sssAllysonAs I sat at my computer this weekend, staring at the blank screen, and that little blinking cursor–black on white, blinking and taunting me–my brain shut down on me. It turned over and said, “Nope. Not gonna write today. Not gonna do it.”

And with ideas pounding in my head, wanting to be let out, begging for release of some sort, all the gears just kind of ground to a stop, tripping and falling over each other and their ability to be free.

I’ve been sticking to a fairly rigorous writing schedule lately. For the most part, it’s self-induced. I had a few external deadlines, but I wanted to see if I could do it. How fast could I write a book. Then another one. And then a third. And I was expecting to be able to just keep going. Apparently it wasn’t happening though.

Frustrated, I picked up my tablet, opened my Kindle app, and flipped randomly through all the books I’ve one-clicked over the past ever, and clicked the first one that caught my eye. I wasn’t expecting much, but moments later I was sucked into a new world. Now, I read all the time, but this was different. It didn’t feel like there was any expectation behind it. It was grab something completely unlike the rest of my books, and sink into a new world where no one expects anything from me.

I spent most of the day floating in this other universe, pushing all the other stresses away, drinking coffee, listening to music. It was a wonderful way to unwind. And the next day I realized my brain was ready to write again.

I’m going to have to remember the mental break trick more often. How do you unstick your mind when there’s just too much going on in your head to be able to focus?