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  • Elna Cain

    For me, I just have to let it pass, or watch a good show. Once I step away from my desk and force myself to focus on my twins or on something else, my writing comes back! I’m also learning triggers that create writing blocks, like looming deadlines, no deadlines, hand pain and not wanting to write about X niche for client. BTW I’m a Cancer, didn’t know my moodiness was due to my sign! Makes total sense 🙂

    • I just knew we were kindred spirits, Elna. Fellow Cancers are always welcome. 🙂

      Really cool to meet you in Andrea’s FB group and thanks for dropping in today to join in the conversation. A diversion (like twins) is a great way to do something I call “taking your mind off your mind”. A change of pace and a change of scenery can work like a charm to clear your head. Sometimes I leave my home office and take a walk around the block or get up from my chair and tackle a load of laundry or play with my dogs.

      Sorry to learn you experience hand pain. The only thing to do when that happens is STOP. It breaks my heart when writers tell me they force themselves to push through even though they’re in agony. It’s not worth it, Elna.

  • SandyMcD

    I loved your poem Mel. Can’t work to music either. As I am currently in the equivalent of a blank white canvas syndrome with blogging, I think rain, crackling fire or both are a grand idea. What happens when you feel you have said it all in so many different ways? Time to start a new blog, or just think about a new direction perhaps. Look forward to the muse reappearing, come rain or fire.

    • That’s right, Sandy! “Come rain or fire.” 😉

      It’s uncanny how many bloggers I meet who absolutely love music and yet can’t write a word with it playing in the background. To some degree, it’s reassuring to know I’m not the only one.

      Sometimes in life (and in business) we have no other option but to cross over a line and begin anew. Starting a new project or taking your blog in a new direction can be not only necessary but refreshing and uplifting. I guess it’s true, Sandy … “change” is the one sure thing in life so we may as well embrace it. 🙂

  • Another water sign here, Melanie. Anything with words gets mixed up in the writing, so it’s got to be instrumental. Ocean sounds are great for writing too.

    • Ahh, Sharon … the sounds of ocean waves. Peaceful, serene, relaxing. The beach is what I miss the most since I moved from Southern California. Fellow water signs unite! 🙂

  • For me music only works in very specific circumstances. Otherwise I too get distracted. The sounds of nature really help me, and in the summer it’s as easy as opening a window. However in Minnesota in February much better to use an app.

    • Yeah, Nicole … Minnesota winters lend themselves much better to apps than experiencing the outdoors. Brrrrrrrrrr!!!

      I watched a cool news report the other night where a little girl went out on a frozen lake in Minnesota to sell Girl Scout cookies. It worked! Those cookies went like hotcakes! 😉

  • I listen to a variety of music when I’m writing, but I usually have to stick to music without lyrics, and with a driving beat. I usually put on classical music (I love Debussy) when I’m copyediting.

    I LOVE the “Rainy Mood” app. When I clicked on it and it started to play, my puppy jumped out of her crate and ran into the living room to investigate the noise. She’s only 5 months old, and she hasn’t ever heard thunder before!

    • The inquisitive nature of a puppy is unsurpassed. 😉 Hope she wasn’t frightened by the sound of thunder, Molly, and I’m tickled you clicked over to check out the Rainy Mood app.

      You have no idea how much I wish I could listen to music while writing or working. But every time I give it a whirl, I only end up stopping what I’m doing to become absorbed in the melodies. Oh, well. At least I can put some rain in the background. 🙂

  • Nature works for me every time, Melanie. I take walks at least 5 times a week (we’re talking 1 1/2 to 1 3/4 hours). I do my best thinking while walking. I live in a somewhat rural areas so there are plenty of animals along the way that also inspire. I mean, how can you not feel good? 🙂

    • I hear THAT, Cathy! Truth be told, I’d much prefer to be outdoors than in. One of my all-time favorite activities, believe it or not, is doing yard work. Any excuse to get outdoors is fine with me. 🙂 I used to walk two miles in the morning and another two miles at night. Let’s face it … I was addicted to walking. LOL! These days, I’m lucky if I get out for a walk three times a week. But I’m starting to nudge myself out the door before 5 AM. Otherwise, my day kicks in and it’s 9 PM before I know it.

  • I can use music to motivate me, but if I listen to music while I work, it has to be instrumentals. Words get in the way of words in my head (whether it’s blogging or coding).

    Also, if I’m not motivated: I stop and play a video game, for a walk, go stretch and do yoga, ride the exercise bike. Heck, just taking a shower can improve my mood and motivation!

    I’m with you: I love rain and thunderstorms. Some of my favorite things! It’s part of why I want to retire to Seattle: lots more rain there (and a nice, funky vibe).

    • Another fellow thunderstorm lover has arrived!

      Just taking a shower can improve my mood and motivation, too, Janice. I have this ‘thing’ for water. 😉

  • Not only do I love writing, I love music, as well.

    Ha, you and me both, miss. Like you, if I tried to blog while there were songs playing in the background, I’d immediately put the proverbial pen down and start shaking my thang!

    I do like your suggestion of nature’s sounds. Many a night, at least in the summer, I’ve sat out in the swing chair in my backyard and simply closed my eyes and listened to the sounds of night-time. Or, watched the clear skies and soaked in the silence. Does wonders for inspiration.


    • I’m right there with ya, Danny! Music makes me exit my chair and get up and dance. 😉

      My wish list has a “swing chair” on it. When I was growing up, my maternal grandparents’ home sat high on a hill and overlooked a beautiful river. Some of my favorite memories are sitting on their porch swing for hours watching the barges and boats go by, allowing my mind to drift. Ahh … those were the good old days.

      Many thanks for “swinging” by. 🙂

  • Shall we try this again? 🙂 Since your site ate my first comment I shall attempt to remember the brilliance I shared. I’m sure it was amazing and I’ll never be able to recapture it 😉

    I love that you started with a poem – now why did that not surprise me? Like you, I am a big fan of Mother Nature! Give me a good thunderstorm and I am thrilled as punch. I work better, sleep better and relax better. I suppose it’s because I spend so much time in front of a computer that whenever I get to connect with the actual world I love it.

    In this particular area, Ralph and I are opposites. He loves to work with music or podcasts playing. I prefer silence. I can’t work to noise like that because like you, I end up listening and not working. He doesn’t like to be in a silent room. We both like the soothing sounds of rain but he is not a fan of storms. The minute one starts up, I get happy and he gets freaked out. I have been known to get cranky if the weather channel promises a storm and it doesn’t come. And in the summer, crickets and birds will do nicely! I’m a “keep the windows open” kind of person even when it’s 90 degrees outside. I like the sounds of the world. Of course, that makes for some pretty sweaty summers and sometimes I have to be nice and allow Ralph to have air conditioning 🙂

    Funny, but I never really liked the rain apps because I always end up obsessing about how it’s fake. I have one though, that I use sometimes if I can’t sleep and it does help. I don’t think I really thought about it until I read your post today but it’s true, sounds of nature are both relaxing and invigorating. Now I look forward to the next storm!

    • Oh, so you noticed the poem? Imagine that. LOL! I couldn’t resist. I’m hard-wired for rhyming (and it’s all your fault) 😉

      You and Ralph must have fun working under the same roof — you like the windows open, he wants the air conditioner on. You enjoy a quiet atmosphere for writing, he’s listening to podcasts, no less! I have a hunch you’ve mastered the art of compromise.

      “Give me a good thunderstorm and I am thrilled as punch.” ME, TOO!! Sorry to say we barely get one measly clap of thunder around here.

      “I have been known to get cranky if the weather channel promises a storm and it doesn’t come.” That makes two of us! I get royally ticked off when the weather reporters get it wrong. You’d think with today’s technology and high-powered doplers, they could at least be a little more accurate. But, no.

      Can’t thank you enough for returning a second time to re-capture your commentary. I had a dickens of a time getting Disqus to play nicely today but I prevailed. That’s cause I’m stubborn and won’t let some plugin win the day. 😉

      • I have no doubt that you will prevail over ornery plugins every time!

        As for the weather reports, they may as well pull a condition out of a hat for as often as they are right. This winter’s “snowpocalypse” that flurried then melted in a day is just one example… followed of course by the 2 straight days of snow nobody told me was coming. So here’s my prediction for today: sun. or maybe clouds. I have just as good a chance as being correct!

        • I’m sitting here giggling. You sound just like me, Carol Lynn.

          I think the job of weather reporting is simply a steppingstone for some of these guys and gals for what they really want to do with their lives. I oftentimes remark, “Hell, “I” could report the doggone weather!” Here’s my forecast: “Look out your window, folks. Better yet, open a window and there you’ll have it – today’s weather. Please dress accordingly.” 😉

  • OMG….I love the rainy mood app idea! I hurried up and looked for it. I too love to be inside (and out too) on a rainy day and you know how rare that is in Southern Cali..one of the things I loved about being in the mid-west and South. I appreciate your thoughts and honesty about finding the gumption to blog…I am finally on my way back after a real drought for a year. Thanks Melanie for all the inspiration you give everyday!

    • I’m seeing a pattern here, Michelle, of fellow carnies (and others) who love the sounds of nature. Birds of a feather, eh? 😉

      Happy you scoped out the rainy mood app – enjoy! I discovered it sometime last year and it’s heaven sent. Like Southern California (lived there for three decades), we don’t get much rain here in Arizona. So the app is a godsend for me. Oh, we get rain. About 25 drops a couple of times throughout the winter months. I have to laugh out loud when I listen to the weather reports. They make such a big deal as if we’re going to get a torrential downpour. LOL! I grew up in Pennsylvania – where they get REAL rain storms! Complete with roaring thunder and and long-lasting lightning shows that light up the sky! Oh, how I miss those.

  • I’m with you. I can’t work with music or TV noise. I need quiet. Or quiet plus nature. Right now, I’m working next to the fish tank, so I’ve got lovely water bubble noise keeping me sane. But yes to rainstorms and crackling fires, too.

    • Ooh! Kindred spirits we are, Tea. 🙂

      For four years I held the position of marketing coordinator for an ophthalmology practice. Know what I loved the most about that office? The massive fish tank that stood regal in the center of the waiting room. There’s something about the sound of bubbling water that brings a calmness over me. It truly is soothing to my soul.

      If the TV is on or trees are being trimmed in the neighborhood or my partner is noodling on the guitar, forget it! I can’t write word one. Ain’t gonna happen. For many years I did the majority of my writing at two or three o’clock in the morning. The kids were asleep (and so were the neighbors and their pets). But thank goodness I’m no longer keeping those crazy hours.

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