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Meet Writer's Block's Cousin: Foggy Brain

Updated on June 22, 2017
Once I can get outside and take a break, my mind jumps for joy...much like this!
Once I can get outside and take a break, my mind jumps for joy...much like this! | Source

Writers often mention that they have periods in their lives where they run into Writer's Block. In case you haven't heard the term, it is usually associated with people who write professionally. This may include writers here on Hub Pages. Writer's Block is exactly that...a blockage of a writer's new ideas or continuing ideas to write about. Writer's Block is usually temporary but can sometimes go on for months. I am fortunate that in the fourteen months I have been writing online content for various websites, I have not yet met Writer's Block. But I have periodically met his cousin who I not so affectionately call, "Foggy Brain."

Foggy Brain often sneaks up on me when I am doing my best work. I am usually smack in the middle of an article that I have done heavy research for. And dear old Mr. Foggy Brain takes over my mind. And even though I want to continue to write, I can't. I feel a serious mental need to take a break. Hours have usually gone by, and I have worked tirelessly on a piece. As things are humming along, I can feel Foggy Brain creeping up on me. I have trouble wording sentences. My shoulders start to ache. My inner writer starts running around in my head screaming, "get me outta here. I need a break. I can't even think straight any longer." Of course, if I feel I am on a roll with the article, I don't want to stop. But then the fog starts rolling in. My friend Foggy Brain has begun to use his special weapons against me. My brain is pretty wired, and I feel on edge.I really want to continue writing, but the screaming usually convinces me that it's time for a break. There's no match for the fog that has moved in, and the distraction of my bones feeling like they are ready to jump out of my skin. I start feeling physically antsy, and I can't concentrate. There is a lot of anxiety involved in his visit. I often feel that if I stop now, I will not be able to get the same train of thought going again. My article will, therefore, be "derailed" ( yes, pun intended!) and I worry that I may not be able to finish it. Or if I do finish it, it won't be as good as it has started out to be. Inevitably though, my brain gives in. Although I still have things I want to add to the piece, I can't seem to get it out in the way I mean it too. It's rather jumbled around inside my head. So I let Foggy Brain have his way.But sometimes I actually write myself notes, so I won't forget what I wanted to say, or the frame of mind I need to be in to get it out in the way I intended.

Have you ever noticed that when you write someone a letter by hand, and you stop in the middle of it, the handwriting never looks the same when you pick the letter back up again to finish writing it? Why is that? You are still the same person, with the same penmanship. But there's something different. Maybe the letters slant differently the next time, or they don't slant at all and are standing up straight. I don't know the answer to this (and if anyone does, please write it in the comment section below). But that's what I am afraid will happen if I let Foggy Brain get his way. I fear that when I come back, I won't be able just to pick up where I left off. Maybe I won't be able to delve as deeply into the subject matter. Or maybe I end the article sooner than I would if I had stayed and hung in there.

If I haven't showered yet, I usually do that, and tell myself I will feel refreshed when I am done and can come back and work on the piece to finish it up. If it's later in the day, I will sometimes take the dog for a walk to get out in nature and clear my head. Usually, when I come back to the article, I can get started again. But the article doesn't always have the same flavor. I sometimes have to let it sit for a day or two and work on something else so that I can wait till I am the right frame of mind, with no visitors in there, to get back to the place I was when I first started writing it.

I don't know how to avoid Foggy Brain. Maybe if I give myself more frequent breaks, he won't come around? But then that brings on the anxiety of will the piece still have the same flavor if I stop in the middle of it? At least I can be thankful I haven't met Writer's Block yet. And I will keep trudging along and accept the Foggy Brain syndrome as my body telling my mind it's time to take a break from time to time.


Copyright by Karen Hellier, 2013


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    • Karen Hellier profile image
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      Karen Hellier 4 years ago from Georgia

      QueenBex,

      I haven't met Writer's Block...yet! I have wanted to be a writer all my life so I think that all the things I wanted to write about are just tumbling out of my head since I have been on Hub Pages. I may eventually run out of material, but I hope not! Thanks for stopping by.

    • profile image

      QueenBex 4 years ago

      Nice article! I was very interested to read that someone else suffers from both Writers Block and this Foggy Brain. What I question is, which is worse? I'd say writers block can prevent you from writing anything at all and inspiration is stopped from entering your brain. Whereas foggy brain, well you can still work, but as you say, the quality of your work changes.

    • Karen Hellier profile image
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      Karen Hellier 4 years ago from Georgia

      Well, I haven't either but every time I say that I think I may be jinxing myself.

    • Karen Hellier profile image
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      Karen Hellier 4 years ago from Georgia

      Yes, it is wetnosedogs. I guess it's just one of the hazards of a writer's trade.

    • Karen Hellier profile image
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      Karen Hellier 4 years ago from Georgia

      Well, you probably have more chunks of tiem tow rite in than I do. I would give anything to have that time tow rite every day, even if it meant I would have the meet him more often!

    • Karen Hellier profile image
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      Karen Hellier 4 years ago from Georgia

      Vickiw,

      He is quite annoying, I agree with you there. I am so happy to be able to have long periods of time to write though that I guess that is why I take the chance of meeting him. I am a substitute teacher during the week, and don't always have the chance to have chunks of time to write in. When I do, he comes around, the pesky little bugger! Thanks for commenting.

    • profile image

      Vickiw 4 years ago

      Hi Karen, you may find as you become more mature that you have to make way more frequently for this being to take over yur writing. He is quite annoying, and pushy too. I take frequent breaks and do something quite different, so that he never gets a chance to think that I am obsessing about him. Think many of us have bumped into this character! I don't like him at all.

    • profile image

      chrisinhawaii 4 years ago

      Hey Karen,

      You're lucky that Mr. Foggy Brain only stops by for a visit. That jerk practically LIVES at my house. =)

    • wetnosedogs profile image

      wetnosedogs 4 years ago from Alabama

      Oh, so glad to hear I'm not alone. But it is a pitiful thing to go through.

    • Pennypines profile image

      Lucille Apcar 4 years ago from Mariposa, California, U.S.A.

      Not yet but I'm well on my way.

    • Karen Hellier profile image
      Author

      Karen Hellier 4 years ago from Georgia

      Hello Pennypines! Apparently you have met my friend Foggy Brain too? How about Writer's Block. Have you met him?

    • Pennypines profile image

      Lucille Apcar 4 years ago from Mariposa, California, U.S.A.

      Ah! someone I can connect to!

    • Karen Hellier profile image
      Author

      Karen Hellier 4 years ago from Georgia

      Thanks. I felt I just had to write it. Foggy Brain came to visit me earlier today and was just bugging me to write about him!!!

    • sraymond profile image

      Stefanie E Raymond 4 years ago from Eastern CT

      So clever!! Loved it!!