An Alien Has Taken Control of My Brain…in other words, I’m just pregnant

I planned for this day and set up a daily word count and accountability post on Facebook in hopes of beating the clock. From my first pregnancy, I remembered having brain mush. This is the state where you sit around and go Duuuuhhhh even though you want to be writing. Or you do stuff around the house, but your brain is just not working right; you walk into a room and forget why you are there. Today, I searched for my shoes for almost ten minutes. Yeah, not fun.

Here was my plan to make progress before mush brain (I was hoping that was an if!) struck. My writing schedule looked like this from the beginning of the year: 75000 words by June 20th– 12 short serials done by then (11 are done now), 5 serials in a set done (on #4 now) and four more serials in the Montmoors set done (1.75 are done). Almost 49000 words written. Not bad for having started this plan Dec. 10, 2012. Now I’m glad I did.

I thought I was just unmotivated to write yesterday. We’ve all had those days where we were just meh on the whole prospect of putting words on the page. I managed to eek out 200+ words before bed anyway. Not my goal, but better than nothing, certainly.

Then I sat down this afternoon and felt the same way about writing. I just couldn’t seem to focus. I am one of those just do it, power through it people. I couldn’t seem to make progress. So, I did some business end stuff while fuming about not getting new words in on my serial. Then it hit me. Uh oh. Mush brain is here. The alien has invaded. My brain is toast. Or at least toast-y.

So, what will I do? Write as much as I can. Go easy on myself and figure my brain very well might have the consistency of pea soup for a year or better. Yeah. That long while massive growth happens for baby and my brain changes again as a mommy (pretty cool stuff actually if you read about it!). I will still be able to write some. I might even have some spectacular days between now and the end of June. I sure hope so, but I’m fine with things, however they happen.

Another writer I respect quite a lot, Kristine Kathryn Rusch, has written about the category of life events/writing events that pregnancy brain (what’s the word? Seriously, I’m thinking hard through the fog) occupies. She calls these events in life that upset our writing schedules life rolls. They could be death, illness, trouble at home, new baby, divorce, an unexpected job loss, or any manner of things that really knock us off balance or make us roll around for a while, trying to get our bearings–happy or sad events. Her advice? Roll with it. Do the best you can, and don’t beat yourself up. Get back to writing when you can. Sounds good to me. From today on, I’m still going to go for my word count goal. Will I make it most days? I don’t know. My day job also needs to get done and will come first, obviously. So, I can’t say, but at least I’ll have tried. And when my brain shouts, “enough!,” I’ll retire to watch House of Cards or to hang with the fam or do some baby related thing. After all, though we might like to think biology no longer applies to us in this post post modern or whatever age it is, it still does. And it can be a real force to be reckoned with.

I’d love to know about your life rolls. Have you had them? How did they impact your writing or other pursuits? How did you handle them with grace (or kicking and screaming as the case may be)?


Posted on February 3, 2013, in Uncategorized and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.

  1. Ever since my last baby was born (2 years ago) I’ve been dealing with surgical menopause so I have huge hormone swings periodically. It makes me lethargic and spacey. On those days the best I can do is to type something. That’s my goal. Something.
    There are also days when my kids are sick or crazy and it just wears me out. On those days I try to get something written.
    On all the other days I try to meet my word count goals. And sometimes that works and sometimes it doesn’t. 🙂

  2. Lisa – I’ve been very impressed with the discipline you’ve taken in your writing. And your mention of Kristine Rusch is a great reminder in that regard. She and her husband both have talked about the need to write even in the face of circumstances that make it harder to do so.

  3. Thanks, Matthew! That is one of my favorite posts by KKR that I have read. It is all so true. Sometimes life really throws you for a loop, good or bad. But writing as we can is all we need to do.

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