Gerbil Brain, Mental Exhaustion, Backlogged Output

The Dreaded Trickle

The Dreaded Mental Trickle

I don’t understand or relate when people say they are “bored.”  Maybe they mean “ennui” – a perfect word for listlessness, compliments of the French.  Now, THAT I have suffered from, a sort of existential dissatisfaction.  But my ennui stems from intellectual overload.

My problem is not a lack of interesting things to think about and write about… rather, there’s an overload of ideas.  I have them stacking up and backing up.

It’s not writer’s block.  It’s more a case of having a hyper gerbil loose upstairs, scampering around first on its wheel, spinning, spinning, spinning, before leaping off and thrusting its nose into every nook and cranny it can find, not staying in any one spot for too long.  And that’s what is maddening: it has proved too elusive to capture and contain.

So unfortunately, instead of a geyser of output, I am suffering the dreaded mental trickle, where output has slowed to the pace of a drought-plagued stream.  In continuing my gerbil-brain’s current mixing of metaphors and ideas just in this post, I feel like I’m looking over a box of chocolates, and there are so many choices that I’m exhausted from the very effort of trying to make a decision and need to lie down.

Any ideas for harnessing the gerbil, settling down and getting that output flowing again?

2 thoughts on “Gerbil Brain, Mental Exhaustion, Backlogged Output

  1. I feel that way too sometimes. I just wait for the gerbil to take a break and then get busy with writing. I would choose one idea and see it all the way through to the end. You know sometimes all the ideas come together in one manuscript—maybe that’s what’s happening. Maybe you have a bunch of ideas but they are all interrelated somehow? Write and see what happens. 🙂

    • Thanks for your feedback, Lisa! A lot of my ideas do have common themes. I will try your suggestion of choosing one thing and riding it out (and just keep good notes on those other ones lined up behind it). And, I’ll focus on the good side: at least there are ideas from which to work!

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