The Distracted Writing Brain

YEP. You’re seeing that right. That is indeed a header picture of trash. Have you ever had one of those days when everything goes, like, stupidly wrong?? That was Thursday for me.

The Rundown:

  • Spaced off a 730 a.m. doctor’s appointment, only remembering around 10 a.m. when the reminder popped up—three hours late. Thanks iPhone.
  • Loaded the bureau trash in the news van and promptly forgot about it, driving right past the dumpster and taking the trash to my first news assignment. (not normally part of my job but we’re in between cleaning crews) 
  • Left my edit computer plugged in at the bureau for an overnight update instead of being in the van, which meant I had no way to edit without going back.
  • Set up for a press conference with… a dead camera battery. 
  • Made my reporter orange in a tease. Thank goodness for color correction.
  • At day’s end, I put my bag in the Cadillac’s trunk, went to open the driver’s door, and… locked. With the key fob in the trunk. Who knew the car self-locked with a key inside?? No prob. I had the phone app. Nope. Kept crashing. Thankfully hubby got me in through his app.
  • And then I dropped my iPad on my foot—not the flat side but the corner—leaving a giant painful bruise. At least my foot broke the fall and saved the iPad.

See? It was a stupid day.

But I’m okay with that, partly because the day is behind me now, and partly because of the reasons behind my distraction. In addition to a few super exciting non-writing projects dominating my brain, and the ever-changing Vagabond Life, I had a breakthrough. One I didn’t expect. You see…

I thought I’d lost my will to write.

Thirteen years I’ve been penning (keyboarding?) novels—at least seriously. Like most writers, I’ve been scribbling words since I was a kid, but in 2005–after writing Motor Dolls—I hit the road hard on a quest for publication.

Seven novels and way too many ups and downs later, I started to question why. Novel writing is insanely time consuming, not financially rewarding, and frustrating as all get out. It takes ridiculous amounts of discipline to push through edit after edit, filtering the constantly conflicting feedback. Why go through all of that? Why not just go ride my motorcycle? 

Well because…

One: I love the art of story.

And Two:

Because I’d broken the first barrier to publication.

Getting a literary agent is tough. I’m one of the lucky ones. I have a supportive agent who I genuinely like (and who has the coolest kid/cat combo ever). She patiently works through my manuscripts and fights for me, plus, I have an insightful critique partner who sees things I don’t and whose writing paints such a picture.

Still, during the latest round of publisher notes I hit one of those mental roadblocks that locked up my writing brain. I thought, what was the point? I questioned whether I wanted to write another novel.

But then the story seed took hold again…

…one that had rooted  a couple of years ago, but struggled for an entry point. Without looking for it, the answer popped into my head and out came Chapter 1.

And just like that, I’m back to writing and being distracted and lost in my imaginary world and I’m okay with that because it means my writing brain isn’t dead.

So if you’re around me and I seem totally spaced out, just know it isn’t you. It’s the story.

Until next time…

Later gators!


  • Michelle Montgomery

    Oh Goody. Each time I tap in to any of your work my eyebrain sees a gigantic tank constructed with that metal they use for livestock watering, filled with orange liquid. (Pretty sure it's dyed water rather that koolaid.) Just kiddin', I know perfectly well what it was.

  • Scotty Gosson

    Lori, your gift is way too deeply entrenched to wither away (like mine). As long as you're open to it, you'll continue to soar.

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