If You Have Nothing Good to Say…….

If You Have Nothing Good to Say…….

You may have noticed I have been writing less as of late. Perhaps the best way to explain this is by reference to that well known advice your mother may have given you: “if you don’t have anything good or positive to say, don’t say anything.”

The past month I have felt uninspired to write – there is no other way to say it really. In examining why this is the case, I can identify 3 factors that have led to me falling into a rut: (1) post holiday blues (2) a growing frustration with my work situation; and (3) after being here in Canada for 10 months, homesickness finally rearing its ugly head.

So then, you may be wondering why I am writing this article. It has hardly been inspiring and positive so far….

I guess it is because in this present moment I feel good. Not in the normal sense though… if anything today has been a shambles so far and I should feel the opposite. I got up on multiple occasions last night to attend to my son, which led to me turning off my alarm and sleeping in. I skipped breakfast (for the first time in years I think…), ran for the bus and spent most of the 1+ hour commute feeling like a sardine. And after all this I arrived at work late.

So why the heck do I feel good?

I guess it is because right now I feel an inner determination in me that has been missing for the past month or so. In fact, I would compare this feeling to how I felt back in 2006 when I finally said “that is enough” and started to make major changes to how I was living my life. It is almost as if a switch has been flicked, and I have decided to once again put my hands on the steering wheel of my life and take control of its direction.

Despite my bad start to the morning, the day has since been what I would describe as a “Project Kill Day”, ie one of those days where you are in the zone and just get things done. I have made some major headway on a work project that I have been working on for weeks, I have finally finished some small tasks that have been hanging around for months like a bad smell and as I write this article I find the words are flowing freely out of my head. Most importantly, I have started to make steps to tackling one of the factors I mentioned above (two of them I can’t really do much about, except to hopefully just get over them).

So if I was to draw attention to one particular point in this article it would be this: significant change in our lives begins with a decision. “That’s enough” we need to tell ourselves. If we are in pain, frustrated, lonely, unorganized, etc…. we need to make a decision to change our current situation. This is what I did back in 2006 when I came to the realization that I needed to sort my life out if I was going to be a father. And the results have been amazing. Yes, admittedly I have been in a bit of a slump lately… but that’s ok… it happens to all of us every so often. What is important is that I have made a decision to change and that I again feel a fire roaring within me…

Lets see what the future brings.

Photo by Tobi Firestone

Peter Clemens

Peter Clemens is founder of The Change Blog and author of The Possibility of Change books series. Click here to learn more about Peter and his books.


  1. I know what it feels like! I am trying to write every day but sometimes it’s just too hard. Other days, it just comes so easily.

  2. Peter,

    I’ve only recently discovered your writing both here and at PicktheBrain, and enjoy your style. Having browsed your previous posts, I wondered why we hadn’t heard from you in a wee while.

    It can definitely be an unsettling experience, as a writer, to have the creative juices slow down to a trickle. I’m sure the recent events that have occupied you will, ironically, inspire you as you mull them over.

    The most productive periods usually follow the lean times. I look forward to reading more when you’re back in the groove ;-)

  3. Don’t worry – it’s just a phase. It will pass!When I’m stuck, I start small. Break my writing project into very small, five minute tasks. Set a timer for fifteen minutes and just free write on a topic. Or I read a piece of fiction that is wildly unrelated – it wakes up the other side of my brain.

    heidis last blog post..Protection from Modern Life: Designers Nacho Carbonell and Mary Hale

  4. “feeling like a sardine” — Haha, I love that expression!

    Don’t be afraid to go into the slump. It is often a precursor of big growth. We are processing a lot of things in the back of our consciousness while we are lying flat. . .

    Another reminder I often use myself is that we don’t need to be right or better. Your mum was right and we don’t need to say un-nice things, but we don’t need to tighten up to be SOOO good, either.

    Akemi -Yes to Mes last blog post..If I have to work for an idiot, I may as well work for myself: Tony Lawrence

  5. I too know how this feels… Most of the time, I’m pretty excited about my goals and freelancing projects but sometimes the day-to-day responsibilities of work and life eat into that enthusiasm.

    Peter, this might be an impractical suggestion for you, but is there any possibility you can cut down to working 4 days a week? I managed this for a couple of months at the start of the year (though back up to 5 days now, alas) and it gave my motivation and energy levels a massive boost.

    Take care of yourself. It’s always a treat to read a post from you, but I’d rather you were resting if that’s what you need right now!


    Ali from The Office Diets last blog post..How Healthy Habits Keep Your Stress Levels Down

  6. It must be the day. I felt the same way. There have been things out of my control that have had me down. I read a blog the other, can’t remember which, that said “Let it go.” It worked. Remembers me the of “Serenity Prayer.”

  7. Ahh yes… the serenity prayer is a favorite of mine as well. I mentioned it the other week in a post called “The Not-So-Perfect Week”. Here it is again for anyone who is unfamiliar with it:

    God grant me the serenity
    to accept the things I cannot change;
    courage to change the things I can;
    and wisdom to know the difference.

  8. Life is such that we don’t have a creative flow of thought consistently. In my mind it is ok, to not say anything in such circumstances.
    Sometimes, taking a break from writing can lead to more creative ideas later on, when you actually sit and write. Anyways,,, don’t sweat too much about it. As easy as that may seem to be :-)

    Enjoy something away from writing. It’s funny how we get ideas, when we are not looking for it :-)

    Shamelle @ The Enhance Lifes last blog post..Enhance Life Archives

  9. Peter –

    We all go through slumber in our lives. Nature even goes through slumber. Clouds precede sunny days. I’m glad that clouds of your life have gone and sunny days are in horizon. We will see lots of ingenuity from your pen.


    Shilpan | successsoul.coms last blog post..How to Get Most Out of Life: Be Decisive!

  10. Peter, thank you for sharing this with us. I think it’s important for us to realise that everyone goes through so-called down-times, and that it’s okay to do so. It’s also important to realise the power that making a decision to change has as a catalyst for the upswing!

    These down-times are often necessary to prepare us for a surge in creative energy. We may think nothing’s going on as we see no action in the physical, but behind the scenes there’s a lot of non-physical change happening as we recoup our energy and start aligning it for a period of growth.

    Mags | Woo-Woo Wisdoms last blog post..Ask Mags: The Spiritual Life Or The Simple Life?

  11. Life seems to go in cycles. As mentioned above, even nature goes through slumber. I find when I hit my lows it is usually followed by a re-determination to do better. It is a time to re-group and re-commit to my goals.

    I totally agree with your comment that “Significant change in our lives begins with a decision.” That is a true statement.

    Thanks again for another great post!

    Garold @ Self Mastery Keyss last blog post..Self-Image – The Creature Comforts Video

  12. Peter,

    You are wise to embrace the challenges that face you rather than reject them and it appears as if you have overcome the temptation to ask questions when the search for answers creates its own challenges…

    “Freedom from the desire for an answer is essential to the understanding of a problem.” Jiddu Krishnamurti

    Sometimes it is best to stop thinking and start doing…


    The Financial Philosophers last blog post..The Knowing-Doing Gap

  13. Thanks for your comments everyone – I really appreciate your kind words and support.

    I see this blog as both an open conversation with my readers and a journal of my life, so I felt it was important to share where I was at. That said, I wanted to wait until I had started to rise again from my slump until I wrote something on this topic. I’m back to feeling energetic and positive…. and importantly for this blog the creative juices are definitely flowing again! Thanks again :)

  14. Yes when you find yourself doing the rounds writing inspirational writing, it can get tough when you’re not that inspired yourself!

    I tend to either write nothing, try to write and see if it flows despite myself or write something really negative just to get it off my chest.

    Sometimes, like in the case of what my name here is linked to, it turns into something uplifting – even if it’s in a contentious way (warning: graphic disturbing pic).

    Glad you’re back on the good foot Peter!

  15. Hey,

    Good post!I totally agree with this post,being a fellow blogger I feel that if I have no inspiration in the material I am writing then why would my readers be interested?I think also how often you write has to be taken into account. I have only been writing on my blog for 2-3 weeks and have only been writing once a week and have several topics lined up, but I think when I (hopefully) reach you level of success that I will feel I have pleased my readers so much that I can struggle to continue writing great posts that often.


  16. Thanks Scott.

    Yes, previously when I was “in the groove” I was posting Mon, Wednes & Fri (although admittedly one of those posts was often a guest post). I have actually had a lot of ideas for articles in the past month, but for the most part I just haven’t had it in me to write. I think I have turned the corner though :)

  17. Ali,

    A 4 day work week is a great suggestion. I don’t think, however, I can pull it off with my current employer. It could be an option in the future though as my income from blogging starts to grow.


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

1 FREE Audiobook Credit RISK-FREE from Audible.com