Just Keep Plotting…

We’re discussing what drains our productivity and how we go about resolving that issue. Here lately I have not been productive at all when it comes to my writing. The other day when a friend reached out to me I finally realized why. Due to some health issues I have found myself out of sorts. I’ve fallen into a slight depression, seemingly having lost the ability to do what I love. I don’t write anymore. I want to write. I am overflowing with ideas and storylines but I can’t seem to convey them from my mind to the paper. I have notebooks with pages upon pages of notes scribbled everywhere. Pinterest boards filled with images that helped to inspire the stories. Conversations with coworkers, friends, and family about characters and plot twists. However, when I sit down with my laptop I can’t write. I stare at a blank screen. Curser flashing, unmoving on the bright white page in front of me. Taunting me, torturing me. I can not write. I want to write. I need to write!

How do I combat this? Honestly, nothing I have tried has helped thus far. I have plotted out stories, thinking that it will help me to write if I know where the story will go but that didn’t do anything. I’ve tried setting aside a day to write. Sprinting with friends, while I can force myself to get a few words down it is never anything that is usable. I’ve tried taking time away from writing and anything that has to do with that in the hopes that I needed a break. It didn’t work.

After some more lab work at my latest doctor appointment I was told that my levels are still not where they should be. Things are holding steady (instead of dropping like before) but they’re not improving. That is when it dawned on me that my lack of writing may very well be due to my health. If I’m exhausted of course it makes sense that I can’t write when I sit down to do so, all I want to do at that point is to go to bed! So to try to fight off the productivity vampire I am concentrating on getting myself to a healthier version of me. New prescriptions have phoned in and picked up. Now to wait for them to kick in. Meanwhile, I just plotting because once I can sit down at a computer and be able to find the words that I need I want to be able to know where the story is going to go. Besides, if I keep plotting at least I am being somewhat productive.

Do you have any tips for combatting involuntary hibernation of productivity?



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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7 Responses to Just Keep Plotting…

  1. Patricia Kiyono says:

    I’m sorry about your health issues. Praying the new medications will bring back the real you. Planning out your stories is a great way to keep the creativity going. And I know that at times you’ve done your sprinting by writing longhand – did that work for you as far as making progress? One last thought – if you’ve been able to brainstorm verbally, perhaps you could record yourself as you’re talking about your story. Sometimes it’s the blank screen that holds us up, and you need to find another way to convey your thoughts. Good luck!

    Liked by 1 person

    • What a great idea! I should look into getting something to record on. That would certainly help.
      I enjoyed writing longhand- it really did help. Perhaps I will give that a try again. It certainly takes longer but it is better than not writing at all. Thank you so much for the ideas!


  2. Jeff Salter says:

    love the phrase, “involuntary hibernation of productivity” — perfectly captures the black hole of unproductivity.
    As far as “productivity vampires” — perhaps I’ll be able to toss together a few words for Hound Day.
    But, to the issue of your health: absolutely take care of yourself — medically and emotionally. You wouldn’t hitch a horse to a loaded wagon if the horse was ill, hadn’t eaten (or rested), and lost a shoe. Of course not — you’d rest and feed the horse, fix the shoe issue, and provide the meds and time for the horse to recover fully.
    Not that I’m comparing you to a horse, but I’ve found that (most) humans are especially considerate and nurturing when it comes to the animals in their lives… but seem willing to run other humans into the ground with hardly a thought.
    So… take care of yourself, my dear. the writing muse will return when you have the strength and health to deal with her.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Do what you need to do for yourself and your family. what all of you need RIGHT NOW. Don’t let past success make you compare yourself to others or even to yourself . Keep the thoughts and ideas flowing, but if they can’t make it to a page, it’s OK; they aren’t going anywhere, in fact, they may need to perk for a while.That is what I found and frankly, my next guest is an expert, a writer/psychologist, whose posts and book is helping me in just what you are going through, and I have been going through for years. Actually, it may not be a bad thing.
    Hang in there; right now, concentrate on the NOW.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Elaine Cantrell says:

    Take care of yourself, Angie. Hope the new meds help.


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