Sometimes We Just Need to Take a Break

by guest blogger Bill King

Words. I love words. I love to work with them, and I love to play with them. The use of words, both orally and written, are a major part of many of the things I do.

Sometimes, finding the right words can be a challenge.

I have been speaking and preaching since my senior year in high school. I began serving as a pastor while I was still in college, and did so for the next 30 years. I still speak/preach most every week. Speeches and sermons, begin as written words which are then delivered as spoken words.

I am also a songwriter. My songs range from being silly, to serious, to sacred, but they all have one thing in common…words. We call them lyrics, but they are simply words, that sometimes rhyme, set to music. I have no idea how many songs I have written over the years, but there have been hundreds. I’ve been asked “How many of your songs would you consider to be great songs?” My reply is, “I’m still trying to write my first great one.”

I am also a poet. Sometimes songs are poems put to music. Sometimes, whether in a poem or a song, they make sense and sometimes they don’t.

I am also an author. I recently wrote my tenth book. Well, actually, if you count my doctoral dissertation, my eleventh, but they only printed four copies of it. Only seven people have read it! Four of those were members of my doctoral committee, and the other three were proofreaders. I even had to pay one of those proofreaders to read it. Occasionally, someone says they would like to read my doctoral paper. I usually reply, “No you wouldn’t, read one of my other books instead!” I’ve been blessed to write two novels, three books of humorous short stories in the Billy Bob series, two collections of my newspaper columns, and am currently working on my third illustrated children’s story. That’s a lot of words!

Obviously, since you are reading a column I wrote, I am also a columnist. I have written a weekly newspaper column for seven years. My column is approximately 600 words each week, except in one paper it is 500. That means in the seven years I’ve written this column, I written 218,400 words or more. I also write several columns each year for Mature Living magazine.

I have been asked if I ever run out of anything to say. My family might say no, but actually, occasionally, I do…but I write anyway! There’s an old saying that writers always write. Sometimes they write because they have something to say, and sometimes they write because they have to say something. Not often, but occasionally I have to rack my brain thinking about what I’m going to write this week. Then, sometimes in the middle of a piece, I come to a road block, or as it is often called “Writer’s block.” When this happens, I’ve learned to put it down and walk away.

My two favorite word games are crossword puzzles and Wordscapes.

Sometimes, I get stuck and can’t come up with the right word. I’m always amazed that when I put it down and walk away, and then come back to it later, the right words immediately come to mind. Sometimes, not only with words but life in general, we simply need a break. Often, when we look at things with a fresh mind, and a rested set of eyes, we can see what we couldn’t see before.


Dr. Bill King writes a weekly column for newspapers across Alabama. You can reach him at

20 views0 comments