Breland: Waiting on inspired words may be lengthy

Published 11:14 am Friday, July 8, 2022

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Writing a weekly column is like writing a letter. After you write “Dear So and So” sometimes your mind draws a blank and you wonder why you ever started — which might account for why few people write letters anymore.

It is also like painting a picture. After putting out the paint and brushes and a blank canvas on the easel, it is like “what now?” How do I fill this canvas with something beautiful?

I don’t usually have that problem. I almost always know what I am going to paint next. Just wish I always knew what I was going to write next.

Since the past couple of years we have been tempted to stay at home because of the fear of the Covid virus — and now the horrible price of gas — we miss a lot that is going on. I can get on Facebook and hear a lot of the latest stuff — but most of it I don’t dare repeat!

Sometime I go back to old times and review interesting happenings. There are so many adventures experienced and I have written about them several times in my over 50 years of writing. On my birthday last week, I stopped and realized I have really never thought much about being this old. It arrived sooner than I ever expected, but I am so very blessed!

We might also consider the blessing of the rain that has been coming every day or so to cool things off a bit. We really had a very hot June! Might get a few lines out of that but not much else.

So here I sit in front of my computer trying to come up with something fresh and new — and interesting. Part of my creative thinking and writing problem concerns missing my afternoon nap — and it might have my brain slowed a bit. I had a very busy day with no time to nap. It isn’t bedtime yet, but I feel it coming.

Sleep made me think today about those early years when my brother and I were very small children. Mother was convinced we needed a nap every day after lunch. So she would lie down on the bed with us and after we wiggled around for a while she would say, “First one to go to sleep gets a nickel!”

We were tempted and we tried, but usually she went to sleep before we did and nobody got the nickel! Obviously she was the one who needed the nap, not us! You can imagine how long ago this was because children today would likely not bend down and pick a nickel up off the ground, much less be tempted by it.

Sometimes an inspiration comes at odd times. I learned not to depend on my mind to remember. If it is something good, I jot a note and then when column-writing time comes again I have it. Also, sometimes people say, “Why don’t you write about…” and I do consider it.

I told our late former managing editor Al Hansen once about waking up in the middle of the night with a great idea, getting up and writing my thoughts on paper. He called that inspired writing, but also said most of the time when we do that, we wake up expecting to read something wonderful and instead find scribbles that make no sense at all.

Inspired writing … maybe next week I will experience it and have a wonderfully interesting column ready. Hold that thought.

Meanwhile, I’m putting this tired body and brain to bed … sleep is well on its way.

 Retired as Associate News Editor, Bob Ann Breland writes a weekly column for The Daily News. You can email her at