Posted in Blog Posts

My Mind Is Blank

As many of you will know, I’ve been in a shedload of pain recently and I’ve had to stop sewing, crochet…so many of the things I did to distract myself from the shitstorm that 2020 has become. I thought I might be able to try writing again but the laptop weighs a ton (to me) and my arms and fingers can’t cope with lifting it up and down. Bless my lovely husband George, who has bought me a Chromebook so I can manage to pick it up and write whenever the inclination occurs.

I’ve had it for a few days now and while not steep, there is a learning curve to ChromeOS when one is used to Windows. But I’m on it now and have a fair understanding of what’s what. I have sat down with its little screen open, keyboard primed for my fingers to start to tap tap tap… but nothing has been happening.

I cannot write.

I have a list of short story ideas saved, but none appeals. I have six novels planned out, some in more detail than others, and I cannot decide which one I should work on. They run from black comedy to contemporary to lit fic and every time I think I’ve chosen one, I worry it’s the wrong choice and can’t go further than opening the file. 

I have no idea what to do.

I really want to write: I enjoy the process; I love the excitement when the right words find themselves in the right patterns for magic to occur on the page; I giggle when my characters tell me something about themselves that I didn’t know. But for now all my creations are as animated as shop mannequins. 

Do any of my writing friends find themselves with the same problem? Is it a COVID issue? An anxiety issue? A lack of talent issue? And if you’ve been in this situation yourself, how the heck did you get out of it? I want to create something. No, I NEED to create something, to lose myself in the creation and forget COVID/Trump/Boris/Terror/Selfishness and make something worthwhile, as hokey as that sounds.

All suggestions gratefully received.


Writer, photographer, creative fantasist.

6 thoughts on “My Mind Is Blank

  1. I’m so glad you have a computer that’s a little easier for you to manage, Nettie! As for what to do with the ideas you have, and how to focus? I think Covid is playing a big part in why it’s so hard to concentrate these days. I’ve been finding the same thing, if that’s any comfort at all. So I content myself with what I can do each day, even if it’s just one word. I’ve also found that it spurs me on if I just let my mind tackle ideas without scolding myself if I don’t write everything down. If your ‘phone has a voice recorder, you can even use that to collect your ideas. I think the big thing is not punishing yourself if you don’t get a lot (or anything) written at the moment. It’s a strange time..

  2. So sorry that you are having so much difficulty in doing what you want/need to do. My boss in the civil service used a voice recognition system on her computer to type letters etc. Although it was a few years ago now there will be updated models surely. worth a try

  3. Nettie – I have been in this place many times and the only advice I can give is this: work on the thing that excites you most and the thing that feels most ‘you’. Don’t think about what other people might like or what’s current etc etc, just go with the one that makes you smile when you think of it, that makes your heart beat a little faster and that you can let your mind run wild in. Loads of luck xxx

    1. Abi, this is very good advice. There is one project I have that makes me giggle so I think I will concentrate on that. Thank you!

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