Wednesday, April 24, 2019

Feeling Stuck? Take Time to Refuel by Kathleen Rouser

Perhaps it was the first picture book your mom read to you, an old leather bound version of The Secret Garden you found at your grandma’s, or a copy of The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe you borrowed from the library which sparked your desire to write. Before I was a fiction author, I fell in love with a real hard copy book while growing up. From the scent of fresh ink and paper in a brand-new book to the softness of well-worn pages and the musty scent of being on a shelf somewhere for a long time, books spoke to my longing.

The stories we read can help us fall in love with words again, the power they have to create pictures in our imaginations and take us away from the pressures or boredom of daily life. To pick up a good book and read for an hour can be like a mini-vacation.

There are days when we are discouraged or stuck, when we might even sit and stare at a prewritten story outline and find every word we write a chore. While we might able to force ourselves to produce words for a deadline, there are times when we might feel empty and need to put fuel in the tank of imagination and emotions before we can write.

One day, I was at the local post office, which is around the corner from our public library. So often I’ve looked up books and reserved them online. I’d pick them up quickly to be time efficient. That day I decided to give myself the luxury of looking around the library for the fun of it, picking up books to look at . . . just because.

I may have spent only an hour and a half there, but the time relaxing and reading and soaking in the atmosphere filled me up again with new ideas, more creativity and a renewed desire to handle real books! Yes, I must confess, that I have a Kindle and it’s wonderful for taking with me and for reading at night, so as not to disturb my light sleeper of a husband. However, that special time at the library helped me remember how I first fell in love with words and stories.

When I still had children at home, taking the time to treat myself to a latte at a cafe, while writing in a notebook, often gave me the time off I needed. This gave me the chance to refuel as well. I have often felt these days that I can’t or shouldn’t take the time to read, relax, and refuel and have also reaped the consequences.

The reality is that if we don’t take that time, even occasionally, the emotional energy we need to write isn’t there. Taking those needed times to refuel—whether it’s a walk outside, watching a favorite movie, or revisiting a favorite book—have helped me to become a more productive writer when I get back to my laptop.

I have often felt these days that I can’t or shouldn’t take the time to read, relax, and refuel and have also reaped the consequences. via @KathleenRouser #SeriouslyWrite #writingtips


Kathleen Rouser is the award-winning author of Rumors and Promises, her first novel about the people of fictional Stone Creek, Michigan, and its sequel, Secrets and Wishes. Kathleen wanted to be a writer before she could even read. She is a longtime member of American Christian Fiction Writers. She longs to create characters who resonate with readers and realize the need for a transforming Savior in their everyday lives. She lives in Michigan with her hero and husband, Jack, and the sassy tailless cat who found a home in their empty nest. Connect with Kathleen on her website at, on Facebook at, and on Twitter @KathleenRouser.

The Great Lakes Lighthouse Brides Collection

Along the Great Lakes, America’s inland seas, lighthouses played a vital role in the growth of
the nation. They shepherded settlers traveling by water to places that had no roads. These beacons of light required constant tending even in remote and often dangerous places. Brave men and women battled the elements and loneliness to keep the lights shining. Their sacrifice kept goods and immigrants moving. Seven romances set between 1883 and 1911 bring hope to these lonely keepers and love to weary hearts.

Includes The Last Memory by Kathleen Rouser: 1899—Mackinac Point Lighthouse Natalie Brooks loses her past to amnesia, and Cal Waterson, the lighthouse keeper who rescues her, didn’t bargain on risking his heart—when her past might change everything.