Monday, January 23, 2012


These last few months have been a complete brain drought. I think it starts when you choose to take a break from anything that involves thinking. And then the next week you think, maaaayybe I'll try writing again . . . but I wasn't into it. And pretty soon it became a distant thing, like I might get a hernia if I try to write. Anything. So the result is no blogging and an MS frozen in time and forgotten. It's like that, I start down the path and there's no turning back.

Thinking about it now it's surprising what ended up saving me from this vicious cycle. My sis-in-law finished her new book and sent it for me to critique. I try to resist doing too many line edits and instead leave my thoughts in the comments. This time though I broke the rules. I really dove into it and probably crossed a line or two. I think what pushed me over the edge was the song near the end. I couldn't help but play with it for fun (my original passion has always been workshopping poetry).

That got me thinking about some old poems and songs I'd written years ago. I had to fiddle with them too of course and ideas for new ones popped into my head. Then suddenly I was writing again. Something happened in me. Somehow I was tricked into writing. And once I started writing, I had to keep going.

So I pulled out my MS and actually wrote a page! I was so proud of myself (haha) that I told my husband who said, "so what?". I responded by mocking his slow one-finger typing, just to feel good about myself. Then the next day I wrote another page. And on the third day I wrote two pages - and this blog post!

I'm realizing now the most important element, for me, when it comes to writing a book - momentum. I suppose that would also help with working out and cleaning the house. Once you get going, start making it a pattern, then the next time it becomes easier, until it's a habit. Now of course I'm thinking, duh, I already knew that.

I just thought I'd share my realization with others, in case anyone else was feeling blocked, or brain dead. Whenever you think it's some impossible far away task -
what helps you get going again?


  1. Way to go! And I love that you celebrate each page. That's another to keep you going. Set small goals and celebrate them. Once we notice we can make our small goals, it will be easier to set bigger ones :) At the beginning of my pregnancy, I didn't write hardly a word. And it frightened me to get back into it. But the baby steps helped me through. And now, six months later, I've gone through my novel a sixth time and I've written another book!

    You can do it! Pretty soon, you'll be writing one chapter a night instead of one page :) Good luck with everything!

  2. Hey Emily, I just found your comment on my blog. :)

    Momentum is a pretty big thing for me too as a writer. If I'm struggling, I usually have to break in slow, going back over the plot and making notes on where I need to go. I also keep a log of how many words I write each day to add a little guilt factor in the the motivation mix.

  3. Yes! Momentum! Exactly!

    One of my faults (or strengths, I'm not sure) is I'm either way in the zone or way out of it. Once that momentum gets going, I'm there until I finish. New follower here... got your link from the Platform Campaign. I'm glad to meet you and be connected! :D

  4. Isn't it great when you finally break the brain drought cycle? Though sometimes brain flood can be just as paralyzing.

    I wanted to say hi - we're in the urban fantasy campaign group together - I look forward to following you!

  5. Thanks Michelle. One page is a sad thing to celebrate but we have to start somewhere.

    Kaitlin- true. When I'm done writing for the day I like to jot down a detailed note of what I want to happen next. That way I won't forget the next day and waste time trying to figure it out.

    Morgan, I should follow your example. I lose momentum when I stop and I should just keep writing as long as I can, maybe take a day off from the kids.

    Selanjanel- I suppose your right. Sometimes I have too many ideas, I don't know what to do with them all.

    and welcome new campaign friends. I'm excited for the new campaign.