Sick children, writer’s block and a glut of Christmas chocolates – a recipe for disaster…

Today has not gone according to plan.

It was supposed to be my day off. I had things planned.

But instead I am at home with a sick child. Sick children really cramp your style don’t they? I know she can’t help being ill or anything, but still.

So I am in a bit of a no-mans-land today. My head was all geared up for switching off for the weekend and being away from my desk, but now here I am, confined to the house for the afternoon, and I am rather at a loss for what to do. Working from home, my daytimes, evenings and weekends tend to get tangled up. I work during school hours but really I am snatching any free time I can find to sneak off to my study. I know I have been working a lot lately, and it has got to the point where I’m not quite sure how to do anything else.

Past about 9pm I can relax a bit, as my brain begins to switch off, but during the day it won’t keep quiet. It’s always buzzing, swirling ideas around, overwhelming itself with possibilities. Often it gets so wound up turning over ideas, plotting and scheming, that it has no energy left for actually doing anything. In fact, if I sit myself down to focus on an idea, my brain starts to panic, worrying that all of the other thoughts will have to pipe down, that they might get forgotten.

All of which of course often results in me doing nothing at all. I can’t bear the thought of having to choose and leave some ideas behind, and I don’t want to start something just to have another task interrupt, so I end up staring blankly at the screen instead.

That’s what I’ve been doing this afternoon anyway, until I gave myself a good metaphorical kick up the backside and wrote this instead. It may be nonsense, but it is words on a page, and it gives me a temporary sense of accomplishment at least. Plus it has kept my fingers busy and stopped me eating marzipan fruits for twenty minutes, which can’t be a bad thing.

I’d be interested to know how other people feel – does your brain brim over, leaving you paralysed to do anything at all? And how do you cope with it, how do you focus on one thing at a time? And more importantly, how do you manage to go into the kitchen without eating a handful of leftover Christmas chocolates every time?

Photo credit: eszter



  1. 5 February, 2010 / 2:32 pm

    YES!! To all of the above. The paralysis by analysis, the enthusiastic plotting (and not quite so enthusiastic doing), the working all the time – day, night, afternoon, middle of the night. And what you’ve written is NOT nonsense it’s where I’m up to at the moment too.. so it’s harnessing the zeitgeist. (pmsl) While we’re at it, how do those people who are successful at blogging and earning money for their scribbling find the time to be successful? Huh?

    • 6 February, 2010 / 6:11 pm

      Hahaha! I love that we are ‘harnessing the zeitgeist’ – that makes us sound so cool :-)

  2. 5 February, 2010 / 2:33 pm

    First things first put the chocolates in the bin. Secondly yes my brain is like an Alka Seltzer fizzing with 20 ideas but so I just tell it: today you are writing two chapters of novel etc etc.

    • 6 February, 2010 / 6:10 pm

      Put chocolate in the bin?? Are you mad?? I have spent my childhood being taught not to ‘waste’ food – I find it really hard to put any food in the bin.

  3. 5 February, 2010 / 2:54 pm

    I say yes to the all of the above as well. Sometimes life and especially life spent largely online can be very overwhelming and your brain just needs a break so it goes on autopilot and you do what you can and not what you feel you should. On days like today, consider stepping away from the computer and reading a good book, or getting some exercise…maybe even do something with your sick child, like watch a video and snuggle up on the couch. I think when you’re feeling kind of glum (as long as it’s not all the time), it’s okay to indulge in a bit of chocolate. No need to beat yourself up about that…life will do it for you. I say pamper you and your daughter!

  4. 5 February, 2010 / 3:14 pm

    I’m so glad it’s not just me! I have brain overload and find myself totally confused on several occasions throughout the day. And I never enter the kitchen without grabbing something to eat. What’s the point in going in the kitchen otherwise! Worst room in the house.

    CJ xx

    • 6 February, 2010 / 6:09 pm

      As far as I know, the main purpose of the kitchen is to provide snacks. I’ve hear rumour people cook and clean in them, but I’m unconvinced…

  5. 6 February, 2010 / 10:23 am

    I have the opposite problem. At most times of the day, there is absolutely nothing of use or substance in my brain at all.

  6. 7 February, 2010 / 2:17 pm

    I still refuse to throw out the last chocolates of a box of Heroes, now in a little bowl in the kitchen. But there are only Bournville left. Who likes Bournville? Why would you put them in a box of chocolates? Isn’t it cooking chocolate? Still can’t throw them out though. I’ll eat every last one of them even if it makes me sick.

    • 8 February, 2010 / 9:14 am

      I like Bournville! Send them to me – I’ll swap you for anything praline. I just don’t GET praline.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.