Brain closings…???

I usually enjoy winter, but this season has me frustrated. Although the snow is beautiful when we get enough of it to cover the mud, it creates this sense of stop and start that effectively prevents me from being able to do anything productive. For someone like me, this falls under the heading of mild torture. When I can’t sit down and work on something for a good chunk of time, I hesitate to even begin a project. Even when I have time to do something, I can’t focus because I’m waiting to hear if I’m going to need to be somewhere. I simply can’t plan around this weather. Thus, my disgust with snowstorms and the whole ordeal of waiting for information on weather related closings.

This problem seems to be more profound now that I am working for our city schools. I just can’t get myself motivated to do anything when I’m waiting for more information about whether or not my school is closed. Instead of being able to spend my two-hour delays being productive, I seem to be hooked on watching for more information, effectively trying to will a closing to occur. And that’s not the worst of it, it’s like I lose brain cells when I’m watching that little ticker flashing closings across the bottom of the television screen. “Must watch for closings,” is pretty much imprinted on my cerebral cortex if that’s at all possible. There is no room for fiction writing, not even a story about a snow day comes to mind.

So you see, while the weather may not have closed my school, it seems to have closed my brain for the day. I’m surprised I could remember my passwords to check my e-mail. Until I hear that we’re either closed or that the roads are really clear, I get no rest. I’m wrapped up in a cycle of worry and anticipation that blocks all creativity.

Of course, I’m exaggerating the point a bit, but the overall effect of this weather has been to stall me in my tracks with regards to how much writing I’m getting done. One would think that a day home from school would mean pages and pages of prize winning material…well, ok, maybe not prize winning, but page-filling. How about that? If only my words could accumulate as quickly as the snow has, then we’d be getting somewhere.

THIS JUST IN…In the time it took me to put this post together, I received the call! We’re closed today! Now, I’ve got all of this pressure to write…geez, I’m never satisfied.

Until next time…

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Truer Words Were Never Spoken

I recently came across a quote about time. It reads, “The myth that we must have “time”-more time in order to create is a myth that keeps us from using the time we do have.”

I’m not sure who wrote this, but these words are definitely speaking to me these days. I’ve been in kind of a funk since I finished writing the third book in my mystery series. There have been a few days when I was inspired to write, but for the most part, I’ve been struggling with a bit of a block. This sucks because for one, I don’t believe in writer’s block. I believe that I am simply being stubborn and not allowing myself to do the one thing that I truly enjoy out of some kind of self-directed spite. It makes no sense that I would deprive myself in this way, but hey, that’s the kind of gal I am.

In all of this, I have been claiming that time is the main reason why I haven’t been sitting down to write. I say that I’m too busy or too tired because all of my time is spent working or thinking about work. This is most definitely a cop-out. In reality, I have never stopped having ideas for things I want to write, hence, I cannot cry “Writer’s Block!” It simply isn’t accurate. And the problem isn’t a lack of time. I spend lots of time sitting at home, looking at my computer but doing little to nothing productive. So, in the spirit of having some spirit, I decided that I would take at least one day out of the week and go to my local library to write for a couple of hours. It sounded strange to my husband at first, I’m sure, but he hasn’t complained yet so I’ll keep at it.

Though it isn’t like me to take time for myself in such a grandiose manner, I must admit, I kind of like having a few hours where I can concentrate on writing or finding good information about marketing without having to get up and check on my daughter or hear my husband’s television shows in the background. This seems to be just what the doctor ordered. In case you hadn’t figured it out, I’m at the library right now. And…I’m writing. Go figure. It wasn’t writer’s block at all. It was me-time deficiency. Lots of women suffer from this.

So, the next time you find that you’re feeling a little less than motivated, think about finding a way to break free from your routine and give yourself some time alone. A change of venue, as it were. It might be just what you need to get your mojo back.

Until next time…

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Yes, I’m nuts. I’m probably not the only person in the world whose metabolism kicks in just enough to make me hungrier. Though sometimes, it feels that way. I used to overeat because I was bored or frustrated. Now, I’m just frigging hungry all of the time. On the plus side of things, I have been walking every day and I’ve even started doing more stuff outside since learning that I had miscarried. I made a promise to myself to try and get into better shape…if only I could stop eating these damned fudge bars. It’s not like a box a day habit or anything, but it certainly doesn’t seem like the right thing to reach for when you’re trying to lose a few pounds.

In any case, I’m struggling to get my brain back in gear and part of that means that you might be subjected to a little weirdness here on the blog. Pardon my lack of coherence…it’s a fudge bar haze.

Currently, I’m working on that ever-absconding third Rona Shively book. It just keeps getting away from me. I have edited and re-edited and I decided after the third round of editing that I really hated what I had written. In essence, I started over, but I’m still stuck. Not sure what I’m waiting for, but I guess I’ll figure it out sooner or later. It’s something akin to losing one’s mojo. Perhaps.

Keep your fingers crossed, say a prayer or two, and whatever other things people do for people who need a little good luck to come their way. Any day now, something wonderful has to happen. 😉

Until next time…

The Joy of Writer’s Block…

Although I don’t necessarily believe in this phenomenon, I am experiencing something that resembles writer’s block. I’ve been stuck in the middle of my book for what seems like years, though it’s really only been a few weeks. I’ve deleted chapters and started over at least three times. I’ve come up with so many other ideas in the meantime that I’m simply overwhelmed by the sheer potential of what is being held hostage in my cluttered mind. I have no idea why…well, that’s not entirely true. I just can’t say why right now. I have no idea how long this will last, but being a deadline oriented person, I can tell you that it’s driving me a little nuts.

I’ve heard that writing something every day is the key to being successful. You don’t necessarily need to publish something every time you write, it’s the act of engaging in the creative process that helps keep you going. I guess I could try this…it has worked in the past. Or I could take a long break and then jump back into the deep end. Either way, I’ve been trying to take some time to explore other author blogs and see what’s happening outside my little bubble. I’m motivated by the realization that I’m not the only one going through this.

The mini-mysteries have been a great way for me to exercise my brain. I really enjoy writing short stories and I’ve had these ideas on a list for a while now. I’m getting great guesses from readers and to tell you the truth, some of you have come up with much better endings than I did. At the end of the contest, I might compile them and share the alternate endings with you just for fun. We’ll see.

For now, I’ve got my laptop up and running and I’m prepared to spend the evening writing and watching HGTV. Mini-mystery number three just might have something to do with home repair…or not. You never know where my motivation will come from. It’s a thrill a minute here at the Benston house. Such is the life of a struggling author.

Until next time…