Here’s a thing about being a writer that I am constantly forgetting and remembering and forgetting all over again: with no input, there is no output. If you’ve recently done a massive purge of feelings and ideas, which is to say, finished a big project of any kind, or begun a new one, and given most of yourself to it — YOU ARE EMPTY. If you try and generate content during that time, you will LITERALLY MAKE YOURSELF SICK, physically and emotionally. If you keep revving the engine in this empty place, you will damage your pipes. You must wait until you refill. But it’s not even as simple as reading something or just reflecting. The actual intake of content does not instantly turn into ideas. You must engage so hard in your own life and the world around you, you must go so far from the actual act of writing that you’ve nearly convinced yourself that you’ll never do it again, or at least do it well — you must meet that terrifying thought head on, wrap yourself around it — and then suddenly, in that desperate and lonely but necessary place, words and people are standing quietly in front of you, waiting to be seen.