My Day Off

I’d like to apologize today to anyone who has expressed that you look forward to reading my blog. I can’t write for you today. If you try to write anything regularly—and you have a life—then you know that sometimes it can feel like a grind.

You see, often when it’s time to sit down to write something creative, my well is dry, and I struggle to think of stories or ideas or concepts that I’d like to share with you. Sometimes I have plenty of ideas, but none of them are bloggable. Maybe they’re too disgusting, talking about things like garbage disposals in toilets. Or one story might inappropriately embarrass one of the characters featured, like say, if it’s about a 12-year-old boy dressing in drag to be funny for his brother-in-law, but making his mom angry in the process. Often, my ideas are simply just too naughty, and I’m not willing to go there (even if it’s truly funny). I like to keep within the PG range, although sometimes (I know) I teeter dangerously close to PG-13.

Since I’ve been writing for a living for going on twenty years now, of course I know a lot of handy tricks that can help me get unstuck. Other days, they don’t seem to work—even for me. :( I’m convinced that the human mind only has so much capacity for processing, based on a whole lot of factors: memories (of course), nutrition, opportunity for reflection, proper rest and sleep, bandwidth from dumping existing ideas, three tiny gnomes that I keep locked in a Darth Vader action figure case, consulting with the neighbor’s cat, and other things too numerous to mention.

One thing I do sometimes is mash up two disparate things. When my dear friend Natalie was stuck with nothing to write, I suggested what I thought was a simple solution, and it seemed to work for her. Sometimes I turn to my artist-friend’s blog and steal ideas or inspiration from her. Most of the time I just surf the Internet. Of course the Happy Friday Dance party is always nearby. (Blaine Hogan has several variations on this theme, so it’s hard to pick a favorite.) Also I run. If I have the time and happen to be in a slow season with work, I might take a nap. Or make a sandwich. And then another. And then another. Code Red loves me no matter what, and it never judges me. Sometimes it actually helps.

But what’s happened in the last couple of weeks is that I’ve just become overwhelmed. My sales cycle for the projects and freelance writing work I do is a long one. (TWSS) Usually I’ll meet with a client, we’ll go over everything, and then a month or two later they’ll get back to me with actual work. Two weeks ago, I had three meetings like that—which all resulted in immediate work, way more than I could do or keep up with. So for this season, I’m going to have to stay focused on that.

And that’s why I couldn’t entertain you today. Thank you for your understanding.

What do you do to get back in your groove? What keeps you from doing the things you know you should? What are some stories you know that I know, that you’d like to hear (read?) me tell? (Anything’s fair game, including embarrassing high school kind of stuff.)

4 Responses to “My Day Off”

  1. Arly November 5, 2010 at 2:22 pm #

    All is forgiven.

    • Brannon November 6, 2010 at 10:16 am #

      It’s terrifying that you wield that kind of power. Reminds me of Ralph Fiennes’ character in Schindler’s List, when he points at himself in the mirror and tells himself, “I forgive you.”

  2. Bea November 5, 2010 at 3:05 pm #

    I can agree it teeters sometimes….. Say, how long did you write to tell us you weren’t going to write. Hugs

    When I am not inspired…I don’t write, you know like Bill Jaxon. He only paints when ‘that feeling’ hits him. So don’t put yourself on a schedule. We, your faithful readers understand.

    • Brannon November 6, 2010 at 10:17 am #

      It is what it is. And something just over 500 words. I kind of have to discount what relatives say. Because you’re sort of obligated.

Leave a Reply:

Gravatar Image

 (Website address)

XHTML: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>