Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Brain Freeze

It's 9:00 am as I write this. The snow is still piled up outside, 23 inches in low places, the drifts and plowed areas nearly 50 inches. We are expecting another 14-20 inches today.

I've been up for two hours already. The fires are going and the house is starting to warm up. I've played with the puppy and worn him out and he has finally stopped running around like a tasmanian devil and curled on his blanket with a sleepy look in his eyes. I've drunk a cup of coffee and started on another. The kids, off school again (and for the foreseeable future, judging by the state of the roads and the new impending storm) are downstairs playing Wii. And I am at the computer. Doing nothing.

I've complained on and off for the last five days that I'm getting nothing done. Nothing. Okay, I've kept my family of five fed. I've dried the gloves and mittens and hats countless times. I've shoveled, in small amounts, areas for the puppy to go out and do his business.

But really, I've had hours and hours of awake time, luckily with the power on, and I've not written a single word on my book. My husband, who also has had the time off because this snow has shut down all of Washington D.C., has taken the kids out to sled while I've stayed in nice and warm, and still...no words written.

I've thought about it.

But I haven't done it.

I haven't even opened the document. I haven't scribbled in my notebook.

I had a huge breakthrough in plotting, one which takes care of most of my niggling doubts about the plausibility of the book, and ignites the passion for it that I had with Some Kind of Normal, and yet...


It's like I have a mental block. The kids are off. The husband is off. The snow is all consuming. How can I think about anything else?

To top it off I'm frustrated with the marketing aspects of selling my book, and feeling more pessimistic about a writing career than hopeful.

Do you have days like that? And what helps you get back into the swing of thing?


  1. I had that sort of week last week. I just felt blah all week and didn't do any writing. I did think about it though. Sometimes letting things stew and simmer is a good idea. I feel ready to write this week.

  2. I've felt like that a million times. And the way I get through it is to accept it. Some hours or days I simply can't write, and that's okay. If I try to push through it and still can't get into it, then I move on to something else. Reading, emailing friends, cooking, walking the dogs... something productive :)

  3. Mary - I'm so glad you feel ready to write this week! That gives me hope!

    Megan Rebekah - It's a good thing to know I'm not alone. I think today I need to find a quiet place and make a point of pushing through it. Although, the puppy votes for the walking the dog thing. :)

  4. Totally have days like that. I look at my computer and turn around. I've got no good ideas. Last week I hardly wrote, but then I picked up a book and it motivated me again.

    Snow can be depressing, trust me I know. We've had snow on our front lawn since October. In fact my son said this morning that it was weird walking to school when it was light out.

    I'm hoping when the sun comes out the doldrums will fade and my motivation will return.

  5. Wow - that's some snow storm! The pictures are beautiful, but I know the reality of living in it gets old pretty fast.

    And, yes - I have felt the way you describe before. Too many times. My solution is this:

    two pages a day.

    You can do that. Two measly pages. let them be good or bad or whatever. but, by pushing through it, you'll free up those creative juices and feel sooo good.

    Kind of like exercise ;) One mile, two pages. We can do it!

    Thanks for visiting my blog. I look forward to *virtually* knowing you :D

  6. I'm living in that world right now. I have never been in such a procrastination funk as the one I'm in right now. I LOVE the picture - so beautiful. :-)

  7. Isn't it amazing how easily the weather can command our attention? Don't try and fight this down time. Look at the bright side: you had a breakthrough with plotting your next book and I've no doubt it will be as wonderful as "Some Kind of Normal".

    Do a puzzle, play a game, read, read, read. And have faith that your fallow period will lead to more productive times.

  8. We all have days like that. Too bad too. With all that snow outside it's the perfect excuse to stay in and write.

    It doesn't snow much in Florida, well ever. I was up north last week with snow flying outside the hotel windows and got more done than I would have at home.

    It'll come back to you.

  9. I have days like that too. Only thing I can control is to write more. And even if it's just a few words, it helps me to think that I'm stumbling towards a goal only I need to have.

    ((hug)) try it. Just a couple words. Then go and play in the snow with your kids.

  10. You are not alone. Don't stress. I always find that the more I stress about not writing, the longer it takes for the urge to return. Read a book. That always works for me.:)

  11. I just posted your book review on my blog. Thought you'd like to know.

  12. I completely understand. That's when I have to email someone and say, uhh help? :) Or tell my family. Sometimes though, it just doesn't work. I think our brains need that downtime.

    As for your writing career. Keep it up and one day before you know it...bam, you'll be fine. You are certainly talented enough!!

    Email anytime, luv!

  13. It has something to do with the snow. I brought home tons of work on Friday and have full access to my email and work computer system. Yet, still I find it difficult to work. I also think that I should at least do a blog entry (I've had one written in my head for about two weeks), but I just don't do that. I sleep late. I watch television. I go outside and move snow. I do the things I need to do (conference calls, etc.), but I just can't be overly productive. Too many things are different, I guess.

  14. I move on to something else. Reading, emailing friends, cooking, walking the dogs...

    Work from home India