Brain Dead at 6 A.M.

Barbara Vey -- June 24th, 2008

paris hilton
I had this totally awesome blog done for today, really.  I even finished before 1 a.m. and was thrilled I wouldn’t have to get up at 5 to tweek it and make sure it fit on the PW site once it posted.  Then I found out I couldn’t use it.  After squinting my eyes real tight, I read the fine print that said the information I wanted to use was super copyrighted and now I have to wait for permission to use it.  So, today I’ll call and ask.  Because I’ve never done this before, we’ll see how that process works.

But now, here I am at 6 a.m. with a blank brain (at least as far as blog ideas).  I realize that I originally was only asked to write 3 times a week, but I enjoy it and I get a bunch of email if I don’t post something.  For the past hour I’ve been trolling the internet for anything interesting and while there’s a lot out there, nothing that jumps out at me (Paris Hilton as a cartoon character…who cares [actually a nontalking character in the World of Warcraft game, but still looks like a cartoon to me]).

Then I grazed other blogs for ideas, but lots were just personal stuff that wouldn’t help.  I googled weird news and all of a sudden even that didn’t seem very weird or interesting.

So, as I agonize over my couple of hundred words that won’t come, my heart goes out to all of you writers, published and non, who pump out thousands upon thousands of words that, when put together, somehow make sense and I wonder how many times you sat with a blank brain at 6 a.m.
chocolate malt

What do you do?  How do you stimulate the brain cells?  Where do you search?  Or do you just give up sometimes and throw the computer out the window?  Do you cop out and just write about a cartoon Paris Hilton?  Give me tips, so next time I won’t have to resort to this type of lame blog.

Bottom Line:  As soon as Culvers opens, I’m going for a very thick chocolate malt, because somehow, that always makes things better.

20 thoughts on “Brain Dead at 6 A.M.

  1. Edie Ramer

    Barbara, I’m a pantser, so sometimes it’s awful looking at a blank page with no idea what to do. Sometimes I just start typing and every word bleeds out of me until I’m done with my pages for the day. I’m wondering about the chocolate malt. How many points is that?

  2. Shari Anton

    Sometimes I go to Culvers for a chocolate malt ;) . Seriously, whenever the brain freezes I get up do something else, like take a walk, or jump in the shower, anything that quiets the frustration. I’m always amazed how many times that works. Frankly, I’d rather write novels than try to come up with an idea for a blog every day. And you did come up with an idea, didn’t you? Hugs, Barbara! Enjoy that malt!

  3. kathleen duey

    Barbara, here’s a novelist’s trick that I also use for my blog ((which is personal and mostly about writing and easier than yours, but still…)) I never end the day by finishing a scene, or a blog entry. If I stop in the middle, once I more or less know where it’s going, or even if I don’t, I have a jumpstart in the morning. This side-steps the blank screen paralysis thing. k ps. It wasn’t lame. I have written MUCH lamer posts.

  4. Monica Burns

    Chocolate chip cookie dough. It’s got just the right amount of caffeine and enough sugar to give you a high until the caffeine kicks in. It’s sinfully delicious and when I need to write great s*xual tension it’s good to feel sinful.

  5. Dianna Love

    Barbara – You’re the only person I know who can admit you got stuck with no topic for you blog and still make it sound interesting. “g” I depend on the caffeine mostly, but I sometimes flip through a magazine on an unfamiliar topic to see what grabs my eye. It’s amazing what you pick up that way. Dianna

  6. Missy Taylor

    Barbara you are a writer you can’t say that anymore. Afterall you’ve just done a blog on the lack of a subject and captivated your audience once again. :D IMO a blog is much harder than writing fiction. My cure for a blank brain is driving. I will drive and let my thoughts wonder and amazingly enough the white noise goes away and ideas pop in. When I can’t do that I just try not to think about anything for a while, do some mindless activites and when I get back to my thoughts they seem much clearer. That’s what I used to do when I had a problem I would simply bury myself in a story (either writing or reading) and when I finished it I would find my view of the problem clearer and the problem not such a monster anymore.

  7. Leanna Renee Hieber

    Barbara, LOL, the Seinfeld of blogging, huh? Well, what you just did is pretty much the trick; just write anyway! Facing the blank screen is daunting, but I’m also a panster so I never usually know quite where its going until I’m there, so the blank screen is my usual canvass. All my best ideas come when I’m in the shower. When I am on deadline, I am REALLY clean.

  8. Tori Carrington

    LOL, Barbara. *Now* I understand your earlier message. Yep, yep, yep, sometimes that damn blinking cursor against a blank background is enough to drive you completely mad. It’s interesting to note that you did exactly what we would have suggested: You wrote your way out of it. Sometimes merely writing about not being able to write gets those creative juices flowing. Or at least dislodges the block so you can move beyond it. Yes, the Seinfeld method usually works for us. It’s also called Julia Cameron’s (author of The Artist’s Way) morning pages. Of course, those pages aren’t usually meant for public consumption. Yours we nodded at an commiserated with. Must be the waning moon. xoxo Lori & Tony * http://www.toricarrington.net * http://www.myspace.com/toricarrington *

  9. Tori Carrington

    LOL, Barbara. *Now* I understand your earlier message. Yep, yep, yep, sometimes that damn blinking cursor against a blank background is enough to drive you completely mad. It’s interesting to note that you did exactly what we would have suggested: You wrote your way out of it. Sometimes merely writing about not being able to write gets those creative juices flowing. Or at least dislodges the block so you can move beyond it. Yes, the Seinfeld method usually works for us. It’s also called Julia Cameron’s (author of The Artist’s Way) morning pages. Of course, those pages aren’t usually meant for public consumption. Yours we nodded at an commiserated with. Must be the waning moon. xoxo Lori & Tony * http://www.toricarrington.net * http://www.myspace.com/toricarrington *

  10. Ann Macela

    I’m a pantser too. When the words aren’t coming, and I’ve sat there looking at the screen until my eyes cross, I do one of the following: play a dumb computer game, sometimes an RPG-swords&sorcery one (Hey, I write magic, why not?), clean the house, take a shower, go to the grocery store. It’s amazing how one random thought will lead to another for the story. I don’t try to figure out how this works. As JoAnn Ross says, “Don’t look under the hood!” If you find out how you do some of this, it might just go away. Cheers, Ann

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