The Answer Was Staring Right At Me and Yet I Couldn’t See It

walking through the fogIt was another foggy day.

A dingy, dense, and dreary encounter.

I couldn’t see a thing.

The absence of clarity can be pretty frightening.

Just the scary thought of placing one foot in front of the other brought on a paralyzing phobia – the fear of being stranded; stuck; suspended in time.

I don’t fare well in dark places. I lose my grip on sensibility, my systems shut down, and I shiver like a lost child in the night.

And there I stood … in the foggiest of fogs.

Oh, before I go on …

Did you think I was talking about the weather?

My sincerest apologies.

The weather’s grand in my little corner of the world these days. Beautiful clear skies with lots of warm spring-y sunshine, delighting the vegetable garden and flowers.

I was lamenting writer’s block – a syndrome that creates the thickest kind of stifling fog!

Back to that day …

Staring at a blank page for what felt like eons, my brain fogged up and my eyes fogged over.

Hell! I had fog clogging my veins!

There’s nothing like having a writing assignment due in a matter of hours with not one syllable on the page.

A migraine headache would have been far less debilitating.

Just for the record … Quick-witted, I’m not.

And I don’t believe in forcing creativity. You may as well try pushing a hippo uphill – with one hand tied behind your back and the other in a cast.

Then an idea rolled in like thunder and struck like lightning! (Bet that happens to you sometimes.) You know. Those ideas that always show up late to the party – fashionably late, that is.

My foggy brain managed to recall a short “visual observation” exercise (a fellow blogger shared with me some years ago) that gets your creative writing wheels spinning.

It’s all about turning what you observe into teachable moments – little golden nuggets to share with your readership.

Here’s the quick gist:

1.)  Spend ten minutes looking around your immediate surroundings.

2.)  Find objects/knick-knacks/things/stuff/trinkets that represent a concept/lesson/philosophy.

3.)  Show the comparison and share the lesson.

So ten minutes later, here’s what I found — along with the *teachable moments I created from the silly odds & ends on my desk:

Large hand-painted ceramic mug, overflowing with pencils, pens, markers, and highlighters.  I don’t use or need half of these writing implements.

*Teachable moment: Clean up your act, get organized, and de-clutter your office space for better concentration and less distraction.

Intricately designed wrought iron napkin holder, used to hold my mail and other paperwork.

*Teachable moment: Recycle or repurpose your blog posts, articles, podcasts, teleseminars, videos, webinars, etc., into info products or programs you can sell.

Hat box, imprinted with beach-y scenes of serene and exotic travel destinations.  I keep business cards, postage stamps, calculator, paper clips, greeting cards, etc., in this box.

*Teachable moment: Rest and relaxation, a much needed break from your workspace, or even a formal vacation is essential for your well being and, hence, your success as a solopreneur.

The means for lifting the fog of writer’s block was sitting on my desk, staring me in the face. Who knew?!

  • I feel your pain, Melanie. I’ve been in a fog over an article this week, which I finally finished, but it felt like I’d never get a handle on it.

    • Ew … I hate when that happens! It turns your whole week and workspace into a dismal dungeon. 🙁

      Happy to hear you finally got a handle on that article, Sharon, and thanks so much for the visit!

  • Great minds, Melanie. 😉 That’s one of my favorite methods. In fact, I created a SlideShare presentation on it and a blog post named 10 Business Blog Ideas Sitting in Front of Your Face.

    I knew there was a reason I liked you so much. 🙂 I love your spin on the idea!

  • Great post, Melanie. I know that fog well, but I am working to combat it. Great suggestions!

    You’ve always been so kind to me. is brand new, and we have a membership starting on May 19th called Mom$Online. I’d like to offer you a free membership and a page in the new MomBook. We need knowledgable members like you!

    • Hi Georganne and thanks for dropping in!

      I had a hunch I wouldn’t be the only soul who’s been plagued with writer’s block. As a matter of fact, I suspect there may be a serious epidemic. 😉

      I’m flattered by your generous offer and kind words and I will definitely scope out the brand new Home Working Mom. My curiosity is piqued.

      Write On!