Lake Atitlan, Panajachel, Guatemala

“Reading and writing are acts of empathy and faith. Guard that trust carefully — in this rapidly changing business, it’s the only sure thing.” ~Erin Keane
"Never give up. And most importantly, be true to yourself. Write from your heart, in your own voice, and about what you believe in." ~ Louise Brown

"Write something to suit yourself and many people will like it; write something to suit everybody and scarcely anyone will care for it."
~Jesse Stuart

"A writer's job is to take one thing and make it stand for twenty." ~ Virginia Woolf

Sunday, May 2, 2010

The Writer Brain and the Blogger Brain

When I left for the weekend, I thought a retreat from the internet would be a nice break. It was a lovely weekend, but what do I do as soon as I get back home? Catch up on blogs, and write posts. I tried commenting on a few blogs and then stopped when I noticed how lame and weak my comments came across.

I think there's a blogging part of the brain and a writing part, and never the two shall mix. This weekend, in the quaint environment where we stayed, transported me to another world, (I write about it here if you're curious)--my writer brain came alive and my blogging brain went to sleep.

The blogger brain still feels groggy. I'll get back to my regularly scheduled programming soon enough, but meanwhile, I'm going to steep myself in the reading of some great fiction and go to bed early.

Writer's block is when a writer's brain isn't functioning properly. Is it blogger block when your blogger's brain falls asleep? Is this even a problem? Or maybe it's an opportunity?

41 comments:

  1. I lose my writing brain before my blogging brain. If I'm tired, I can't concentrate on a manuscript.

    I'm glad you had some time away. Enjoy a good night's sleep!

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  2. LOL :) It might indeed be an opportunity. Enjoy the book and the extra sleep! :)

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  3. My blogging brain was left in NZ I fear. I can't get inspired to post, or leave interesting comments. In fact I'm finding blogger harder and harder to keep track of, the more followers I get.

    I like your term "blogger block" - you should write a novel about that!

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  4. We don't talk "brain" around my house. Once I said something about my brain being fried from stress and the response was "couldn't be, you have to have a brain first." LOL Mine never seems to work when I want it to.

    Enjoy your reading and sleep well.

    Mason
    Thoughts in Progress

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  5. It's hard to keep up with all the blogs out there. My brain is focused on the writing and being a tour guide for my guests in AL right now.

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  6. Blogging and writing both have separate on and off switches for me. When I'm tired, my writing brain definitely turns off first, then my blogging brain. Then I'm left with just mush, which allows me to watch TV and not much else. ;)

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  7. I never thought about it before, but you are so right! The writer brain snoozes off way before the blogger brain does. It'd be nice to have a remote control so I could switch it back on again when I needed it!

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  8. haha, mr. write makes me feel better about my blocks (writer or blogger) by saying i'm not blocked - just marinating!

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  9. I think it will come back to you, just take your time.

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  10. I agree, Karen, it's probably good for our writing skills to read such diverse blogposts and come up with intereting comments.

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  11. My writing brain fights with my bloggng brain but is the weaker of the two and often loses. Great post, happy reading!

    Helena

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  12. Hi

    Oh my blogging brain wins out these days over my other one - actually I don't even think I have the other one anymore! :-)

    Great to read that you had a wonderful break.

    Take care
    x

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  13. Yes, I think it's crucial to stay away from blogs, facebook and all the rest of it,from time to time. It's difficult though. A bit like resolving not to chat to neighbours....

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  14. I absolutely believe there is a writing brain and a blogging brain.

    Blogging, either posting or comments is kind of like being in school. You're imparting some kind of information that is necessary.

    Writing is a free flowing abstract communique, like a piece of art viewed by many. It's interpretive, therefore written with a different intention in mind.

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  15. I find the blogging part of my brain works most of the time. Or maybe its just asleep and on auto pilot and I don't realize it!

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  16. I just took the whole weekend off for my anniversary and it's taking me a bit to get back into mode.

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  17. I'm thinking people like your comments no matter how lame you think they are. :) Especially us lil' uns who only get a few!

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  18. That was a weird sentence. I made it sound like the people OR the comment could be lame. HA!

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  19. There is definitely a difference between writer's brain and blogger's brain! Sometimes I've noticed I need an almost physical switch (one room to another, not switching brains, ha ha) to get where I need to be.

    And MT, your first sentence made me giggle because I thought the same thing, though I knew what you meant. ;)

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  20. Michelle, I am LOLing here. I had to go back and read the first sentence again and it's making me smile. So funny! Good thing you caught it LOL! Or I might think that you think I'm lame, or I think you're lame or I think I'm lame.

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  21. I'm with Theresa - I lose my writing brain well before my blogging brain. Writing takes a lot more concentration for me! Welcome back, Karen!

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  22. Trying to think of something to say! Blogger brain must be on a little outing with writers brain. Will get back to you when they get back to me.

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  23. Ann, ugh I hate that when blogger brain and writer brain go out to lunch and leave me hanging. It's so rude, and it happens all the time.

    Talli, cute pic!! You're looking very chick lit-ish!

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  24. Some of my thoughts after reading Karen's as always excellent post:

    I've been blogging less than a month, and already I'm feeling like it's overtaking my life and I'm not writing, as in writing the next book that I want to write. I've got to pace myself; set up a schedule and follow it.

    Someone here mentioned writing takes more concentration. I agree that there's a writing brain and a blogging brain. The writing brain needs sustained concentration. Mental space. Silence. Blogging doesn't.

    I'm thinking I may have to set up at least 3 afternoons (you notice I say afternoons, not all day!) a week, maybe 4 for blogging, instead of the 6 to 7 days I've been doing. Might not get to respond to everyone I'd like to. (There's a quote by Anne Morrow Lindbergh that sums this up beautifully. I'll try to find it and post it.)

    It IS difficult to respond to everyone, especially as one gets more and more followers. We have to make choices.

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  25. Ann, it's understandable when we see fellow bloggers taking breaks for revisions, or to work on their novels, etc. I handled it with mine by writing in the wee hours, and only blogging when I finished my word count. Kind of like dessert after dinner. Or reading a book at the end of the day when my work is done.

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  26. I always think it’s hard to bounce back into my usual routine after returning from a trip. And sometimes my mind insists it wants to read fiction more than it wants to write or read blogs -I feel I have to give in to the urge.

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  27. I try to get my writer brain and my blogger brain to play nicely together. To share. Doesn't always work, of course, but when it does...bliss.

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  28. I hadn't thought of them as two different entities but now that you mention it I guess I do behave slightly differently with my blogging than with my writing. With blogging it's about instant gratification, with readers responding quickly. That puts a different slant on it then a book that needs an agent and a publisher and a front cover etc.

    I think that my writer's brain goes to sleep before my blogging brain. I'll be up blogging way past when my writer's brain turned in for the night.

    Jai

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  29. My writing brain is far more persnickety than my blogging brain. So, when writer brain isn't cooperating, I blog/comment/get the fingers moving and then the writer brain returns, ready to go.

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  30. My biggest problem is that I expect great things from my blog posts and my blog comments. I set that bar really high and when I can't reach it, I criticize myself internally so I feel like I shouldn't leave a response for someone unless I am "on." How crazy is that? It's just a response. People aren't expecting diamonds in every comment, metaphors that are inspiring and exciting - sometimes it's just nice to know you are being read. I'm trying to back off the perfectionist attitude when it comes to the blogging and the posting. I wasn't the least bit funny or clever in this one (and that is okay!). But I won't erase it. I WILL post it. I will.

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  31. Maybe our blogging brain is a little more forgiving? Glad you got away!

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  32. Jennie, I'm glad you didn't delete it! Did you read MT's comment about how glad most bloggers are just to get a comment, any comment? I know I am! Even though I can't always respond to every one I always read them, sometimes numerous times lol!

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  33. Ha! I just blogged about my own brain. Great minds - LOL

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  34. I heard a quote once, "Writers block is when the voices in your head stop talking to you."

    Stephen Tremp

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  35. Stephen, that is awesome! My favorite movie quote (from The Gods Must be Crazy): "Do the voices in my head bother you?"

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  36. Good thing it wasn't the other way around. Losing the blogger brain is no biggie--the writer brain is way more important.

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  37. I get both BB and WB. Sometimes it seems that when one is really bad, the other one lets up (for some reason). Thanks for your comment on my blog. Man, now that you mention it...I shoulda' got some chocolate at Trader Joe's.....

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  38. Thanks for swinging by my blog. It has led me to yours and I'm enjoying your blog. I think my blogging is actually like an exercise to get my writing brain going. It just seems to get a few spark plugs firing. Reading other blogs helps, as well. Sometimes an idea is just triggered from a few words I've read. One of my favorite blogs for writing prompts (that's how I use it anyway) is Forgotten Bookmarks. This mand has a bookstore and as he goes through the books that come in he posts what he finds tucked away inside. He gets photos, receipts, and letters. I love to look at those postings and ask "Why would someone have written that?" or "Why would someone have purchased that?" or "Who are those people and what was going on in their life when that picture was taken." All those questions create some interesting little story ideas.

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  39. Diane J, That sounds like a great blog! Forgotten Bookmarks, what a cool concept. I'll go check it out!

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  40. I say it's definitely time to stop staring at the computer when that happens. When I have blogger block, I just stop and look at something else.

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  41. I love how you phrase this blogging brain & writing brain! Perfect. Yes! It explains the bipolar writing disorder I've been suffering these past years. :)

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