There are days you’re just out of spoons.
This is not a post about breaking writer’s block, more’s the pity. This is about when your brain just can’t write. Not, won’t write, as can happen when you’re tired or there’s a new Shiny Anime or you’ve written yourself into a corner and you can’t yet chew your way out of it. This is about can’t write, because your brain is currently saturated with adrenaline and/or exhausted, staring like a deer in headlights at the oncoming collision of Murphy about to completely, utterly wreck your life.
Which has pretty much where my head’s been at off and on since… ergh. April last year. Several years before that weren’t much fun either, but at least the outbreaks of Murphy were relatively stable and predictable. I could, and did, plan around them, writing like mad on the days I’d get some peace and quiet, otherwise surviving.
Lately? Every time I think I’ve gotten things tamped down to a dull roar, something else blows up a few days later. Start the day, get ready to write – bam, crisis, head locks up tighter than Fort Knox.
So. What do you do when you’re too wired, exhausted, or your hands are just shaking so much that even scribbling notes is unreadable?
Me, I try to find something useful but destructive to do. Hack down yard weeds so the place is in town regs. Shred old paperwork. Trash any old junk I can find. Anything that will 1) let me get moving to physically burn off some of the stress and 2) is something that needs to get done. So at least I’ve gotten something out of the way, that might give me a chunk of free time to write when I do calm down.
Speaking from far too much personal experience, yes, you will calm down eventually. The body can only maintain Red Alert mode so long. (Though Yellow Alert… that can last a long, long time, and I’m not looking forward to how hard it’ll hit when things are finally over.)
It’s helpful to have clean sheets on the bed for when you finally crash.
It’s frustrating to have all the creative work you’re trying to do get stopped dead by the latest trauma. But the time to do synchronized swimming is not when you’re getting washed downstream toward the waterfall with all the sharp rocks.
Save yourself first. Then write.