Happy Friday everyone! Casey here.
Let’s be honest - who here has ever suffered from stagnant brain syndrome? You know, that dull, woolen headed feeling that cobwebs are stuffing your brain. Nothing comes out right. Perhaps, you wonder if you have lost your mind because you suddenly seem incapable of putting two coherent words together.
Here is a definition, courtesy of Google.
stag·nant /ˈstagnənt/ – adjective
of a body of water or the atmosphere of a confined space) Having no current or flow and often having an unpleasant smell as a consequence. (Umm – eww. Forget this. I’m not talking about brackish water today)
- Showing no activity; dull and sluggish: “a stagnant
economybrain“. This more like it!
Now it would be totally unfair to blame (or give any credit) to The Doubt Monster. What I’m talking about is a cousin to “burnout”. I’m also not talking about Writer Avoidance Behavior. This is when you are honestly trying to write and you just can’t focus.
Stagnant Brain Syndrome is when you let yourself get in a creative rut. You fall into a pattern. Using the same go-to plot devices or situations because they are familiar or easy. Suddenly, you realize that what you’re writing is not that engaging and your readers will know it too.
You stop writing. Blame ensues (Doubty gets in trouble). Or you decide that you have writer’s block because you struggle to put words on the page.
How do I know this? Because I’ve been there, dear readers.
But there is hope. You can overcome Stagnant Brain Syndrome:
1. Leave your house. But not to go run errands or the usual mundane chores. Take a walk. Clear your mind.
2. Or – go to the movie theater (I know it’s expensive. If your local movieplex has bargain night, go then). Again, leave your house and go somewhere without internet access or other distractions. Why the movies? Because a film is a few hours of diversion. This way you don’t end up watching a Downton Abbey marathon for two days. Not that I’ve done that….
3. Take a day trip (one of my favorites). I’m doing this today. So you won’t see any comments from me until later.
4. Clean out your closet. Yes, I mean the one you put your clothes in. Or tackle a chore you’ve been putting off.
5. Take a look in the mirror and clear out the mental baggage. Is something bothering you? Are there stressors in your life pulling you down? If so, can you tackle one or develop a plan to make it better?
6. Have you gone for a physical lately? Rule out physical concerns. And not to state the obvious but - get a good night’s sleep!
7. Play opposite day – tell yourself you’re not allowed to write today. Like when you want to eat that last cupcake or piece of chocolate. Pretty soon, you’ll be itching to write because it’s forbidden!
You may have noticed several of my suggestions involve leaving the house. Our brains need stimulation. We need to build life experiences and interact with the world around us. Otherwise, we could end up like that guy in The Shining, wielding an axe, shouting, “Here’s Johnny!”
Don’t let that happen to you!
Anyone else have this happen? And how did you overcome it?