Apart from being about the scariest word ever in rather a lot of situations, it’s also pretty much where I am right now. Sorry for forgetting to post the last couple of weeks. I’m about as scatterbrained as it’s possible to be and I’m pretty much holding on and hoping it gets better soon. Or even just gets better. Because it would be nice to actually possess a functioning brain again rather than the current model that would probably fail a lemon law check.

I actually feel kind of like a failure here right now, seeing as how the writing side is next to dead: I get tickles of things wanting to happen, but they can’t break through the fog that is female, 50+, and in the middle of that big change that screws hormones and other things. Oh to win that bloody lottery and be able to afford to retire so I wouldn’t have to reserve all my mental capacity for the job.

I’m trying not to get all whiny here, since really things aren’t horrible. It’s just that I have zero mental space for anything other than work, and I hate that.

It’s not even that I’m not trying – I am trying to write. I’m sure you’ve had the delightful experience of staring at the screen and your mind just going blank as soon as you try to add anything to what you’ve got. I seriously doubt the well’s gone dry, but it’s certainly got a very leaky bucket right now because nothing’s getting to the top.

Still, I’ll live, and sooner or later I’ll kick myself in the metaphorical behind hard enough to push past this dead time. I just hope it’s sooner rather than later, because it’s bloody irritating having every idea or narrative thought run screaming from the prospect of a word processing screen.


  1. Have you tried a few tricks on that leaky bucket? Sometimes I put on a CD of music I like, preferably music appropriate to the WIP, and tell myself, “I don’t have to write anything today; I just have to sit here with the word processing program open until the music stops.” At worst I get to listen to some nice music, and at best the words start to happen and I get so deep into story that I never notice when the music ends.

    And speaking of music, I consider it entirely your fault that my backbrain suddenly started singing, “There’s a hole in the bucket, dear Liza, dear Liza…”

  2. Lots of sympathy on all fronts. I don’t know how people write after work, I really don’t. Trying to go back to college did it for me, too. I’m a pro at finding reasons that writing won’t work but that doesn’t mean it’s not real. What pays the bills has to come first. That’s how it goes. Also, if I find my post-50’s brain I’ll let you know where to look. 😉

  3. or there’s the thing that i get…

    i drive for uber

    so generally, if i have the energy and attention span to be writing, i could be out driving…

    i can play with ideas between passengers but really need a way to be able to pick back up where i was after a long ride.

      1. would probably have just as much trouble picking up as my phone does. Road noise is louder than you think.

        Also, they still make those? 😛

  4. “I’m sure you’ve had the delightful experience of staring at the screen and your mind just going blank as soon as you try to add anything to what you’ve got.”

    All the time. Generally I go back and enjoy what I already wrote, and call it “editing.” If that doesn’t shake something loose, I wander off and move gravel from one place to another. It’s useful work that needs doing, so win/win.

  5. …might it help to try longhand for a bit? I have WAY more success physically writing the words than I do on keyboard, whether I’m blocked or not. Just a thought.

    1. Longhand certainly helps me break mental logjams to storytelling. I just resorted to it last week, after 6 weeks of no writing due to a difficult recovery from surgery. It’s always hard for me to climb back on the writing horse when I’ve been away from it for a while. Longhand really helps.

  6. “I’m sure you’ve had the delightful experience of staring at the screen and your mind just going blank as soon as you try to add anything to what you’ve got.”

    I’ve been doing this a lot lately, and finally figured out, almost by accident, that it’s partly because I’m not getting O2 to the brain. Yay.

    One thing that’s helped a little is keeping a diary. It sounds stupid, but sometimes I just need to remind my brain and typing fingers that they can actually work together.

    I’ve also tried working in 15 minute increments, as in, I have to write for 15 minutes, and if, at the end of that time, I’m on a roll, keep going. Even 5 minute increments is better than nothing. And on the days I can’t manage that, oh, well. The house gets cleaned, at least.

  7. *hums the ‘wouldn’t it be nice’ ditty that they have for the local lottery*

    Sympathies on the wanting to win the lottery. I’ll buy a couple of dollars of scratchies, and open ’em up with my oldest boy. We chat about the things we’d do if we won the big jackpot. For a few dollars, it buys us a bit of entertainment and daydreaming of ‘what if’. Becomes more of a family bonding thing.

    That Maccas Monopoly thing is going on right now; and we’re more interested in the food prizes than the other rather more useless things they have there. The only service that would be of SOME interest is a rental car or free petrol; and the big material prizes would be nice, but … ‘free burger! Woohoo!’

    1. *Giggles* I used to get some really high-dollar food catalogues, and dreamed about “if I won the lottery” I’d buy one of those $150 cakes (plus shipping) or the fancy cookies, or the super luscious-looking ham, just to see what they were like. Now it is more like “pay off bills, give to charity, set up special savings account to pay for new chimney on Redquarters…”

      1. We had fun with it once, sitting around and talking about what would be the ‘fun’ thing we’d do after the ‘get house and land and set aside for passive income…’ list of things. “Buy books!” Never having to worry about the price of books/tech again was a rather lovely daydream.

  8. Never that I have not been able to fix by switching to a new work. More or less. (Days when I dribble out a bit on one one day, another the next, and a third the third are bad days.)

    Not that that does not introduce problems of its own.

  9. Sympathies. I’ve been on a long dry spell myself — my last book up on KDP was in December of 2017 (Vengeance Is Mine, which has a horrible cover because I was using a failing computer and couldn’t run GIMP on it, so I made the cover on some online photo manipulation software, intending to replace it as soon as I had a properly working computer, only to have that replacement never quite happen). I’ve had several things going on in my own life, including health and bereavement issues, but I really need to get back to actually finishing something, instead of just sort of spinning my wheels on half a dozen different projects, not a one of which is getting any closer to a completed work of narrative prose.

  10. Most of the above commenters hit on a common theme – Switch it Up!

    Try some short stories. Serializations (I’ve been playing around with this – kind of a Perils of Pauline thing). Silly books for children, explaining grownup things in deliberately wrong ways – grocery shopping, auto repair, etc.

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