Dry Spell = Wellspring
With this semester/year being the most chaotic one on record for most of us, I haven't had much time for writing or reading for pleasure. I love my day job, but sometimes I feel a bit guilty for not having a whole fleet of writing projects up my sleeves. I was in a somewhat dry spell this fall, when one night I was out with the dogs and heard a sound from a neighbor's car. And just that sound threw an entire poem into my head. That poem is currently in Submittable, waiting to hear from a few journals, and I am committed to finding it a home.
I think it's okay to have dry spells. When I was in art classes in high school, I'd be working on the same painting for a week or longer. And it did actually help me to walk away from the easel and doodle something totally unrelated, go outside, or read some poetry. Anything other than continuing that painting actually helped to refresh that page in my head. I'd have an epiphany that breathed new life into my project--something that wouldn't have happened if I had just mechanically picked and prodded at the painting ad nauseam.
So dry spells aren't indicative of a downward spiral or a lack of ideas. Especially when we're dealing with chaos or stress elsewhere in our lives, we sometimes need that downtime to refresh and refocus. If you've ever had or heard of "shower thoughts" or "driving thoughts," I think those are the same phenomenon at work.
So be kind to yourself and keep an open ear/eye!