Do you ever have a writing deadline with nothing to fill it? Doing monthly blogs can be like that. But I have always found that there are buried treasures somewhere within the empty space for which I have no message.

Let me explain myself and hopefully allow this wisdom within my currently empty blog to provide encouragement and inspiration for you during your similar times.

Having nothing to say may, in itself, actually be the very thing that you need to say. One of the finest revelations I’ve received as a public speaker, is not the extent of the words, but the spacing of them. As a student of scripture, the Psalms are filled with a term called “Selah.” Put simply, that means pause and reflect. Well positioned silence can carry more power than the wittiest phrases.

In other words, what you do not say can be as powerful as what you do say. The volume of words is not nearly as important as their content or the interest garnered by your reader.

Now, how does this relate to having nothing to say when a blog deadline is impending? That is a good question. To me it can be the difference between following the letter of the law in meeting a deadline, or following the intent behind the law. The fulfillment of deadlines and obligations are often slaves to the clock more than being driven by content. But the spirit of the law may afford more creative solutions to the problem, and separate you from the crowd. This is a good thing.

In fact, the difference between following the “letter of the law” in meeting a deadline can be circumvented by the spirit behind the law in meeting such a timeline.

In my case, my need to write a blog within a certain timeframe could be defined as presenting one’s cogent insights on paper for the edification of a reader. But sometimes the task can be redefined to make the deadline more easily attained. What if the writer has nothing cogent to say?

Since I fall into that category during this assignment, I am drawn by the idea of circumventing the letter of the law in favor of the spirit behind the law. A concept that caught my attention as I pondered applying the “spirit of the law”, is how people have found great success in going a different way than anticipated, without technically violating an agreement.

In the sports of Track and Field, one example comes to mind. In days of old, the approach to launching over a high bar had everything to do with your number of steps and the perfectly timed horizontal scissor kick which launched the jumper up and over the top.

Enter U.S. athlete Dick Fosbury, who, during the 1968 Olympics wowed spectators and competitors with his “Fosbury Flop.” Instead of attacking the high bar from the side, Dick’s strategy involved an approach from almost straight ahead, then twisting on takeoff and going over headfirst with his back to the bar.

Other unique athletic approaches which did not violate the “spirit of the law” could include the outfield shift in baseball where coaches would move their defensive players to positions where a given batter would almost always launch his baseball. Significantly more outs were recorded by doing so.

Then there were the golfers who changed their putting stroke, striking the ball from between their legs in a pendulum motion.

The point of the matter is this. When you have a deadline that you are not sure how to fulfill, solve the problem in a different way. As a businessman or woman, that could mean disregarding what other people have done in the past, and doing something that suits your comfort zone without violating the purpose of the task. It’s possible you may become a hero. 

Or you may become a flop. Or, as with Dick Fosbury, you could become both a flop and a hero at the same time. I hope this little blog is an inspiration to you. (And, there we go. Deadline met.)