Posted by: Elizabeth Anne Mitchell | July 31, 2011

ROW80 Check-in 7/31 Nancy Poehlmann

Considering what I had going on from Wednesday through Saturday, I got a fair amount done. I worked slowly but surely on the new article, and should finish the first draft to send to my beta reader today. It will come back shredded, but that’s the point, and I know the skeleton is sound. I had to work a couple of twelve-hour days on Wednesday and Friday; even so, I wrote one post for Lapidary Prose on Friday, and ended up writing another one on Saturday.

The bad news is that I am now firmly ensconced in a full insomniac phase; I am doing lots of idea generation, but I am not getting any writing done. I am taking my time to outline the ideas, characters, locations, traits, anything and everything I can gather for the time when I can sleep again. I’m not going to beat myself up about this check-in; this lack of work feels very different from when I was avoiding work. My brain is engaged, despite the cotton wool that seems to muffle everything. I am thinking about the articles that remain to be revised in this round, about the new and old characters that visit me like succubi in the wee hours. And so, I will try to sleep tonight, break the insomniac cycle, and start a revision bright and early tomorrow morning.

Excelsior to us all. How are all the rest of y’all doing. You can check on everyone’s progress here, visit, encourage, and bond. That’s what it is all about.

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Responses

  1. Idea generation is work! Just because you may not see tangible evidence of your progress doesn’t mean you’re not going through an important step. πŸ™‚ Good luck this coming week!

    • Thanks for reminding me of that, Angela. It is work, isn’t it? It is more like cleaning out closets–no one may see results, but it does make life much easier!

      I hope you have a lovely week. Thank you for dropping by.

  2. I can so relate to that cotton wool. Wishing you a good nights sleep. Congrats on finishing the article and chipping away at all the ideas.

    • Thanks, Katy., I appreciate the encouragement! I have to be diligent about writing things down, or I will forget them, which is frustrating as heck!

      I am so looking forward to a good night’s sleep. I hope your work goes swimmingly. Thanks for dropping by!

  3. Hi Nancy: Iam having similiar problems. Have had a bug for over a week and was too congested to wear cPap machine. Very bad sleep. Have done a lot of reading and planning for promotion, but no actual writing. I’m not beating myself up either. I think I’ve picked up quite a lot from my various readings.

    • Oh, P.A., that’s not good. My husband has a cPap and it is really impossible to sleep without it, and impossible to wear it when congested. It’s an awful catch-22.

      Reading is very helpful, I find, both things about writing, and things in the genre. I’m glad you’re not beating yourself up–life happens!

      I hope your week is uncongested and restful. Thanks for stopping by!

  4. Brainstorming is important! I had a phase in my writing career when I was concentrating way too much on word count, and a lot of those stories are still just taking up space on my hard drive. Of course, brainstorming is hard to measure, but you can always measure writing work in hours while you’re in a pre-writing phase.

    Good luck on getting out of the insomnia!

    • Thank you for the encouragement! I have to remember that all the legwork and brainwork may be hard to measure, but valid just the same.

      Last night was a wee bit longer sleep for me, so I’m headed in the right direction. πŸ™‚

      Thanks for stopping by, and have a great week.

  5. Oh dear, I know what you mean about insomnia. I’ve had a time trying to get to sleep these past couple of weeks because my brain has been buzzing, and I’ve been trying to scribble everything down. Nothing’s worse than losing a thought (except, perhaps, losing sleep because of it). Glad to hear that you’ve finished the article, and echoing what others have said above, the mental work of figuring out a story is important, if not more important than the actual word count.

    Have a lovely week!

    • Exactly, Jamila–my brain turns into a flip book sometimes (“have to pay this, need to handle this, have to talk to this person about this”) over and over again.

      I am glad to have the article in the hands of my ruthless reader; I need to start on the boring πŸ˜‰ parts of the revised articles, then I can play with the writing!

      Thank you for your encouraging words, and have a great week!

  6. Congratulations on finishing your article! That’s wonderful progress! And sleep is crucial – I saw earlier that you work 5 AM to 5:30 PM – making sure you write and sleep with that schedule sounds simply heroic, but maybe sleep will help turn ideas into words painting scenes out on paper? But you probably know this – just keep going, keep up that can-do attitude, and have at it! I’ve definitely been spending the last few YEARS in idea/brainstorming phase, and even do it during work (‘whoa I just thought of this new character that will appear and drive the second story arc and ride through the conclusion and become almost as essential as my protagonists… still need to find the cost of drilling into a control box for this cost-benefit analysis…’). You’ll just have more of a vision, and more material and detail for your scenes! =) Good luck on your goals this week!

    • Thank you! It does feel good. Luckily, I usually work an 8-5, but this past week had added duties. I did sleep a bit better last night, thank goodness, and my brain is firing on nearly all cylinders this morning.

      Thanks for the encouragement; your story about how ideas come in the middle of the workday is so true. I have to work the research desk several hours each week, and when it is slow, the best ideas come to me! I keep pencil and paper at my side; I’m sure the researchers find my muffled “Eureka!” and mad scribbling entertaining!

      Thanks for visiting, and have a lovely week!

  7. Thanks for the ‘hund love’, Nancy! He’s such a good boy. (well, usually) Tonight he decided that lasagna sounded great for dinner, and helped himself to my littlest boy’s plate.
    I can relate to your insomniac nightmares! I have periods when I go to sleep only to wake up about an hour or two later, unable to go back to sleep! When my body finally decides that it’s ready to hit the hay…guess what? It’s time to get up. I walk around in a fog until it’s over. You have my sympathies. Really.
    I don’t know your age/situation, but Estroven Nightime has been a help. It’s all natural, and can be bought in any grocery’s vitamin section, but it is recommended for peri-menopausal women….so not sure if it will help you. It’s got black cohosh and chasteberry extracts, if you’re wondering what’s in it.
    Good luck with meeting your goals for the upcoming week. I keep a stack of notebooks for new ideas/research nearby for just such occasions.
    Take care ~ Nadja

    • Nadja, I laughed out loud at your story (and I’m on a break at work!) about your dog. I have a Standard Poodle and a Weimaraner–I’ll have to put up a picture soon. They decided once that, being German, they deserved a piece of my oldest son’s German Chocolate birthday cake! I turned my back for one minute, turned back and the plate was clean (and slobbery!).

      Thank you for the suggestion about Estroven Nightime. I’ll look into it. Also, your suggestion about notebooks is a good one–I tend to do the little pieces of paper, whatever is nearby, and that is not always good!

      Thank you for visiting, and have a lovely week!

  8. Sorry that you have been having so much trouble sleeping, hope that improves for you this week.

    And I echo what everyone else has said, brainstorming is a very important part of this writing game and in the end, all the ideas gathered will no doubt be useful!

    Have a great week!

    • Thank you, Em. I appreciate the kind words. I slept a little better last night, so I hope I am on the road to resolution.

      I think I suffer from word count envy sometimes. I go around to the various participants’ blogs and so many are doing huge numbers. I do try to remember that everyone is different and that my writing time will come.

      I appreciate your dropping by; have a lovely week!

  9. Nancy,

    As productive as insomnia often is, I always hate it. Still, it seems like you’re getting a ton done – you should be VERY impressed with yourself!

    When I don’t sleep I have to fight for a good mood, good productivity and a good weight. Every time I go through the sleepless phase, i gain weight and worry about that and everything else.

    Keep up the great Team Row80 work. I’ve met so many lovely writers doing this Round 3 – I see some of my buddies up in your comments (Hi, Jamila!!!).

    • Thanks for dropping by, Jenny; your sympathy and encouragement are greatly appreciated. I gain weight, too, when I don’t sleep, and as I’m trying to lose about 30 pounds, it doesn’t help. I get crabby and prickly–just completely unpleasant to be around!

      I have met some wonderful writers on this Round–I’m so happy I found this lovely community.


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