waffles made with buttermilk and topped by fresh blueberries, bananas and pure maple syrup are pretty fantastic, as are learning life lessons, like, you know, knowing when to speak and when not to.
Buckwheat Buttermilk Waffles (with blueberries and bananas!)
1 cup buckwheat flour
1 Tablespoon raw sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon salt
1 cup buttermilk
2 Tablespoons oil
Preheat waffle maker and preheat oven to its lowest setting. In a large bowl, combine all the dry ingredients (flour through salt).
In a separate medium bowl, combine all the liquids (buttermilk through oil). Then add the liquids to the dry ingredients and mix well.
Pour batter into waffle maker and cook according to machine directions. As each waffle is finished, you can place it directly on the rack in the preheated oven to get a little crispier.
If you’re cooking for one (like I was), just save the leftover waffles in the fridge or the freezer and toast them later for a snack! I like mine best topped with pure maple syrup, butter, fresh blueberries and chopped bananas.
About Shanna Mallon
Shanna holds an MA in writing from DePaul University. Her mantra? Restoring order and celebrating beauty through creative content, photography, and food. Shanna's work has been featured in Bon Appetit, The Kitchn, MSN.com, Everyday Health, Better Homes & Gardens, Houzz.com, Food News Journal, Food52, Zeit Magazine, Chew the World, Mom.me, Babble, Delish.com, Parade, Foodista, Entrepreneur and Ragan PR.