Friday, January 22, 2010

Lethargic Writer And Brain Whips

by Pat Gulley

I find myself after the holidays in a mood to do just about a total nothing. Can’t get motivated for anything, much less writing. The tree is down, but because I loan out so many decorations, it with the 14 other smaller trees, is sitting in the living room waiting for everything to be packed up properly. Space issues. Valentine’s day décor sitting and waiting half-up, half waiting to go up. All the outdoor lights waiting to be taken down. Well they can just wait; they waited last Christmas so long it was time to put them up again before I got around to it. And besides, the lights around the gazebo were very colorful last summer. And the lights out front are snowflakes that look like stars and go on when I put the porch light on, so they look nice all year long.

With that kind of logic driving me, is it any wonder that I can put off writing things with all sorts of excuses and justifications? Heck, yes. Does this blog suggest I’m not only groping, but grasping desperately? Remember Tom Hanks in You’ve Got Mail when he wanted to send a message to Meg Ryan after she thought he stood her up in the restaurant? Eh, eh, eh, eh, delete, delete, delete.

I have to say, when I get in one of these moods I do feel that everything I write sound useless and worthless. But at the same time, one thing I’ve learned is that you write it anyway. Drivel though it may be, I have found that rewriting is a smidge easier than blank page staring. Just having something there to re-work is easier than that horrific field of white that can bring you to a state of anxiety that leaves you feeling someone dropped you in Antarctica and told the penguins you were not to be disturbed. Horrors!

Right now I see black print on the screen and that gives me courage to keep writing and feeling anything that pours out is okay as long as something is there to rewrite later…..or tomorrow…..or next week, next month, well sometime in the future before the deadline for my blog date is up.

So the mood is dissipating. I’ve actually accomplished something In Writing. I feel a little better and a bit of creativity coming on and I should get over to my WIP and put it to use. Putting it use here, I’m sure, would be your preference, but you know how that works.

Maybe all those themed blogs and flash story competitions are a good idea.

What kinds of brain whipping do you practice to get yourself going?


Joyce Tremel said...

My brain whipping is to sit my butt down and force myself to type. And limit the amount of time I spend on the internet. I could browse all day and not get a thing done.

Gina said...

I'm the worst of procrastinators, and "brain whipping" only makes me look for ways to avoid doing it longer. What works for me is "brain tricking." I don't say, "I have to write," or "I have to exercise." I say, "Wow, I get to write today! I get to exercise!"
It works.

Ramona said...

Probably sounds cliche, but I take a walk. Clears my head, and I feel virtuous for exercising. If I'm under a deadline, I go to the library or a coffee shop where there's no Internet.

Anonymous said...

Pretty interesting place you've got here. Thank you for it. I like such topics and everything connected to this matter. I definitely want to read a bit more on that blog soon.

PatRemick said...

I haul myself out of bed early every morning so I can write about murder before I go to work -- sets an interesting tone for the rest of the day. I can do this because Husband No. 1 will take care of the dog and while I will confess to peeking at email, I feel so guilty because he's taken on dog duty morning after morning, that I have to write SOMETHING. So I guess guilt my brain whip!

Anonymous said...

Gully you do great! I feel like that almost every day! Got to get something done one of these days. Hugs PatC

Anonymous said...


As usual you do a great job of writing about how you feel and hold a mirror up for all of us to see the same. Yes, we are our worst critics. I read a quote recently,"Perfection is the enemy of good." Good is simple, good is a good thing. Lets write our best knowing it is good.

Jo P.

Anonymous said...


Pat, the mirror being held up is for us to see how well we can all write.

Jo P.