Sometimes while drafting or revising the brain become fried, deep fried. Not only does it become extremely difficult to continue working, but it might actually be hazzardous to yourself and your work, not to mention people around you.

Here are a few things I do when my brain is fried:

1. De-clutter and Organize. Not your writing. Something else. Declutter and organize your desk or your pantry or your underwear drawer. You’ve likely been staring at a lot of chaos in your manuscript. A whole lot of random. Your brain is saying, Show me something that makes sense! Simple tasks that create order and simplicity will restore some of the organization to your brain.

2. Rearrange stuff. Not the chapters in your manuscript. Rearrange your living room furniture, or your bookshelf. Sometimes giving yourself a fresh environment will stimulate your brain to think in new ways, or “outside the box” you’ve been writing in. I did this today. It totally moved all my living room furniture around* and honestly had one of the best writing sessions I’ve had in weeks.

3. Exercise. Not writing exercises. Physical exercise. There are some powerful studies on how exercise affects the brain. I’m a firm believer that 30 minutes of good exercise will make you a better writer and you’ll likely get some great ideas while you’re in motion. Then you’ll have the dilemma of taking notes while exercising. 🙂 I get some of my best ideas while running, especially when I run on the lakefront. (Spring please come quickly!)

4. Go to sleep. Your brain is shredded. It needs to heal. 

What do you do when your brain is fried?

*I moved it all back. It may have jugged my brain, but the new furniture arrangements were far from aesthetically pleasing.


4 comments

    • Eva

    • February 22, 2012

    • 4:03 pm

    I read a book of course!

  1. Exercise for me. It really does make all the difference.

    • gaylene

    • February 22, 2012

    • 9:49 pm

    Those things usually work for me, too. And I agree with Eva. After cleaning and sorting and sleeping and exercising, I’ll read someone else’s book and get the urge to write again.

  2. I never considered that reorganizing some real-world stuff could give my mind a needed rest. I think I do this kind of naturally–but what you said made total sense!

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