Tuesday, January 12

Hitting the wall - and accepting it

Inspiration comes easily to me. I've never suffered writers block (probably because of the intimidating speeches I've listened to from very famous writers who claim it doesn't exist - just put your butt in the chair!) and when I decide to plot or write, my brain kicks into gear. But in the last two weeks, I hit a wall; hence the accompanying photo of the 40 foot thick wall around historic San Juan (yes, there is a reason for the pretty picture, not just me reveling in my fantastic vacation).

You see, I got sick. Bad cold, that turned into a sinus infection just about the same time I boarded my long awaited birthday cruise to the Caribbean. And yet, my current work in progress takes place on a cruise ship. I expected all my neurons to be firing overtime. Didn't take my computer, but did take a notebook to finish plotting each and every remaining chapter. Figured I'd be so overtaken with inspiration I'd wrap everything up before we hit our second port.

Turns out, when my body turns off, so does my brain. Each day, surrounded by so many things and places to bring my story to life, I'd float to myself the idea of plotting. Nothing. Nada. No response (except some very loud coughing). My first reaction was panic. If I couldn't crank out ideas here, in paradise, with no distractions, where could I? What was wrong with me? And then it hit me. I'm okay. I'm still a writer. I need to concentrate on getting better, and nothing more.

I'm sharing this with all of you because we are in the murky depths of cold and flu season. If it hasn't hit you and/or your family yet, well, brace for it. When it does hit, don't beat yourself up if you don't reach your projected word count, or finish those crits burning a hole in your inbox, or even post your blog. Give yourself permission to take care of you. First and foremost. No guilt or panic attached. We all try to do so much, and tend to flog ourselves if even one thing falls by the wayside. But in this case, don't waste precious energy trying to fight it. After you recover, the words will come back to you. I promise.


  1. great advice, Christi! I find when I'm sick I still want to take care of everyone else, keep working...and it all snowballs until I can barely lift my head from the pillow!

  2. So true. The best thing you can do for yourself and your writing is taking the time to get better. And you'll probably find those notebooks you filled up will bring back those sparks you need to finish your story!

  3. I find I have to have me time even when I'm feeling perfectly healthy. Sometimes I have to take me time away from writing too, especially when I hit a wall.

  4. Christi,
    I'm so sorry you got sick for your birthday cruise. What a bummer! Hope you're on the mend and feeling better, and the words are coming back to you. Maybe you soaked in all the cruise stuff by osmosis and it will inspire you after all.

    Take care!