Brain Freeze

It happens to all writers. The dreaded brain freeze. It's when you sit down to continue working on your latest masterpiece and wham! Nothing happens. Your fingers won't type because your brain has decided to go on vacation. So, what can we do to get our brains back into gear? I have not heard of a magic potions or pill. If anybody is working on such a cure, please let me know. I'll happily be a trial subject.

For now, we must all soldier on and hope the brain freeze does not last too long. I prefer to try and shake it off. I'd like to share with you what I do when I suffer from brain freeze.

Firstly, I look away from the computer and let my mind wander. This is my futile hope that if it treads merrily along its path for a time it will eventually turn around and come home. Sometimes this simple exercise works. If it doesn't I have to shift to phase two.

Phase two is what I call brain bombardment. In other words, get away from the written word and sit in front of the television, turn on some music, or go out into the garden. Sometimes television or music works a treat. I may see an image or hear a song that ignites a scene in my head. Do other authors write scenes inspired by song? Gardening gives me time to smooth out any creases in my story or sometimes just to think on a bunch of what ifs for my characters. Sometimes what ifs get my brain back into gear.

Okay, so by now you're probably wondering why I would not just try to write something instead of walking away for a while. Don't they tell us to get it written, not get it right? You can always go back and edit your work later. Even with brain freeze you will have written something worth keeping. Well, that's where the final phase kicks in.

I call this the final phase because I have yet to think of anything else that will help me overcome brain freeze. I finally decide that if I've come down with a case of stubborn brain freeze I may as well try to do some planning. I sit down with a pen and paper and plan either my current novel or another project. It's a good way to generate ideas and view an overall plot structure. It's also an effective method for getting those brain cells humming once again.

After completing all three phases I'm hopefully back into full writing mode. If not, well I can always turn the television back on or try to develop a greener thumb. I guess it's all just part of the adventure of being a writer.

So, there you have it. My method for dealing with brain freeze. I am fully aware that my process is not to everybody's liking. I'd be interested in knowing what other people do to overcome the same problem. Maybe I can learn a new method, or even add a fourth phase!

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