The Right Frame of Mind to Write

Creative womb


Some of you have been wondering why I haven’t been posting. Although I’ve wanted to write, I haven’t been able to. I seem to have lost my connection to the part of my brain that gets beyond wanting to write and actually does write.

I’ve had so much to write about, too. Since moving to Atlanta in November I’ve been to Chicago, Seville, Boston, Madeira, Lisbon, New Orleans, Las Vegas (twice), the North Georgia Mountains, and San Francisco. Every place had stories to tell. I just can’t get into the right frame of mind to write them.

My ability to create has become as illusive as a mobile phone signal in the Ozark Mountains

So what happened?

Honestly, who the hell knows?

What I do know is that when I’m writing prolifically, it’s because I’ve been able to crawl into a cerebral womb. A safe-room in my head that insulates me, even from my own doubts. Inside my womb I am obsessed, almost possessed. Writing is a game. I giggle when I find just the right word, mentally high-five myself when I cut a wordy paragraph down to a single, clear sentence. My internal critic goes silent. Hours pass without me realizing. Sometimes a whole day.

Being inside the womb feels really, really good. Intoxicating. Like being on drugs. Only better because you don’t get a hangover, nothing goes missing or gets broken, and the worst consequence is that your family gets pissed when you postpone lunch until tomorrow or the next day.

When I’m in my womb, I feel so satiated by doing the work that it doesn’t matter that only a handful of people will read it. Nor does it matter that I’ll probably never turn my essay writing into financial success.

Things had been going great until right before our move to Georgia. I’d been able to create at least one blog post a week. That’s when I found myself outside the womb. I don’t even know how it happened. One day I was in, the next I was out.

I think every writer and artist (and even the people who have to come up with new ideas at work or to entertain their children) experiences this. One day, you wake up and you just can’t make it happen. It feels like someone has cut the giant umbilical cord that delivers the sustenance that enables you to create. The flow is cut off. Nada. Caput. Gone.

Being locked outside my own womb makes me feel lonely, angry—and incapable.

Feelings which, in turn, seem to make it even harder to get back into the womb. It’s an endless circle of frustration.

After six months of writers block, I’ve had enough. I want back in my womb.  I miss that magical, enchanted state. The satisfaction of getting words onto the page screen.

I’m not sure how to get there, but I’m going to take the fact that I’ve been able to write this as a promising sign.

So how do you do it? How do you kick-start the creative flow so you can crawl back into your womb? Please share…




  1. I don’t have any magic answers, because I’ve been where you are for months and years in the past. Right now, I’m enjoying a very fertile creative time and I’m afraid I’m jinxing it by even saying so! But some ideas: read more, take walks, find a writers group, take a class. Allow yourself to show up and write utter crap, just for the practice. Take yourself out for coffee with your laptop or notebook, because there aren’t the distractions of home there. I also really enjoy Natalie Goldberg’s books with writing prompts.

    Oh, and this was a really nice post, so maybe you are already where you want to be? 🙂

    • Hi Lynn,
      I’m glad to hear you’re writing up a storm. I always loved your writing style. If you want to share, please email over a story.

      I am doing better at getting writing done. It seemed to just happen, so I really don’t know how to duplicate the results in the future. This weekend I’m going through old essays to see what I’ve got. I want to rework some of them, then pull them together to create a book.

      How are your little ones?

      • Hi Lisa,

        Thank you! I’ve been blogging, but I can also send you a story I’ve been working on.

        Awesome that you are writing again. And sounds great about the book! I really enjoy your quirky sense of humor, and I still remember the piece that started with you under your teacher’s desk. Good stuff!

        The little ones are good. Crazy. But mostly good! How is Georgia?!?

        • Lynn,
          Please send me your blog link!

          And I’d love to see the story too.

          I was just looking at that under the desk story last week. I’ve finally figured out how to frame it so it has a point.

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