Monday, June 14, 2010

One of Those Days


Have you ever had one of those days where you sit down, ready to write and then...

Nothing.

I mean nothing. The nothingmost nothing of nothing.

You sit staring at the screen or the blank piece of paper (the important word being blank). Your fingers are poised over the keyboard or your pen is grasped in your hand.

Nope. Nothing.

Perhaps a few writing prompts, you think. Something to get the juices flowing.

Nothing.

I'll visit some of my favourite blogs, you think, trying to not notice the sweat popping out on your brow or your increasing heart rate. Someone else will be posting about something that will fire up my brain.

You read. You post comments. Back to your own work.

Yep; still nothing.

I'll take a break, you think, trying not to think you're taking a break from doing nothing. I'll take a walk, do some laundry, do whatever. You do this, while trying to ignore the little voice in your head that's chanting "It's over. Over, I tell you! You've got nothing. Muah-hahaha."

You try not to think about that deadline (imposed or self-imposed). You try not to look at the clock ticking away the minutes while you've got...

Nothing.

It's just one of those days. Gather the shattered pieces of your self-esteem and tell yourself it will be better later today. Or tonight. Or tomorrow. You will write again...the words will flow. Maybe not in a torrent, maybe in more of a trickle, but they will flow, dammit.

I'm off to gather up the shattered pieces of my self-esteem.

Nope. Still nothing.

18 comments:

  1. Elspeth - I thought I was the only one! I have those "nothing" days, myself, and honestly, I wish I had the key to unlock them. I try things like prompts, blog visits, and so on, too, and very often they work. And sometimes, they don't. I'm sorry that you're having one of those days; I hope it helps you to know that we all have them.

    Oh, and if you see pieces of my shattered self-esteem lying around, would you please return it? Not sure where I left it. Thanks!

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  2. Elspeth, step...away....from the...computer. Seriously, go for a walk, go to the movies, put on headphones and listen to music, whatever, put your work out of your mind and do something that makes you happy and your mind will reset.

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  3. Margot; I plan to do some long-overdue housework. If perchance, I discover some shattered pieces of self-esteem which don't belong to me, I'll send them your way. Question: How did they get into my house? Hmmmm...

    Helen; I shall...step...away. Ignore the gnashing of teeth and the rending of garments.

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  4. A 'nothing' day is the best time to pull out that favorite DVD and watch it over and over again forgetting everything and everyone else. Have fun.

    Mason
    Thoughts in Progress

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  5. My mind likes to be enticed. Nothing works twice in a row for it. Things that have worked are movies/dvds. Walks. Driving. Painting walls or furniture. Cooking/baking. Housework - my last resort always.

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  6. I have those days too. Especially when I'm tired and I seem to be tired a lot. Well, I hope you get your muse back soon.

    CD

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  7. Mason; What a good idea - West WIng here I come! Although, Sorkin's brilliant dialogue will make me want to bash my head against a wall.

    Carol; I'm exactly the same way - nothing seems to work twice. I have thought about painting a few pieces of furniture...

    Clarissa; Thanks for telling me that, I've been tired lately as well, and wondered if that had anything to do with it. Then again, I have chronic anemia - I'm always tired.

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  8. At this point I wouldn't force it. Do something book-related if you feel really antsy about getting things done with your book: you can always make a list of what you want to cover tomorrow during your writing time. :)

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  9. Sorry you're having one of those days, but it is comforting to know others have them too. I'm with Mason, go for the DVDs and enjoy the lull.

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  10. Elizabeth; I've decided to brainstorm a few new plots for games while making banana muffins.

    Lou; DVDs are marvelous - especially when I can never find anything I want to watch on TV.

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  11. We all have those days, Elspeth. You've gotten really good advice here. Sometimes, we need to step away and focus on other things. I'm learning that you cannot force creativity. It emerges. And only if we're receptive. So, take good care of yourself, maybe a bubble bath. Something to help you relax. good luck.
    Karen

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  12. Al; Ditto.

    Karen; You've made an excellent point, Karen - you cannot force creativity. Unfortunately, patience is a virtue I still am striving to achieve!

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  13. All to often! And I can't let it happen because with kiddos, I only have a few mintues here and there.
    Good luck getting the juices flowing.

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  14. What a great cartoon! I’ve had more of those days than I care to think about, but they are usually followed by a good day - or at least that’s what I tell myself.

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  15. Elspeth, today is another day so you are probably over it but I believe that all writing is not putting pen to paper or fingers to keyboard. Consider it filling the well and take yourself for a long walk along one of those wonderful beaches near you! Or do something in a different art discipline - it will inform your writing. Writing is sometimes mulling or not thinking about tangled plot lines - sometimes it is just letting 'the boys in the basement' as Stephen King calls them, figure things out without your input. Trust. Trust. Trust.

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  16. They seem to come in the MIDDLE for me. When I have something I need to be pushing through and it just isn't flowing... Since I don't really OUTLINE much, sometimes actually working through the outline of the next part will do it... the stuff that flows, I like to flow, but the stuff that won't sometimes needs to have the building blocks put in, so I can get from that place to the next.

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  17. I don't know what's worse -- this kind of a day, or the kind when you ARE ready to write, but then you get the mail and it says you're late with a payment that you've made, and your phone goes dead and your cell phone barely works, and you need to fill prescriptions but you have a new insurance provider and there are new forms to fill out. If companies would actually pay PEOPLE to answer questions instead of robots... oh, wait. Am I venting?

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