"It's like taking a nap on that little rug when you were in kindergarten."

Unwritten, Write?!

Lamp on window, write, writing

The lamp reflects on the family room windows.

Dancing lights.

Beyond, on the hill, the flourescents of the complex glimmer like sprawling Italian villas.

In the background, a Law & Order marathon plays.

You hear that all-too-familiar sound every few minutes: You know … Doink, Doink! – the sound that plays over scene changes – white letters stark against a black background.

The smell of coffee comes off the brewing K-Cup machine. Lightning fast java in less than 30 seconds.

Writing prompts devoid of prompting what to write.

Where’s the ink? Blank screen sits in loneliness.

How to write around Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) (albeit not medically diagnosed).

What to do?

Here’s a few thoughts:

1. Switch to the NBA basketball playoffs and pull the laptop closer to write. Be sure to get engaged enough in the game where you can’t focus very well on the writing.

2. Take a break for a healthy snack.

junk food, snack, write, writing

3. Stare some more at the screen.

4. Get distracted and do some “research” on the internet. Check email, Twitter, and Facebook.

5. Stop for dinner.

6. Coffee smells beckon again. Have another cup of coffee.

7. Lather, rinse, repeat. [Yep, it’s actually on wikipedia – my research bible.]


Ah, writing.

Ever have one of those days (or weeks)?


  1. Love it! You and I have healthy snacks in common, I think *wiping cookie crumbs off chest*. I haven’t had much trouble writing, lately, it’s just that I haven’t been particularly interested in writing the things I’m SUPPOSED to be writing (such as unit questions, analyses of divergent research methodologies, blah, blah, blah). The semester break fiction project is becoming a bit of a plague on my studies. Maybe I need more healthy snacks….

    • “blah, blah, blah” stuff is the hardest to write, and also no fun!

      At least you’re exercising to work off those cookies! Healthy snacks are overrated, don’t you think?

  2. Oh friend…considering I’m now a full-time freelance writer, I have those days/weeks/months ALL THE FRIGGIN’ TIME!!!

    And the cure for me?

    Live life.

    It’s amazing how much getting out can change the mindset. When I stay inside the home, toiling away, trying to squeeze words out of the sponge that is my mind, it doesn’t work.

    But when I have lunch with a client, or I take the kids out to a movie, or I just go grocery shopping…it’s amazing how much the words loosen up!

    Although your healthy snack idea ain’t lookin’ too bad either.


    • Getting out is a great idea. It is easy to get distracted and stuck when one stays at home. I need to get a client. hehe

      Unfortunately, my “healthy snack” doesn’t happen very often, since I can’t afford those kind of calories too often. Darn it!

  3. Hi,
    Oh I think the snacks will work just fine, I’m sure they will do the trick. :)

  4. I try not to think too much about writing and just write.

  5. Hi mj, you probably just need a little time to settle in to your new place. I think Andra has the right idea–don’t think too much about it. As you live your life, thoughts will occur to you, and the next thing you know, you’ll be blogging. It was good to see your name in the mailbox!

  6. That never happens to me. Never. Really.

  7. Judy Berman says:

    I love the snack idea. But, then, I’d be taking those all the time and would have to waddle over to my computer. Some of my spontaneous ideas come from sheer desperation. Thanks for tips on getting back into the game.

  8. mike….only you could turn the topic of not bbeing able to focus on rting into a funny writing piece. haha! I suffer, too. :)

  9. >Ah, writing.
    >Ever have one of those days (or weeks)?
    – Um, no? Because I oh-so-cleverly choose to write about the most profound subject – Me!

    Can never say enough about Me. Oh, until I thinks she has something more gripping to say. Then of course, Myself just HAS to try and outblab those other two.

    So you see. I’m very lucky to have the three of them – I, Me, Myself – to write about. They provide enough fodder to keep this cow going till the others come home. 😉

    On a more real note, tell us about your teething, um, experiences (a better word than ‘problems’, I think) in your new neck of the woods. Blogging was part of your routine. We know routine is more than just required; it’s essential, when faced with daunting new .. a whole lotta things. So tell us about some of that, MJ.

    After you’re done with 1-7 on your list of thoughts. Of course.


    • That’s true about you – you do have quite the interesting, exotic life over there. I can’t write too much about myself without making it something quite universal, or I’d totally lose the audience with that boredom.

      I like your trio of me, myself, and I. It works well for you.

      Good point about getting back into the routine. I must do that. Have disconnected so much, it’s difficult reconnecting.

      I should post about the new experiences. Great idea, SBM!

      • >That’s true about you – you do have quite the interesting, exotic life over there.
        – Ah, I’m quite the David Copperfield with words and my life, MJ. I’ve come clean with my most recent post ‘All That Glitters’.

        > Great idea, SBM!
        – It took me a good 10 seconds at least to get that acronym, and when the tube light of yore FINALLY lit up, so did my face! *grin*


  10. All the time, MJ! I seem to get all of my good ideas for writing when I’m away from the computer/internet and super busy at work. Then, when I finally have time to write, where do all my ideas go?

    I fully support your research methods, though. TV, snacks, and mindless internet surfing *must* be good for the soul! 😉

    • Yes, why is that, Dana? When we’re trying to sleep, or far from the computer, the ideas come quickly. And very coherently, I might add. Then when we’re able to write, only bits and pieces come back to us.

      Those are the only ways to “research!”

  11. jodi @Heal Now and Forever says:

    Having a moment right now so I am on your blog relating…

  12. Jennifer says:

    ‘like’ as there’s no button anymore. :)

  13. Yep. I think we all have one of those days/weeks/months. You should call a writer friend who happens to live close by and go for a walk on the beach since you happen to live close to one. Ahem. Hint, hint.

  14. I have these big blocks where I’ve got nuthin’. And it’s very scary to me. Then suddenly, the words start flowing again. It does come and go and certainly isn’t anything I can make sense out of, and it doesn’t work on a set schedule.

    I could never tell me readers: I will post twice a week, because some weeks it’s a dry well. Other weeks I’ve written seven posts in seven days. Frustrating! What helps me most is exercise. If I go for a walk the thoughts just flow and ideas come eventually.

    • I’m the same way. Not that I’m blocked, just nothing to say.

      And I could never state how many times a week or month I will post, either.

      Exercise? Do I have to??

  15. Some days are just like that. You have lots of company, me included. I think a walk sounds wonderful for inspiration, and a walk on the beach sounds even better.

  16. HAHA. :)

  17. sunshine says:

    Oh, you are wonderfully funny MJ! So that’s how to go about when one gets into a writer’s block eh? Lol!
    Dancing…I think that should cure any block, writer’s or sinus, whatever block one may be having!
    So happy you’re back! :)

  18. Kricket says:

    I don’t know about Writer’s Block but I do know about procrastination which is not the same thing at all but it explains why I am responding so late to your post. :O)
    After looking over your list, #2 stuck out as a very useful distraction and then #5 sounded good too. Actually, I think those two can be synonymous or interchangeable at will. Love me some good Ice Cream for dinner!

    • I’ve decided to procrastinate today, but then … maybe I’ll put it off till tomorrow. :)

      Ice cream dinner sounds great Maybe I need to go to Coldstone!

  19. You more or less described my everyday routine. Ha ha! LOL. :)

  20. I’m having one of those LIVES!

  21. Today I sat down to write 1k in my WIP. I had no idea what came next. I contemplated Twitter and blog commenting. But I put on my WIP soundtrack and forced myself to type. Those first 300 words were like pulling out ingrown hairs. But I finally got my flow and ended up typing 1100 words with a clear idea of tomorrow’s scene. :)

  22. I’ll bet no one got to #3 without foraging for some junk food.

  23. I have plenty to say but with all of the work around this little ranch, I seem to have trouble making the time! I keep asking for a week of rain… but wouldn’t you know it, when we do get rain, there is house work and cooking… and entertaining visitors (we have a lot of company in the summer months). I need to become a night owl so I can write again!

    • I don’t know how you do all that you do, Lori. I know you enjoy it and get a lot of satisfaction out of it, but you are a real trooper. The kind of person that makes me love and miss the great Midwest folk I left behind.

Love to hear from you.

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