Rien à dire

Apologies, dear followers, but it seems that I have nothing in particular to say this week.

Rien. Nada. Niet.

‘Niet’, by the way, while Russian in origin, is frequently used in French to say ‘no way’.

But having ‘rien à dire’ (nothing to say) shall not stop this brave writer from spewing forth a few wise words. Far be it from me to allow writer’s block to deprive you of your weekly dose of — what, exactly? I used to see this blog as a way of a) avenging myself against the slings and arrows of being foreign in France, and b) explaining this great and wonderful land to the ROW (rest of world), and finally c) discovering along the way that I had become, uh, one of them.

Now I find myself struggling with my focus. France, the French people and the French language itself continue to provide a rich and seemingly bottomless source of inspiration for observations which I hope are original, informative and occasionally funny. But lately my heart is not quite in it.

Note that the expression ‘rien à dire’ is, oddly, often used as a compliment. Meaning: There is nothing to criticize here. Ah, if only. My head is filled with complaints and critiques, but I am trying not to listen to them. To focus on the positive. But I don’t want to turn this blog into a travelogue, which others do very well, or an ode to ‘la vie en rose’. Which my life in France is most decidedly not.

There are bigger topics here in France right now that I could blog about. But the ones that seem worthy of a post require more time and energy than I have to give at the moment. And the ones that inspire my muse make me feel like I’m repeating myself.

In the past, when the world made a tiny bit more sense than it does now, I would take refuge in silence. Wait until the muse moved me with words worth sharing. But in this day of social media savvy, of regular posting and fighting for screen time, I am inspired to write about the fact that I have nothing to say.

So forgive me, please. Mea culpa. Pardon my French, or lack thereof. It’s probably just a blip, a minor dysfunction of my normally wagging tongue.

I will hunker down and hibernate for a while and return soon with renewed vim and vigour.

A bientôt!

In the meantime, if you are inspired to say anything, feel free!

Photo by Brannon Naito on Unsplash


  1. phildange · January 23, 2020

    “La parole est d’argent, le silence est d’or”.

    (As my old pal Confucius used to say when he was occasionally not drunk ).

    • MELewis · January 23, 2020

      I’ll drink to that! 🍻

  2. acflory · January 23, 2020

    When I began my blog, I decided that I would write about my passions, as and when I felt like it because…well, no one was going to read it, were they? That was eight years ago and many things have changed in my world and out in the greater world too, but I still only write when I feel like it. I truly believe it’s stopped me from burning out. Write when you feel like it mon amie. Your readers will wait. -hugs-

    • MELewis · January 23, 2020

      Solid advice, Meeks. And coming from someone who’s been at blogging longer than I have, I will take it to heart. You have to feel the love. If not, why bother? 🥰

      • acflory · January 23, 2020

        Exactly. You also have to give yourself the love. 🙂

  3. pedmar10 · January 23, 2020


    • MELewis · January 23, 2020

      Yes, rien à signaler! Another great expression that I often hear. You blog very regularly so you must not be lacking inspiration. I wish I had half of your enthusiasm!

      • pedmar10 · January 23, 2020

        It’s my pastime and more next year in retirement!!!

  4. I hear you.

    • MELewis · January 23, 2020

      Good to know I’m not alone! 🙏🏻

  5. Michele · January 23, 2020

    Your saying nothing actually said something
    And was fun
    Carry on

    • MELewis · January 24, 2020

      Merci! Glad you enjoyed and thanks for chiming in!

  6. Mary Katherine Graetz · January 23, 2020

    I’m sure this affects every blogger from time to time. Thanks for letting us know that you’re ok.

    • MELewis · January 24, 2020

      Yeah, I’m beginning to see that this feeling is echoed by others, and that is reassuring. Thanks for your support! 🤗

  7. Becky Ross Michael · January 23, 2020

    Quite a witty way to say not much, and I love the photo, as well.

    • MELewis · January 24, 2020

      Style over substance, eh? 😂 I’m an old hand at that, working as a copywriter! Cheers!

  8. midihideaways · January 23, 2020

    I know exactly how you feel – it’s one reason I take a summer and a Christmas break!! When I do write I find that the discipline of producing a post every week is good for me, it would be very easy for me to just coast along and not write anything for ages. I’m sure that my posts could be better or more interesting sometimes, but …
    I’ll look forward to reading your next post, whenever that’ll be!! 🙂

    • MELewis · January 24, 2020

      That’s it exactly! The discipline of weekly posting has also been good for me, and I think that’s one reason why I’m afraid to slip a week here and there, for fear of losing the habit. The break I took at Christmas was good but not restorative enough. Now I’ve recharged my batteries and hopefully will be back with a fresh face soon. I always enjoy your posts when I see them — will have to create an alert for the future!

      • midihideaways · January 24, 2020

        Thank you Mel – I’m so pleased to read that you enjoy my posts. I never miss one of yours, they are always interesting to read!! Even your latest post made me think, and the comments were very interesting too!

  9. nessafrance · January 23, 2020

    I always enjoy your posts. Don’t beat yourself up if the muse deserts you occasionally. It happens to all of us. My blog will be 10 years old next month and has been through several iterations. You have a tighter theme than I do, which has its pros and cons. Sometimes I wonder WTF am I going to blog about, and then something interesting pops up out of the blue. We get caught in this thing that we must write something or our readers will desert us. Not necessarily true. Bon courage!

    • MELewis · January 24, 2020

      Thanks for the moral support, Vanessa! Agree that sometimes we overthink it and then, out of nowhere, ideas float in. Noted down several last night while watching the news. It’s a fine line between keeping up with the discipline of regular posting and feeling you must churn something out just to keep your readers interested. You have been at it longer than I have, so it’s good to know that we all feel this way at one time or other. I enjoy your posts, too, and will create an alert so as not to miss any!

  10. paul · January 24, 2020

    You can’t say much wearing a face mask anyway. Damn this Coronavirus! 🙂

    • MELewis · January 24, 2020

      Oh, dear…have you been ill? If so, hope you are over it soon! Haven’t seen any face masks in Geneva yet, other than the Asian visitors which is quite common. My hubs is returning from two weeks in Japan this weekend. 🤞

  11. Colin Bisset · January 24, 2020

    Happy to read your rien all day long!

  12. Garfield Hug · January 24, 2020

    Despite your writer’s block you claim, this is a good post. It got me laughing. Good job👍😀

    • MELewis · January 24, 2020

      Very happy to hear that! As good as a hug! 🤗

  13. Suzanne et Pierre · January 24, 2020

    I can understand how you feel and sometimes a break is all you need. I find blogging regularly can get to you and become a chore instead of being something pleasant. When that happens I think it means it is time to stop until the joy of it comes back. Blogging can be fun but life goes on even when you stop. Blog focus can change overtime, we all evolve. For example, our blog tarted to keep our family and friends up to date on our adventures in Paris but when we came back we changed it to a photo blog and now it is strictly a blog to document our travels so it goes from alive to dead in between travel. We are almost done with the India pictures and then our blog will go quiet for 2 months while we are travelling. Obviously, you lose readers during the absence and your stats are lower when you don’t publish regularly but then again I am not blogging to obtain fame or to make money so I don’t really care about the stats… (Suzanne)

    • MELewis · January 24, 2020

      I think it’s great that you and Pierre evolved your blog approach from sharing your adventures in Paris to documenting your global travels in pictures. Actually your system of traveling with long breaks from blogging and then catching up with all your photos and stories is good because it gives you renewed material and focus. But you are right: anything we commit to can become a chore and then it’s best to take a break. Just stepping back this week has already done me good and given me some new ideas. I’m sure you’re looking forward to wrapping up India and capturing new discoveries on your next trip — I know I am!

      • Suzanne et Pierre · January 24, 2020

        We are looking forward to finishing our pictures from India. It is always such a long process to look through our pictures, select the best ones, process them and then select the ones that will make it to the blog and write the story that goes with the pictures. The rest of our pictures get posted on Flickr.

  14. moulindelaroche · January 31, 2020

    Loved your post! I’m afraid I have a purely selfish approach – I write for me. If I have something to say, I write. If I don’t, you won’t hear from me for a while. I really admire the discipline of those bloggers who work so hard to produce regular, original, witty, stimulating articles. Kudos to you.

    • MELewis · February 3, 2020

      Writing for oneself is surely the first and best reason to put pen to paper — or fingers to keyboard. I find the discipline does me good, but when I lose my motivation, it’s even better to take a break. Glad you have enjoyed the posts and be back soon!

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