“If I only had a brain…” sung by The Scarecrow, from the movie The Wizard of Oz, original story by L. Frank Baum
Today I woke up with brain fog. It’s those lovely hormonal shifts that leave me drained and sleepy. The urge to consume too much caffeine (leading to headaches and trembling limbs) strikes and my ability to focus dwindles. If there were ever a day when I could avoid writing, this is it.
And naturally, I can’t.
My manuscript is due to the editor tomorrow and there are a few chapters left to read and revise. My essay is due to be posted today so despite the urge to crawl back under the covers, I’m pounding the keys. What to do when the outside world or inner dilemmas interfere?
There’s only one solution. Keep writing. It may not seem like much at first, but as you venture forward on your quest, the answers will appear. Better to write five pages and toss out four, then write no pages at all.
“The road to the Emerald City is paved with yellow brick.” --L. Frank Baum, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz
We yearn to venture into the magic glittering world of our imagination. How many times have I stared at my blank computer screen, wondering how other writers come up with such amazing tales. Yet no matter how much I wish I were a wonderful wizard, seems that my job description is more like a brick-layer. *grin* One brick… er… word at a time is how I write. No wave of my hand nor magical incantations has produced a single page.
Writing takes time, work, and focus. However, the magic is there. While sometimes it feels as if I’m plodding along, laying those bricks and worrying that my prose is boring and mundane, the magic is snuggled deep within the words. Often, when I go back over the previous day’s work I’m astounded and pleased. How can this be? Where did this writing come from? It’s as if a wizard snuck in while I was busy working on the road. How cool is that?
Even those days when I pore over the words written previously and despair over my tendency to use the same word three times in one paragraph, *snort* I have a distinct advantage over those who don’t write. Those bricks are laid out, and now with a bit of rearranging, a substitution here and there, and voila! I’m back on track to the Emerald City.
“I can’t give you a brain, but I can give you a diploma.” --L. Frank Baum, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz
In the movie version from which the above quote is plucked, the Wizard admits to the Scarecrow that he has no magic. Nothing more than a stage magician who landed in a magical world, the Wizard realizes two things.
One, he alone is “mundane” while those around him possess a magic he can only dream of. More importantly, the truest magic lies within our beliefs. By offering the Scarecrow a diploma, he gives the straw-man an opportunity to believe in his ability to think. Pretty cool, eh?
Writers often feel despair, trapped within a land where others seem to work magic. Yet we too have the same power the Wonderful Wizard holds. We can have the opportunity to make others believe in our magical powers, and it all starts with the belief in our ability to create wondrous worlds.
“Whenever I feel blue, I start breathing again.” --L. Frank Baum, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz
Optimism is our guiding light. As Daniel Reardon says, “In the long run the pessimist may be proved right, but the optimist has a better time on the trip.” So, if you have your own version of Brain Fog, whether because the outside world is encroaching or your inner world is crumbling, remember to keep breathing.
Breathe in Hope and release fear…
Today I felt so befuddled, I seriously doubted my ability to compose a coherent sentence. Searching through past essays, and considering whether a “re-run” would be necessary, my eyes spied one titled, “Just Do It.” Hmmm… I considered my past advice while preparing a second cup of tea.
Immediately, the sing-song voice of the movie version of the Scarecrow popped into my head. I rushed back to my computer and typed in the beginning of this essay.
“I have a feeling we’re not in Kansas anymore.” --L. Frank Baum, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz
So here’s our focus for the week:
Just do it (even on those days when we don’t have a brain).
Remember… Our reality reflects our beliefs—We Are Writers!
Keep breathing through the fear.
Listen to your heart, have the courage of a lion, and somehow, someway, you’ll find your own magic…
Let’s set some goals!
I’m wrapping up my last edits before I turn in my manuscript to my editor. *happy dance* Then I have four goals. My bio and blurb for my October release. Pull up my current WIP and get in at least ten new pages. Begin re-read of previous book to consider possible revision and submittal. And of course, my weekly essay.
Bio and blurb.
How’s about you?
Let’s get writing!
Writing Motivation. A new essay every week.