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Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Stuck in a Rut and Trying to Use Algebra to Get Out!

I have to admit, this is an interesting, and now, ironic conundrum. Despite all of the time I have been spending time researching on the Internet, reading newspapers, and all the various writing projects I am scheming on, I have a little bit of writer's block when it comes to a post today. I tried earlier today, but didn't like the few pieces of drivel I put down. I thought about some sage advice and some project ideas to spout off, but threw them aside. Typically, I see something and am inspired and it's write a draft, edit, and post. The idea either comes the day before or the day of, and when there are a multiple, I keep a list of things I could write on in case I get stuck. However, today, not even the list of things is flowing from fingers to keyboard in a satisfactory manner.

The likely culprit? I have been doing too much math work lately. See, there's some humor in that last statement. I am one of those neutral dominate sides of the brain - both tend to work around the same. My favorite subjects in school: history and science. The easiest (hence, something I didn't appreciate for a long time)? The languages. I was and still am pretty handy with doing math in my head rather than just on a calculator.

That said, at work, I did what someone dubbed "going to the other side." In addition to working with students in writing papers and studying habits, I am going to classes and working with math students too for the first time this semester. While I am proficient with all of these areas, I am not used to going back and forth between the two hemispheres of the brain like I used, got a little rusty. In school, I would flip from chemistry and history, no sweat or time lapse.

However, today, I spent all day working on supervisor-type tasks then did a few hours of math. The writing side of my brain? Only now starting to wake up.

Now, the question is, do I plan out my writing time for certain days of the week now, or is there a way to get the brain back to that ability to float simultaneously back and forth? What do those of you who write as an avocation or have another job on "the other side" do when you want to (or have to) write? Any tricks out there?

I like writing and doing math equally, so giving up on one is not an option. That's like asking me, the trained archaeologist, if my academic department should be a science or in with the arts and humanities. Part of what I need to know and learn about is in the sciences (i.e., geochemistry, biology, geology), while other elements are not (i.e., philosophy, history). There just have to be some tricks out there...That said, I am going to sit here amused at the irony of a post on how I couldn't get started on a post.


  1. Wow, felt like I was back in class listening to a teacher and her lesson. For someone who didn't have something to post, you sure posted something.

    I hate math but know we need it to count our royalties. GRIN

  2. Anonymous8:54 AM

    Good question, the one about blocking out time. I write full time, as well as teach, and serve on two boards, one of which I chair. Oh, yes! And have a family (ooops). Simply put, I live on a grid. Everything is on it: bill paying, gym, even walking the dog. But first on it, every time it needs to be updated is "writing," blocked out, in ink. The grid hangs on the wall next to the keyboard. Everyone makes fun of it, no one gets to mess with it, and you know what? It works. In a phrase: Get a grid. (And so much nicer advice than 'get a grip,' don't you think?) Write on. And thanks for the thoughtful blog.


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