A Grinding Halt

The lights are dimmed, silence in the house except for my music coming from the laptop (right now its Celtic Woman, my favorite group and the music fits what I’m writing), a cat snuggled on my lap, another perched near my head, and the clacking of the keys as the words flow from my fingertips. I’m in the moment, lost to the world.

“Momma. I can’t sleep. I need cuddles.” My nine-year-old pads into the living room, rubbing at his eyes. I set the laptop aside and he climbs onto the couch, drifting back off to sleep while I assure him that he is alright. Nights when its just a bad dream he manages to drift back off to sleep rather quickly. But the nights when his stomach is hurting him (which is not as often now that the doctors finally figured out his triggers) it can take well over an hour, depending on how much he is hurting. After I get him back to bed, I find it difficult to get back into the story.


I’m in the moment, lost to the world.

Bagpipes play from my phone. I slide the green bar up and talk to the person on the other end of the line. Half the time it’s a telemarketer but they call from local numbers now, so I never know if its one of my teenagers calling from a friends phone because they’re battery needs charged. It’s much easier to get back to the story when this is what stops me.


I’m in the moment, lost to the world.

My mind goes blank. The words stop coming. My fingers hesitate in mid-stroke, not knowing what key to hit next. How do I word this? Would she really say something that stupid? What color is the outfit she’s wearing? Does it really matter? Just pick a color! What should the animal be doing? Does the pet need to have a bigger role? Can it just be a companion that is simply there? Does he really need to made special appearances? What was the name of that minor character in the first chapter, I certainly don’t want to give him the wrong name and then have to go back and change it all later?

This grinding halt usually takes a bit to bounce back from. I find myself scrolling back through my manuscript or flipping through my notes. Often times I find myself on Facebook, I’ll brainstorm with other authors, maybe help them through a plot hole in their story which helps me by taking my mind off of my own project. So that when I do get back to it I am coming in with a fresh mindset that has not been dwelling on what brought me to a grinding halt in the first place.

When you did get stopped while writing is it easy for you to jump back in or is it a process for you?


About Angela Schroeder

Angela Schroeder is a single mother of three. She was born and raised in Iowa in a river town known for its pearl buttons. Having four siblings, she never lacked for someone to play with. As she grew older, she found herself pulled into books and writing more and more. Her parents are her heroes, her siblings her confidants and tormentors, and her children are a wonderful blessing. Church is important to her children and her. They enjoy the friendships they’ve made with the people there. Writing has always been a passion. Her first experience was in fifth grade when she went to a one-day writing conference. After that she knew it was something she wanted to pursue.
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5 Responses to A Grinding Halt

  1. kathleenbee says:

    I enjoy Celtic Women too! It’s so hard to write when the flow has been interrupted. Sometimes, I just leave it and continue another day. I don’t have small kids anymore, who wake me up at sparrow’s squeak, so I find my best writing happens in the morning before I’ve started all my tasks. Not always easy to do though.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Patricia Kiyono says:

    So glad your son’s diet issues have been resolved. Hope that helps him get a good night’s sleep now. I can definitely identify with your third interruption, not knowing where to go next or getting stuck on a minor detail. That is definitely the most bothersome!


  3. Oh, you and I understand needing to answer the phone even if we don’t recognize the number, for the same reasons. So many refuse to answer unfamiliar numbers,but even my husband has been out without his phone, or it died and he has needed to call. More than once, there has been an accident in the family and someone else’s phone was used to call me.
    Family: the Number One distraction from writing.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Jeff Salter says:

    I cannot write with music running.
    Or somebody on the phone in the other room.
    Or the dog barking.
    Or a grandchild in the house.
    I don’t know how a young, single mom with children can get anything done.
    I almost never name my characters until I’m nearly through — or totally through — with the first complete draft. The females are FA, FB, FC, FD, etc. the males are M1, M2, M3, M4 etc. As I arrive at individual names, I go to the first ms. page and add it there. Don’t want to slow down to think about names. Same for plot holes, descriptions, research facts, etc. I mark those spots prominently and move ahead with the dialog or scene.


  5. Elaine Cantrell says:

    Celtic Women are the best, but I have to have it quiet when I write. Isn’t it funny how people are so different?


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