April 11, 2010

The downside to being a writer

There are many things I love about being a writer. But there is one element that frustrates me. When I am actively writing, I simply cannot shut my mind down. It is going like mad all the time.
I'll be driving in the car and come up with an idea. Thankfully, my iPhone has a voice memo feature. I've used that countless times.
Ideas will pop up when I'm in the middle of a conversation with someone. Then, instead of giving the other person my full attention, I am thinking about the idea and worrying about how soon I can write it down so I don't lose it.
The worst is when my mind keeps me up at night. The only time I have to write is after my daughter goes to sleep. I may get an hour or two of dedicated writing time. Once I go to bed, I can spend hours thinking about what I just wrote and how I want change it, or what I want to write next.
It can cause some real problems. Anyone else experience this? If so, how do you handle it?


  1. I totally empathise as a mom, freelance writer and wanna-be fiction writer who also voice-records my thoughts. Nothing beats getting to the laptop when you're "in the mood". For "bread and butter" writing you must meet deadlines, right? So, try setting artificial deadlines for yourself or sharing/swapping your writing with another writer on a schedule.
    Pressley H. Peters

  2. I completely agree...it's amazing how much a good idea can keep you awake for hours, especially when you know you should be sleeping (as you might be able to tell by the time I'm posting this).

    I wrote an blog entry a couple months ago about how to *NOT* lose ideas. You might want to check it out (linked on my user name).

    As far as when you're talking to someone, you can often buy yourself a few seconds if you say, "Sorry to be rude, but I just remembered something, and need to write it down before I forget." Most people are understanding of this, as long as you can get your idea down in a few seconds.

    Hope to see more from you soon!

  3. I know exactly what you mean ... especially is you are not having writers block and everything is flowing ... aaaaaaaaaaaaa! It drives me crazy ...

  4. My mind goes like mad all the time.

  5. Oh, yeah. When something gets hold of me it doesn't let me go until I've gotten it all down and somewhat polished -- hours or days or weeks later. Until it's done I seem unable to pay attention to much of anything around me and my short term memory is non-existent.

  6. It is the curse that comes with the gift.


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