Beating The Silences


This is not (just) a post about writing, but it will seem to be at the beginning.  Bear with me.

I tend to get a little nettled when people tell me how fast John Ringo writes.  No, it’s not that I don’t like John or his writing – so put your heckles down, Ringo fans – it’s that I keep thinking “Hey, I once wrote a novel in three days” (Not an experience I wish to repeat, no.)   I have finished two novels in a month.  I have—

I have fallen into six months of silence and this year the silences have overwhelmed the productive types.  These are weird silences.  They’re not, as you’d expect, “I’m sitting here and not writing.”  They’re not even exactly block – block in me more often than not is writing hundreds of the same page, with two commas changing back and forth and a couple of adjustments to wording.

What I mean is block in me is active.

These silences – and this year has been the worst for it – tend to be I’m sitting at the computer, and time seems to woosh past me, and nothing gets done.  It’s like the monks of time are playing with the procrastinators and borrowing all my time away.

There are other symptoms: a reluctance to write/think/speak in words.  This is very weird because I remember thinking in words from about two.  I don’t really have a brain mode beyond verbal.  My younger son tells me he thinks in images.  Whatever.  I can’t. So what you get if there are no words, if the words somehow “hurt” is this dumb, reflexive reaction that would make the behaviorists happy. I have been spending weeks in this state.  Even reading “hurts.”

I don’t think it’s block, not as such.  As I said my block is different.

When I’ve complained of this state before, I get well-intentioned people – mostly on FB – either “giving” me ideas or telling me how to figure out where the book is going next.

That is not the problem at all.  I know exactly where both Through Fire and Darkship Revenge go.  At this point I know all the movements.  What seems to be lacking…  If you visualize words as stones, I’m rolling these stones upslope, one by one.  And even though they don’t roll back, it takes very few to tire me out.

No, this is not a long sustained whine.  I’ve been trying to figure the mechanics of the silences and what they are for some years.

Because look – and this is the part that applies to everyone, not just writers – we live highly unnatural WORK lives.  Oh, everyone has, yes, since the agricultural revolution.  We’re designed for short bursts of activity and then days of semi-hibernation till the next burst.  That’s what humans used to do for much longer than we’ve had this “workaday” world.

But even if you go back to agricultural days – fact is you don’t need an awful lot of mental acuity to work the land, or to work the line, or anything until you get to these jobs most of us here do, where the main instrument of our work is the brain.  Even in the depths of the silent, I can do things like non-fiction articles about things I know really well.  Because that’s more or less by rote.  The words still hurt, but not as much.

And I can clean, and I can organize, and I can even sew.

But create?  The strength (why should strength be needed to write imaginary events?  I don’t know, but it is) just isn’t there.

And here’s there thing – I’ve always had silences (though the “can’t think in words” is new) that lasted a month or two.  This is what accounts for my house not looking like something out of hoarders. I used to work full tilt for three months or so, and then crash mentally for a month, which I used to disturb all the spiders and hunt the dust bunnies in their preserves behind the furniture.

I’ve always worried about their nature too.  Are they a form of block?  Or are they like my younger kid’s computer which was shutting down because one of the fans wasn’t working, and when it hit 95 degrees it shut in self-preservation?

Because if it’s just a form of block, I can power through.  But what if it isn’t.  Every time this year I pushed through, I got ill.  Really ill.

There’s no denying we drive our minds into highly unnatural acts, month after month, year after year, and perhaps the shut down trigger gets sensitive.  Maybe it shuts down earlier/longer.

This is important, because, of course, Atlas is juggling and it’s entirely possible that us few – we few, we lucky few, we band of strivers – who are still over 100% employed are keeping the entire thing going.  And we’re taking more duties.

But if that causes us to shut down, then what do we do?

I don’t know.  I know I wish this entire situation had come about oh, twenty years ago, when I had more energy.  But did I really, or was it an artifact of not having this much to do?

I know part of the way I feel is just stress, because the only thing these silences resemble is the silence when my publications-not-Baen were spiraling down the drain and I didn’t know about indie.

This time the stress is not just the work – I know, I know, between editing, publishing and new writing I’m full up – but other stuff.  Personal stuff, family stuff, family health stuff, extended family stuff, and the continuous break down of house stuff this year has visited upon us (which in turn does what it does for financial stuff.)

And I’m a worrier, of course.  I always worry three steps ahead, which of course has kept me alive many times, but is a pain.

And I know the stress is counterproductive, but how do you deal with it?  I need to find a way to stop spinning in place through the silences.  I need to work, if not at my peak capacity, at least at a book a month.  The stories are there, mind, stacked ten deep, waiting.  Because even through the silence new ideas and new novels form.

We, all of us, need to find a way to keep the top spinning, if we are to survive what’s headed for us.  (If you haven’t read Vodka Pundit’s Monday morning dose of doom and gloom, all you need to know is that I agree with him when he recommends bourbon for breakfast.  Only I can’t.  I have work to do.)

Right now, what I’m trying to do is power through Through Fire – and it would help, truly, if it were a SLIGHTLY less intense book, yes – and then Darkship Revenge – which unfortunately is also an extremely intense book – before the end of the month.

This  means… I don’t know.  I’ll probably be running guests on the weekend, so if you ever dreamed of your very own star slot on ATH, this is your chance 😛

And I shall be twisting the boys arms to help.  And if you’re trying to get something out of me that’s not related to those two novels, you have to keep poking, because it WILL fall out of my head.

… and I’ll report my wordage here, at the end of each post, but only wordage on the novels.

And I’ll report if this breaks me.  I guess if I get really ill, the silence was real.

I just wish I had some way to tell in advance.  And I wish I knew how to keep Atlas Juggling.

109 responses to “Beating The Silences

  1. Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

    Take care.

  2. A tangent. We are still discussing a Book of the Month club on goodreads. We also have a poll up for one element of it:

  3. Sorry to hear your brain is fighting you. So far mine usually comes back – eventually. I just go about doing the same things, but a bit more carefully than casually. The system is good when it’s running, so it should be okay again when it decides to come back.

    I fear the death of the system. But so far…

    For me it is solidly based in ‘this is all I have that’s mine.’ You have other options, but writing is also such a huge part of who you are that I suspect your other options are never as attractive for very long.

    Thanks for writing about the struggle – it does help other writers to know we’re not alone.

  4. those of you juggling may appreciate this cartoon — the woman in question has just lost her job:

  5. John has his down periods too. But then he gets really strange. One reason we have another Roger book, finall.y is that he reread the other books and wanted to know how the story was going to work out.

    • John has his down periods too.

      No kidding. I’m still waiting for him to finish the Posleen series, for example. His first series, and it’s still not complete — even though he’s started, what, four or five more since then? There Will Be Dragons, Roger, Kildar, Wands, Vorpal Blade, Troy Rising… six, and that’s before Graveyard Sky, which makes seven. But while he’s said he has ideas for the last two books of the Posleen series (and he’s said they will be the last two), he’s also said that he just doesn’t have the whole story laid out in his head yet, and hasn’t managed to get there. Seven series later, and he hasn’t finished his first one. Every time I see him start a brand new series instead of finishing one of his existing ones, I keep on wanting to shout… all together now…

      “Oh, John Ringo, NO!”


      • I went back through the Live Free or Die –> The Hot Gate series again last week, and it annoys me that he’s not finishing that one.

        • I though that the Troy Rising and Kildar series were done.

          • Troy Rising is definitely not done, I won’t say it ended on a cliffhanger, but it has a lot of loose threads that leave one waiting for the next installment. Kildar is not because there is another book coming out in it, but it is a series that COULD end anywhere past book three, each book from three on has a complete ending without a bunch of threads that need tied up in the next.

            • John reportedly backed himself into a corner in the Troy Rising series and is still struggling on how to extract the situation and pick back up.
              I understand there is another Kildar in the works with a different co-author. That and more personal attention from John may just redeem the cluster fisk the last book created.
              On a positive note, next Prince Roger is due for February release, and it’s known that he has finished at least the rough draft of all four zombie books.
              What the Ringo muse may do to those carefully laid plans is anyone’s guess of course.

              • I’ve heard rumors of this next Prince Roger book, but all I can find any info on is the omnibus (called Prince Roger) which comes out. I believe in February. I would certainly like to see more in that series, it is my favorite of his.

                • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

                  The February book is a combination of the first two “Prince Roger” novels and is tilted _Empire Of Man_.

                • He was doing snippets of the new Prince Roger book on Facebook a month or two back. They were often in the comments so hard to find. He also had plot issues with David Weber. Apparently Ringo wants Roger to get a lot more dark than Weber is happy with.

  6. Christopher M. Chupik

    I know the feeling exactly. The past few weeks have been a writing dead zone for me. Not entirely sure what it is. My sleep has been a little wonky, maybe that has something to do with it. Take care of yourself, Sarah. I’m sure you’ll break through soon.

  7. And I know the stress is counterproductive, but how do you deal with it?

    If someone figures it out, I hope they tell me. The stress about my financial situation is getting dang hard to deal with. Maybe it will lighten up some after we get the house sold and move.

  8. Doing a lot with no break can take its toll on you. Sending good vibes. Take care. This may be a societal rather than a personal thing. Nervous strain about what’s happening, and what might/will happen next. This is not a calm period for any adult in our society.

    If you will excuse the forwardness of this: {{hugs}}

    • No forwardness. Hugs always welcome. And yes, this entire country is behaving like it has a bad case of the screaming mimmies.

      • I’m not going to say that everything in this country is “all right”. Obviously like you I think that some really damaging policies are taking us the wrong direction.

        But I don’t think things are going to come apart quickly or immediately. So it is important – albeit difficult – to keep a bit of emotional distance where one can from the political circus.

        Things will probably get a bit worse, and a bit better, but we are all going to make it out in good shape — after a bit more character building than we wanted — on the other end.

        • From your mouth to G-d’s ears. In my case I think PTSD — I’ve been here politically and got hit hard before — doesn’t help.

        • The heck with that — I ain’t building no more character for nobody. I already haz character out the wazoo as is.

        • For me a loss of creativity is like… I can’t *go* there. I can’t go to that place and be those people. I might be able to see where they are and what they’re doing, but I can’t put my head in that place where I’m experiencing the events and writing about them. I can’t go to that place because I can’t leave *this* place. I also can’t hold the pattern of the story in my head, even if I know what it’s supposed to be.

          I know what my stress has been and until this fall I haven’t been able to be creative since shortly after that gnome commando thing which was *years* ago. I could do other things, even work very hard, I just couldn’t write fiction. And I know why, and I’m thinking that my reason isn’t yours.

          I’m responding after SPQR because this was nearly my thoughts and very well said. Yes, politics and the world and all, the pattern of it all, the likely result of it all… it’s not pretty. Emotional distance is important because you’ve got to take care of you before you can save the world. Family has to be taken care of. Bills and broken humidifiers and daily life has to be taken care of. The world can be let go for a bit. It can be left to its own devices for a bit. Other people in that Army of Davids can hold the line for a bit while you take a breather. If you don’t click on a political web-page for six months the republic will still survive.

          This is only a suspicion and perhaps not worth anything at all but… I can’t not *watch*, if you know what I mean. If I’m a passenger in a car, no matter how much I trust the driver, I have to *watch*. My stress was my kids, and even while I accepted that I couldn’t drive, I still couldn’t take my eyes off the road. I couldn’t go to any other place, not even to rest, because I had to be on watch.

          Some things you can’t let go, and I couldn’t say what they are, not knowing what else there is. But day to day politics *can* go. And anything that can go, probably should.

            • I dropped the regular perusal of the news several years ago, because of stress. But now I feel stupid and uninformed. Like it or not, it’s a habit I need to return to. In moderation, and with attention to the source.

              • Heinlein read the news a week late during WWII. this might not be bad.

                • I have found great entertainment value in reading the news a decade late. It is surprising how much of what was deemed urgent proved to not be so.

              • Why on Earth would you presume that reading/watching the MSM would leave you any less stupid, as well as misinformed?

                Frankly, I recommend finding a few good bloggers and follow them. It will consume less time and provide more entertainment as well as being more informative.

  9. It is most important to me that you can recover both physically and mentally so that the good stuff keeps coming out, even if at a slow pace. I love my wife, but her creative desires aren’t matched by her physical strength and the demands on her from beyond me. But I can wait for her, and I can wait for you (and for Ringo and Pourlnelle and Cedar) to produce at the pace that sustains you. Remember to enjoy the other things like watching Marsh and Robert become top performers and “Good Men” (not what that means in AFGM).

  10. I experience something very much like that, and I call it my Wall, or my Big White Wall, depending on how it manifests. Forcing myself to trudge through it has been a disaster, and there were many times I couldn’t, no matter what. It lasts however long it feels like lasting, and I can’t pinpoint what triggers it, nor can I figure out how to fix it save for minor tweaks and adjustments that may or may not work at any given time. It just needs to run its course. I have no advice to give you that will help you overcome your issue, just maybe the very small comfort in knowing others are also afflicted with this frustrating issue.
    Also, like your youngest son, I naturally think in ideas and concepts which is great for intuition, not optimal when translating into some form of communication that most others can understand.

  11. If I knew how to fix this, I would be a millionaire, because I am under the impression that it’s not just you. The anxiety, the stress, the (heaven help us) panicky feeling that it’s all going to drop in the pot. If I had a way to fix that, I’d be bigger than Deepak Chopra and the Beatles.

    But I’d bet this place is a pressure valve for you (I know it is for me), so dropping the blogging wouldn’t be helpful in the long term. If I can’t come in here and see the friendly banter, back and forth, and occasional sparring, I’d miss that, and the world would be just a little darker for it.

    But the people here are so sharp, we can at least get some of them to help. Guest posts – about 1500 words, more or less, is that right? And is there any particular place we should send them?

  12. I have periods like this (though I suspect not as profound, if only because my day to day is not entirely dependent on my creative facility). Usually my brain is busy cranking along in the background with one project or another. Building cars or motorcycles or houses (in bolt by bolt detail, frequently enough), or devising the rules and histories of imagined or anticipated universes. Or writing scenes and event resolutions for characters and situations real and imagined. I’ve always done it. So when it stops, I’m left feeling a little empty. And distinctly out of sorts. It seems to compound my anxiety with its absence. And then it…cranks back up.

    If you suss out the why of it, please write a treatise (because you need another writing project). I’d love to have the why, even in the absence of a solution.

    • And off topic:

      On the eleventh day of the eleventh month: *lifts glass* “Absent companions.”

      • The flame of the inn is dim tonight,
        Too many vacant chairs.
        The sun has lost too much of its light,
        Too many songs have taken flight,
        Too many ghosts on the stairs.
        Charon, here’s to you, as man against man,
        I wish I could pick ’em the way you can!
        — Grantland Rice

      • Particularly to the ex-Marine heroes of Benghazi, one of whom was apparently a silent member of the Baen’s bar.
        (Drinks and throws glass.)

      • hear, hear!

      • “For true comrades and true foemen,/ Madonna, Intercede.”

      • Absent companions. The earth is the richer, and we the poorer, the song of the afterlife that much sweeter.

      • Someone posted a pic of a sign in the London Underground saying “There have been reports of Ghosts sighted in here.”

        My response: “Well, *duh* — didn’t you fuckers read the Unsubtle Warning at the end of ‘In Flanders Fields’?”

      • They went with songs to the battle, they were young,
        Straight of limb, true of eye, steady and aglow.
        They were staunch to the end against odds uncounted;
        They fell with their faces to the foe.

        They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old:
        Age shall not weary them, nor the years contemn.
        At the going down of the sun and in the morning
        We will remember them.

        They mingle not with their laughing comrades again;
        They sit no more at familiar tables of home;
        They have no lot in our labour of the day-time;
        They sleep beyond England’s foam.

        But where our desires are and our hopes profound,
        Felt as a well-spring that is hidden from sight,
        To the innermost heart of their own land they are known
        As the stars are known to the Night;

        As the stars that shall be bright when we are dust,
        Moving in marches upon the heavenly plain;
        As the stars that are starry in the time of our darkness,
        To the end, to the end, they remain.

        -Laurence Binyon

  13. Can we write up blog posts and send them in? I’m procrastinating an article for Catholic Stand, but I might be able to “organize my desk” by having that, too….

  14. Ringo writing methods . . . he said once, roughly, that writers store up things, ideas, trivia data, people and scenery like beads on a string. And you use them, dozens of them in every story. And that every once in awhile you run out of beads. And the stories get thin and less substantial, and sometimes you have to stop until you’ve collected enough beads.

    Perhaps you’re running short on beads. You’ve got to power through the books with deadlines, but once there, perhaps concentrating on non-writing tasks like getting the house ready to sell would give the subconscious bead stringer time to get ahead.

    I shall contemplate another contribution to the blog, to free up some words for your fictional endeavors.

    • I think part of it is the “Due” part of the books. I don’t allow myself to do anything else, until they’re done, and the other books are part of how I “train up.”
      I don’t think these are thin and unsubstantial. More like molasses.

      • For me deliberately watching or reading something which will probably irritate, while not being so bad I’m going to just hate it, often works – well, not in winters, but other times of the year. And watching is better than reading since it takes less concentration if it is something, well, irritating. Gives ideas, the good old ‘how that should have gone’, or how I would have wanted it to go. After which I may go and sit somewhere and spend an hour or two just fantasizing. That’s pretty much how I relax. Fortunately I can also do the same while walking or doing something physical I don’t need to concentrate on much, like the ‘day’ job or cleaning, or I’d spend way too much time just staring at walls.

        Being a bit pissed can give a nice boost sometimes, but the important thing seems to play with things which get you in just a mild, or at most moderate, state of pissed, so it becomes fun to shred the irritating elements in your mind but it doesn’t make you stressed or actually angry.

        More beads, as Pam said. Or maybe enough heat to turn the molasses from something thick and sticky to something more liquid, and easier to wade through. 🙂

    • You do realize that as soon as you mention beads many of those here are going to think of, “brilliant beads of captured sunlight” shining in icicles at night, don’t you?

  15. That does sound a lot like what I get during the winters. I can’t write much because I can’t concentrate. The ability to write, or do anything else active like that, usually goes first, and then, even now, the ability to read. Used to be a lot worse before I learned the few tricks I now use, but even now I may have a few weeks when I can’t handle even the most inane and easy to figure out stories, the lack of concentration means that I maybe can read but I will not remember what happened previously in the story, so when I get to any of the important scenes they just leave me baffled. There may have been most obvious foreshadowing or hints towards the scene I’m reading, but I don’t remember them, and that makes the whole thing rather frustrating. Best books in midwinter are the ones which have lots of funny scenes in them, I may not be able to comprehend what the story is about but at least I can then enjoy those.

    For me visual things usually remain a lot easier though. Maybe because I’m like your son, I think more in images than in words. I remember easier like that too, so remembering to some extent depends on whether I can picture the words as some sort of image, but that seems to be precisely what I lose.

    Well, what I use are vitamin D (and what I have read lately mostly seems to say, pretty strongly, that you should also take vitamin K if you take D, big doses of just D may cause calcification of the arteries, K helps calcium to go where it belongs, your bones. Who knows, but probably at least won’t hurt), omega 3, exercise, and trying to make sure I see daylight, in the outside and during the brightest part of the day, at least for a few minutes daily, if it’s only taking out the trash and then standing there for a little while. And one of those lamps, but that I have some problems with. The light may be good for easing the SAD symptoms but bright light also hurts my eyes and can sometimes trigger the migraine symptoms (not that huge a problems since mine is silent, I don’t get the actual headache, but even the others are a nuisance, they make you kind of stupid). Works with SAD, at least to some extent, the first ones should at least help with other types of depression and other stress symptoms too.

    Being able to avoid chronic stress would probably work pretty well too but that is a bit harder to do. Trying to force myself into something on the other hand usually just seems to make things worse, so I kind of have to try to trick myself, refuse to spend time looking directly at the actual problems, not the whole thing at once anyway, try to work with them piecemeal and sometimes around them and fantasize a lot of how things still may turn out just fine – or just fantasize of something fun when I need to stay away from the real for a little while. Kind of the Pollyanna approach (and I hated that book as a kid). And sometimes I feel profoundly stupid doing that, but while it may have no real effect on what’s around me it can work on me, at least a little, and staying even sort of functional is a lot better than becoming nonproductive.

  16. There’s something in the air. This is usually my best time of the year, most energetic, happiest, healthiest. This year – nope. I can write little bits, but N2:TS has all but stopped. I’m pulling teeth to even get a few hundred words out. I’ve got non-fic I need to revise, non-fic I need to read, lesson plans and syllabi I need to be preparing just in case, stories I want to write, and nothing. I suspect it will pass, and my disrupted routine has a great deal to do with it, but holy G-d who makes the rough places plains may it pass soon!

    • Back in ’02 or so when I was tutoring, I had a “special” student. Ye gods and monsters was she “special.”

      Bethany thought she was Bog’s own gift to men. And women. And pretty much every warm body with a pulse. She was also, for my sins, my student in osteology and practice of physical anthropology. I met her when we were both in the music biz, and she traded on that when she needed help.

      Young lady had a problem with tests. Quite natively intelligent (when she chose to apply herself), tests would drive her to screaming, shuddering, crying fits. She’d do fine with the material. I could test her knowledge all day once she got the material, no problem. But a test would destroy her, and she knew it.

      So I started cribbing notes from the old priest that used to take my confessions when I was five. “This, too, shall pass.” (You will pass if I have to drive you with a mob of peasants carrying torches, pitchforks, and rope). Use the knowledge. Make sure it works for you in practice. Don’t worry about the test. Et cetera.

      I couldn’t swear to any incriminating knowledge, but the Visine, the coke, and the girl who had previously been hazing my student locking herself in the staff bathroom is inconclusive, I swear- but hearing Bethany (giggling like a toddler) uttering “this, too, shall pass” to that closed door was utterly priceless. My student passed with a B- average.

      Don’t worry too much about the slow periods. “This, too, shall pass.” *grin*

    • Great. I got hit with chills, digestive upset, light-headednes, and muscle aches this afternoon. Right on time if I picked it up from one of the – ahem – young ladies and gentlemen at the school. Or from one of the teachers. (There’s a reason I’ve been getting so many hours this fall.) On the up side, I got 2000 words written on N2:TS yesterday and today. I SO do not have time for this. *weak grin, glances up thread*

  17. I’m planning to serialize the “rant” I’m working on for Kindle, but have a problem. I have wix “free” site, but no time/energy/money for installing Word Press. I _refuse_ to use, as I may get ads that deeply offend me. I’d offer sections for your blog, for those days when the brain goes dry, but don’t know if it would be acceptable. If/when I do manage to serialize it somewhere, I’ll announce it on LinkedIn, as well as on FB. I badly need input, as parts are just not “jelling.” Am I saying too much, not enough, not explaining it well? Sigh.
    Sarah (and others), be grateful your “block” is not fighting the marshmallow time management of a Nursing Home. No one keeps to anything like a “schedule.” We have to wait for Physical therapists, aides to help with changing briefs/toilet help, meals, etc. Plus, dealing with the low amount Medicaid allows us to keep for “personal use.” It hasn’t changed since _at least_ 2008.
    If anyone can help with the WP set up issues, contact me at my alternate emial grafxmanus at yahoo dot com. The help will be greatly appreciated.

  18. I read this and song lyrics came to mind. Depeche Mode, “Enjoy the Silence”:

    “Words like violence
    Break the silence
    Come crashing in
    Into my little world
    Painful to me
    Pierce right through me
    Can’t you understand
    Oh my little girl.”

    All I can do for you at this time is tell you that I’m hoping that it will get better for you.

  19. Right now I feel like I’m juggling cats while being pecked to death by ducks. And that’s because things are actually going well. The cats are projects and work and the ducks are characters and family members who want things like dinner and clean clothes. The only way to deal with that is to let the brain go silent and let muscle memory take over for part of it.

  20. Part of my problem now is season change (it went almost abruptly from “too warm for more than a sheet and a thin blanket” to “COLD”), partly hormonal, and partly self-induced stress.

    I’m trying to do NaNoWriMo in the hopes it’ll force me/teach me to write more regularly. Only it’s making me write for shorter spurts and my form of procrastination leads to me writing loads of behind the scenes information because this is meant to be a series of teen horror/supernatural and I do honestly need it but… I’ve pretty well run out of things to do by adding background information to work from and have gone out the other side to a sudden arting spree. We’ll see how long that lasts. But I’m desperately fighting against a cold or allergies or something. I’m popping echinacea as regularly as I can remember to and even have stooped to vitamins. And tea, when I can make myself get up and do it. (I need to tonight, my throat is gunky again.)

    I really want to get into better habits – for writing, exercise, and art – and I do have a plan which I will be fairly strict on. But it’s really easy for me to push it off for the new year since I can’t find the cork board I want to use that I’ll pin the calendar so I can keep track of the days I do and don’t work. (A digital calendar would be easy to ignore – out of sight, out of mind style.)

    None of this helps you or even helps identify where these painful writing blocks come from. I guess I’m just rambling because I’m frustrated. The story is there. I can massage my last session into producing a few dozen/hundred more words because I was writing most of it on my Kindle as I’d turned the computer off and decided to go to bed because my mind “clicked off” and I figured I wasn’t going to get anything else done. But my brain hasn’t been on because of the hormones, so I’m stuck spinning my wheels and getting nowhere.

    The good news (I think) is that once I get past writing the first few hundred words, things seem to be coming pretty easily. It’s just that because of hormones and the sickness, my mind keeps shutting OFF and I just want to stare at a wall and I’m getting to the point where I just want to scream at the stupid wall because I have too many projects I want to work on and have to work on and I hate wasting time and not even enjoying my time-wasting.

    /frustrated rant
    (Apologies from building on your own. I hope it clears up for both of us.)

  21. I am-in meatspace- something of a raconteur. Many of the stories I tell to friends I cannot repeat online because of the potential harm that they could do to family or friends. I love telling stories, and I love making people laugh. Sometimes, though, I just don’t have anything to say at that moment. I haven’t run out of words, I’m just not using them at that time. I expect this might be one of those times for you.

  22. Sounds like menopause to me. It can be toughed through, but hormones may help.

  23. I do understand what you are saying. This year I have been doing nanowrimo– on the seventh day I had a migraine. I haven’t had a migraine since January of this year. So I rested the entire day and then started writing again– fast and furious. Seven days later I had a fast heartbeat and had to rest in bed the entire day. Yesterday I didn’t write– I did crochet. So I will probably do some writing today, but I won’t do as much. It’s not a block in my case… it is health and maybe my brain needs a fan installed. 😉