Yes, This Will Be On the Test

Writing, Reading, Laughing

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Batting Slump

Ever been in that twilight where your dedication to the routine of sitting down everyday to write is intact, but you feel disconnected from the material appearing on the page? It’s not quite a writer’s block where you are locked up so tight nothing flows, but your words feel more like hiccups than a good breath. I’m dubbing my slow trickle period a "Writer’s Slump," like a batting slump in baseball. We show up to the park in our uniforms, but our bats don’t connect crisply with the pitches.

Here are some of the culprits that have been known to throw me into a slump: 
  • Querybummertosis (for symptoms see Tahereh Mafi's awesome post)
  • Whenever I have to write report cards
  • Missing the WIP I just finished and feeling unfaithful working on something new
  • Not enough food in the house
  • A chapter that just doesn’t work no matter how I tweak it
  • Feeling fat
  • Grown children who want something from me
  • Taxes
  • My characters aren’t whispering in my ears
  • Dirty laptop screen
  • I’m not waking up in the middle of the night with an “ah ha” moment
  • Oprah’s last episode

What did I do to connect with the pitch and deafen the crowd with the crack of my bat? 
  • Showed up every day in front of my keyboard
  • Wrote snippets not connected to my current WIP
  • Walked in the moonlight
  • Watched a movie
  • Plucked a book off my TBR pile and devoured it
  • Listened to my favorite music

 What throws you into a slump and how do you pull yourself out of it?


Thanks to the wonderful Deana Barnhart for tagging me. So here goes:

Do you think you’re hot?
I’m glistening. *dabs face with cool cloth*

Upload a picture or wallpaper that you’re using at the moment. 
 My next car

When was the last time you ate chicken meat?
I had eye-rolling, delicious hibachi chicken in a peanutty sauce at a Japanese restaurant early in the week.

The song(s) you listened to recently.
“Misery” by Maroon 5 and “Rhythm of Love” by Plain White T’s.

What were you thinking as you were doing this?
Smoothie or Ice Cream?

Tag you’re it…


  1. Yes, taxes definitely throw me into a slump as well! Fortunately, they don't come around too often. But there's always something, and you're right -- the discipline of sitting in front of the keyboard, or for me, the repetitive motion of pacing, can usually jar me into forward progress.

    And I love your next car! I just listened to an old song by Mustafa Sandal, one of my favorite Turkish singers.

  2. OH NO I've been tagged!! LOL - :D Thanks. And Rhythm of Love is one of my favorite songs you know. I'm glad you are dealing with the slump. You're a fabulous writer, and I expect great things. No pressure.

  3. Haha, yeap. Right now, I'm basically too busy stuffing my face to feel creative. :D Agreed on every point. Sitting down with a tunnel-vision determination whilst surrounding self with goodies is the cure. Too bad they don't stock tunnel-vision in the drugstores... Thanks! :O)

  4. Funny, I am slumping right now, and so is my softball playing 12 year old. *grumbles loudly* It's the playoffs!
    Not so much for me, for her.
    It's the beginning and revising the beginning and I am losing my mind and why keep revising it if I'm going to change it again anyway?

    ...ah. I needed that.

  5. Susan, LIsa, Lyn and Kristen - You've all earned a trip in my new "car." I'll be by soon to pick you up. May any slumps blow away in the wind.

  6. Those are good slump starters for sure!! My most common foe is exhaustion - need to find myself more hours and more sleep!

  7. Don't taze me, bro! Oh, wrong thingie...

    Ah, ice cream and smoothies are the solution to just about any problem. I know what you mean about being in a funk. My favorite trick is to take a break. I'll watch a chick flick, read a book, or go for a walk.

  8. I'm with you, Jemi. It's hard to get those creative juices flowing when you need toothpicks to keep your eyes open.

    LOL Julie. I just had a mango smoothie. Delish.

  9. I love Rhythm of Love too! And the querying madness does if for me too, totally.

  10. How fun! :-)

    My favorite music always snaps me out of my funk, too.

  11. I get in a slump when struggling with some aspect of my plot. Usually running solves it. That's when all my ideas come to me . . . when I can't write them down. ;)

  12. The "feeling fat" made me laugh.

    Watching movies takes me out of a slump too. Also good: going out with funny friends. Especially friends who somehow creatively inspire.

  13. Like Jemi, fatigue is enemy #1 to my writing. I watch funny youtube clips if I'm writing humor, things that MGers would appreciate, and when all else fails, I watch "What About Bob."

    Off to tag some other bloggers!

  14. You had me laughing at "There's not enough food in the house." Because that happens to me all the time. I kinda need cookies to write. *blushes* ;)

  15. Several of your slumpers do the same to me! What do I do? Usually, toss them around in my brain till I think of what to do next.

  16. Lydia and Jessica - It never ceases to amaze me how music can energize us so quickly.

    Stina - Don't you hate that. I started carrying a notepad on my walks because even if I chanted my new great idea, I'd lose it by the time I got home. The worst is having a light bulb moment when you are driving alone in the car. Yikes.

    Lee - My writing desk is next to the mirrored door of my closest. NOT a flattering POV to glance at.

    Michelle B. - I recently gave up caffeine - talk about fatigue. My chemically induced energy spurts are now a thing of the past.

    Monica - My son has declared every Thursday "cake night." Now there's incentive to hit the grocery store.

    Michelle T. - My friends and I call that brain tossing "Monkey Mind."

  17. I totally agree with all of these slump-causing culprits! Glad to know I'm not the only one. Music and good food are my go-to pick-me-ups.

  18. Jennifer - I'd lie and say I'm in a slump to get the good food. Thanks for stopping by.

  19. Slump happens and I can't pinpoint the exact meany who causes it. I think I've got a combo of slump-causers. Lack of sleep is a biggie. Dirty laundry is another. Put those together and whamo, I"m in an S over my keyboard.

  20. Lee - My daughter came home from college for the weekend and the washing looked like Mount Everest. It is hard to concentrate between end of cycle buzzes.

  21. Your "slump" sounds synonymous with distraction. That's how my slumps result. I'm distracted by depression, happiness, too much to do, boredom,or whatever excuse I want to use. Your attempted remedies sound very good and practical and are similar to what I do. At least making an appearance at the keyboard on a regular basis is important. You never know when the inspiration may rage with a passion.

    Tossing It Out

  22. You are so right, Lee. It's when my mind is going every which way that I feel an energy drain toward my writing.

  23. I love the fact that there's a question about chicken eating habits in this meme. LOL!

    Angela @ The Bookshelf Muse

  24. You're so right, Leslie. Showing up is probably the biggest roadblock. It's too easy to get distracted by life. Even though it's summer, somehow activities multiply, and my to-do list is reproducing on its own. But I'll go show up right now. Thanks for the kick in the pants!