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Writing When You Can’t Write

Since last Friday, I’ve had very little brain power.  The doctors said my O2 levels were decreased but good — otherwise they would have definitely hospitalized me this week.  I don’t know if it was simply the fever burning out my brain cells or if my body instinctively knew it needed to conserve itself, but I just haven’t been able to THINK.

No Big Fish Games.  No reading and very little hand crafts because my eyes hurt too much from the fever.  I tried to make some crocheted slippers for my SIL’s sister, and I’m ashamed to say how many pairs I had to make before I finally got a set that I thought would fit her.  (The fourth pair fit.)

I didn’t even try to open my laptop for days.  I knew it was useless.

So how does one occupy the mind of a writer for an entire week when actual WRITING is out of the question?

When I was sick, I obviously didn’t even try.  But as I started to recover these past two days, I’ve felt the beginning of the desire to work again.  It’s still too early — just as it’s too early for my stomach to handle coffee again (I’ve tried twice but it just hasn’t tasted right yet).  I wanted to come up with another series to begin building after the current slate of work is done.  This kind of work is fun and engrossing, a danger when I’m trying to draft new words (because it’s distracting), but ideal for when I don’t feel like I can string words together in a coherent manner.

I pulled out a brand new colorful notebook that made me feel good and just started writing down words I like.  Just a word association game.  In the back of my mind, I knew the basic genre I wanted to shoot for.  My goal is to write something that further cements my ongoing brand that I’m working harder to build.

That led me to some interesting elements I hadn’t thought of yet.  While I was pulling together information for my website header — mostly links to images that inspired me in some way — I found that I really enjoy Venetian carnival masks.  Hmmm.  How can I use them?  What would that mean?

I’m finally able to do a little online reading without my eyes complaining too much, so I allowed just a bit of research.  Mostly, though, I just jotted loose ideas on paper.  I don’t have much of anything but the itch in the back of my brain that swears the idea is just beneath the surface, almost ready for me to chisel out into an intriguing book.

I hope.  😉

Soon I ought to be able to string words together again, but in the meantime, this has been a fun exercise I usually don’t allow myself to dwell on too long because I’m too busy.

What do you do when you can’t write?

6 thoughts on “Writing When You Can’t Write

  1. Glad you’re starting to feel better! Wanting to write is a great sign of recovery. 🙂

    When I can’t write I read novels. Or watch movies, or intricately-ploted TV shows. Or curl up with a notebook and jot down ideas and tidbits for some future book.

  2. Thanks, Lianna, definitely feeling better! Still can’t sleep on my left side, though. Too noisy and uncomfortable. 🙁 Hopefully that will clear up this weekend.

  3. So glad to hear you’ve started to mend!

    It’s interesting you mention the masks, I just read a story that used them. Have fun brainstorming it 😀

    Thankfully, since getting serious about writing, I haven’t had a major illness interrupt it. Life getting in the way…all the time, LOL…still trying to figure out that balance. Relaxing usually means TV/movies or reading. I’d say a long soak in a bath but if I remember correctly you’re not a fan 😮

    1. I am typically a shower person but I do enjoy a leisurely soak occasionally. The problem is barring the monsters to keep it “leisurely!”

  4. Books and movies. If the illness is a migraine and I can’t read, I’ll still try to watch movies. Just… quieter ones. With less flashy-light stuff.

    1. We watched a lot of episodes of Hoarders. I don’t know that it helped with “writing” but it did help me relax!

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