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Sunday, May 8, 2011

This is my brain on drugs.

If I were on drugs, I'd look like this on a continuing basis. Just because it's funny. 
(This hilarity is brought to you from my daughter, who, ironically, was not on drugs. She's just strange.)


Having this obnoxious cold thingy makes me think about the brain (of course!) and how we perceive the world around us. So many things influence the brain and how it can cognitively function. Though I've always been interested in this process, I've never been so aware of it in myself until I started writing on a daily basis.

Simple things, small things, affect how well I connect to my story:

  • Not enough sleep      <------ Check out the studies that back me up!
  • Forgetting to exercise
  • Drinking too much coffee
  • Not drinking enough water
  • Having a drink the night before
  • Taking cold or allergy medications

Just one of these alone can mess with how quickly my brain reacts to the world of Pendomus... Can you imagine when multiples are at play?

Sometimes I wonder if this idea of writers block really boils down to something this simple:

I'm not at my best today. 

So then I ask myself: Which areas of my life do I need to concentrate on in order to regain balance? I'll take a closer look at my week, for example, to see where I've been out of sync. Typically, it's because I've become neurotically obsessed and have forgotten to do something simple, like feed myself.

I've been sick on and off for the past month-- which has become increasingly annoying. (Thank you small children in school and seasonal allergies!) There have been a couple times when I've finally given in and taken cold medicine. Every time, I feel like being up and dressed is about the best I can manage and it's not a good way for me to meet my goddamn deadline. Not to mention, slacking off is not something I enjoy. I'm a doer and I don't feel right (on whole) when I'm not DOING. 

However, I know there are times when that's exactly what I need. A complete and total lack of doing. Why? Balance. Generally speaking, life is about this often elusive balance thing. Finding that awesome blend between work and play. Between enough and excess... 

When I go overboard in one direction or another, it's like my subconscious way of bringing me back around. A problem manifests physically (like low immunity) or outwardly (like a crazy ass disaster of a house) and at some point you reach a precipice and need to either back off or drop over the edge. 

Do any of you ever feel this way? Wonder how your actions in the moment, hell even the night before, are affecting your day today? Am I the only strange one to watch for these patterns and notice the difference? 

Though I've struggled with this lack of doing for the past weekend, it was the best thing I could've done. Sometimes, when you just let go -- that's when you find what you're really seeking. Out of nowhere a new pattern emerged and I saw a new ending to my story - one that's so perfect, I don't know how I missed it before. Probably because all it boils down to is sequence. I had all the pieces, they were just in the wrong order!

Now, I'm in the process of correcting that and I think, in the end, it will make for a better book.

Plus, I'm off the DayQuil, on the writing sprint toward the finish line and come Hell or High Water, I will reach that goddamn deadllne. ;)


Tanya said...

That picture is freaking hilarious.

Carissa Elg said...

LOL! Thanks, Tanya! I took this photo of my daughter some time last fall... Gads... it's still so funny! I couldn't stop laughing when I took it!

cherie said...

LOL! That pic is hilarious and cute at the same time.

Stop by my blog tomorrow--I have something for you. ;)

Shay-ster said...

I figured out that sometimes writer's block is all about finding the right wall (in my case they are walls, call me quirky, :P) and screaming at them to move or be destroyed. More often then not they move... but sometimes they are destroyed by my highly illogical logic.

I CANNOT express this enough but I am very much looking forward to reading your book. I also love that feeling with you figure out something that after seemed so obvious. It is highly calming and once achieved it seems like all the pieces fall right into place, so to speak.

Carissa Elg said...

Cherie- Thanks! Ordinarily, my daughter's so dainty. It was an odd possession type day, I think! She's so silly!

Shay - I can see it being a wall type thing. Either way, something in your subconscious that's holding you back for whatever reason. You either need to remove the blockage or go around it. ;) That said, I can't wait for you to read it! :D Getting closer...

KendallGrey said...

I agree, everyone needs balance in life. Others may disagree, but I think there's nothing wrong with taking your body's cue that today's just not a good writing day. When we get writer's block, there's a reason for it. On those days, I try to find mundane shit to do - washing clothes, cleaning house, or doing something creative in a totally different way like sewing. I think people should listen to their bodies more.

Keep plugging away toward that deadline. I have some deadlines of my own I'm trying to meet, so any time you want to sprint, let me know. Good luck, my friend!

Carissa Elg said...

Kendall ~ If you look at it from the elemental standpoint: writing being thoughts fueled typically by passion (being air and fire)... the "mundane shit" like laundry and cleaning, etc being earth and water... We need both to come back into balance in order to make the other stuff work and/or make sense. IMHO, when we go too far in one direction, we lose perspective. ;)

G. P. Ching said...

I can relate to this. I'm on three different medications for my allergies this year. I feel totally over-medicated. I think you are right on the money about how life influences our writing. Sometimes you just have to stop and live it for awhile before you can return to your story

Carissa Elg said...

Genevieve~ I'm so sorry that you've been suffering so much from allergies! It can really take it's toll... I hope things get better for you soon!

Anita said...

LOL on the picture! And I don't think you're alone in your scientific findings. ;) I've noticed that if I'm having trouble getting going, especially with writing, if I'll take a few days off and garden or rollerblade, it all kind of just falls into place. I hope you've found your zen today and are back to normal again.

Anonymous said...

LOL <3 the visual! Hey stop by and grab your goodie! :)

Orlando said...

You're daughter is adorable. However, have you considered getting a baby sitter and doing all the above on your list of simple things? If you do, please blog about I would love to read it.

In all seriousness, you do have to listen to what your body is trying to convey. Don't crash into that wall. I believe if you take the rest you need the wall will be gone when you return. You don't have to abandon everything, just have a different attitude about it until you rest.

Get well soon!