How I Handle Writer’s Block

Some days, lines flow onto the page like water. Characters and their stories find a place on the screen and stake their claim, and I meticulously build their lives and personalities.

Other days I face the plague of ‘The Blank Page’. My WIP (work in progress) hits a brick wall, and my beloved figures decide to take another direction. Any direction, except the path where I want them to go.

And the dreaded ‘Writer’s Block’ comes upon us…

The ‘Where Do I Go Now’ stage in writing. The ‘whatever I write won’t fit’ stage. It’s so frustrating when that stage takes place.

Frustrating? Of course! More than anything, I would love for the writing ideas to flow freely.

Will this last forever? No! This feeling will eventually pass.

Whenever I get into these modes of Writers Block, I overcome it by doing the following:

Breathe. At times, writers block occur when the mind goes into ‘Panic Mode’ (due to hopelessness, sadness, stress, etc.). Sometimes the key to move past this all begins with a deep breath.

Turn toward another favorite passion. When I’m blocked, I go to another favorite passion in order to ‘un-block’. I turn to reading a book, or crocheting. Sometimes I do at least an hour of this de-stressing exercise before I return to writing.

Self Care. Sometimes a mental block results from two things:
a) my health is effected. I’m living with Type 1 Diabetes. This condition comes with severe lows from time to time, which is paired with disorientation. When this happens, I need a sugar boost (juice, milk, crackers), and I need 20 minutes until my sugar is at a normal reading. It’s rough when this happens, but it’s part of my daily life.
b) Self doubt. Sometimes the block can feel overwhelming to the point when a lifeline is truly needed. This takes the form of either talking to my husband, or texting my dear friend from college days. The key thing is that when sadness threatens your mental health, I reach out to my support system.

So these are the tools I use when I endure a block with my writing. Eventually, the wall passes, and I’m able to write my ideas freely once again. When a mental block come my way again? Possibly. But it won’t be a permanent situation!

Side note: Sometimes it’s difficult to speak to someone readily about any kind of mental block, and that’s understandable! I’m just sharing my methods of dealing with blocks in writing. Everyone has their own way of overcoming a struggle in writing.
Even if you’re not at that point when you’re comfortable in speaking to someone when feeling blocked, that’s okay too. Please know that you are worth it, and that your work is important!!

November 24, 2018: Rest After Tasks/Jersey Gardens

I’m writing this a couple hours after I intended to, but it’s okay. I had a well-deserved rest after heading to the lab this morning. It’s kinda rough getting up early on a Saturday, but it’s also nice that this lab has hours that accomodate my work schedule. So early Saturday appointment it is. It also helps that the phlebotomist was an easy going person, makes the process quicker. Anyway, this is my routine every 3 months, in order to stay on top of my health. Now it’s waiting until early next week for the results.

It’s crazy hearing about the Black Friday shooting in Jersey Gardens. I’m just happy that there were no fatalities, and the one person who got shot was treated quickly ( reported that one person was shot in the wrist). I really don’t understand how people can act so foolishly in a public place, and bring weapons with them. Hopefully it will a peaceful, uneventful weekend.

May 14, 2018: Therapy and Diabetes Life

  • Week 3 of Occupational Therapy. So far I think it’s gone well; doing the hand exercises regularly, and taking part in activities that strengthen my wrist near the thumb. Today my OT wrapped my wrist in Kinesio Tape. It looks interesting, fits well to the skin. Hopefully it will stay on my arm and wrist until Wednesday.
  • My grandfather came home from the hospital over the weekend. He’s still having trouble breathing, yet the swelling went down on his feet, so that’s positive news. I’m hopeful that he maintains his health down a good path.
  • I’m glad that I ended Basaglar. I never had a good feeling about being on that insulin. I’ve been taking an extra Lantus pen while waiting to begin Levemir. I miss being on Lantus nightly, but I’m curious to see what Levemir will do for my health.

May 13, 2018: Sunday Thoughts

Some thoughts as I get ready for the week:

  • I had a quiet Mothers Day celebration with Andy’s family. We went to Longhorn Steakhouse. It’s their ‘go-to’ place for Mothers Day, since Andy’s brother and sister-in-law loves this location.
  • I have my annual Facebook ‘blackout’ on Mothers Day. As much as the posts are heartfelt, it’s just painful to view since my mother is no longer here to celebrate with me. I ventured onto Instagram today, and wished I hadn’t. Tomorrow will be precarious to tread onto social media as well, since the algorithms feel like you MUST view the posts you’ve missed over the weekend!
  • I had a much needed visit with a dear friend over the weekend. Without going through too much detail, she is going through many health difficulties. I truly cherished the time we spent together.
  • I picked up Levemir front the pharmacy this afternoon. I said ‘goodbye’ to Basaglar, due to the issue of weight gain while on the medication. Despite heavy exercise and activity, the weight gain continued. I’m hopeful the the Levemir will be a better option for my health.

April 28, 2018: Rainy Days and Sugar Lows

I had a very crazy afternoon at work, which Fridays always are. The children were extra loopy due to the rainy day, and my blood sugar kept going low, despite me having glucose tablets to bring it back. During my break I usually eat then write up the classroom highlights sheet to post at the front of my door, with pictures on display. It’s a lot to do in 60 minutes, but when I’m feeling normal I get it done. Yesterday however, the only energy I had was to eat, then write up the highlight sheet. I couldn’t get the photos done, so I emailed then to management to have them (hopefully) printed, so I can post them in the afternoon. Unfortunately it never got done, so I’ll need to post them on Monday morning. Rainy days and sugar lows at work make things very complicated.

During my break I spoke to Andy about my crazy morning, while writing my classroom highlight sheet. He’s a great listener during these times. When I was done, he shared good news with me: our outing we’ve been planning for June went through. It’s going to be exciting to spend a few days away from work. Hopefully my left wrist will feel much better by then also. I enjoy working with my group at work, but time for myself is surely needed.

April 20, 2018: Weekend and Freestyle Libre

Friday morning, and already I’m looking forward to 6pm. After work me and Andy are heading out to dinner to celebrate his birthday. It’s tomorrow, but birthdays falling on the weekend are really good, since you have plenty of opportunities to celebrate. Tomorrow we’re going to meet some good friends from college for Andy’s birthday dinner. I just need to contact someone to make sure she has a way of coming to Readington, since we would need to come get her if she doesn’t. I need to get in touch with her about that, since we haven’t spoken in a couple of days.

I’m beginning the third month of my Freestyle Libre reader. I’ve found that as close to the mark it’s been on my glucose levels, it’s way off line in the last day of the 10 day duration. I’m not sure if it’s just part of the way the sensor works so you can switch it accordingly, but a few hours before the duration ended it was off by over 100 units. I’m truly thankful that I kept my glucose meter test strips!

April 9, 2018: More Freestyle Libre Findings

***These are my thoughts as I use my Freestyle Libre Sensor. My doctor prescribed the sensor to me back in February.***

As I continue to wear my Freestyle Libre sensor to manage my Type 1 Diabetes, I notice that the sensor nearly always reads lower than the standard glucose meter reading. Before meals I test with both my standard glucose meter and my Libre sensor. I guess I’m too accustomed to using a regular meter, yet it’s helped figure out what my actual glucose levels are when it’s absolutely necessary. Some sensor durations are truly on point. Other sensor periods had a 50 point difference from my regular meter. It’s something I will certainly share with my doctor when I have my 3 month visit in May.

March 7, 2018: Using the Freestyle Libre

I officially ended the first 10 day duration of the Freestyle Libre glucose reader. I discovered that I still need to check my blood sugar before meal times; while the Libre automatically records my levels every 10 minutes, there might still be a difference in the reading right before I eat. I’ve noticed that when I check my sugar using both the Libre and doing my finger-stick test at the same time, there’s always a 10-20 unit difference between the two devices.

I do enjoy that I no longer need to worry about checking my sugars in between meals. In the past I needed to check my sugar 6 times on some days, since I had feelings of low sugar episodes. I usually couldn’t check my sugars in between meals at all, during busy work days in the classroom, since I couldn’t request time away from the classroom until my break came around. I usually just took glucose tablets to be on the safe side, and hope that didn’t cause it to run high. Now with the Libre, I can scan the sensor quickly whenever I feel like I needed to, and I can immediately take care of low sugars (if there was an episode).

My readings are also saved in detail during the 10 day duration. It’s nice to view my digital record of the Freestyle Libre on my laptop. It shows all patterns revealed during the 10 day period, as well as each time it records my blood glucose.

So today I begin the next 10 day duration. I need to wait 12 hours for the sensor to calibrate before I can begin using it regularly, so I need to check it the regular, finger-stick method until then. Although I still use the finger-stick method, I am thankful that there’s a device that limits the guesswork of low/high sugar episodes. Having your blood glucose record available to view digitally is also pretty useful.

February 24, 2018: Brunch and a New Device

This morning Andy and I met up with good friends in Caldwell at the Cloverleaf Tavern. Meeting up with them was relaxing, and we had a fulfilling brunch that consisted of doughnuts and White Stout beer. We always heard great things about Cloverleaf Tavern, so it was wonderful to finally check it out.

When we got back to Hunterdon County, I picked up the new Freestyle Sensor my doctor prescribed for me on Wednesday. It’s a glucometer attached to your arm, and instead of daily finger pricking to register sugar level, it reads by scaninng your sensor. Because it’s covered by my insurance, I decided to try it out. So far there’s the lingering sensation of a disc attached to my arm, but I’ve been told that I would get used to it.

January 29, 2018: Unexpected Lows

This morning began a bit strange, since I got very little sleep the night before. It wasn’t until I was still lying awake at 2am that I checked my blood sugar level, and discovered a low. I tried to bring my levels back up, but they remained low well into the early morning hours.

I live with Type 1 diabetes, and I’m accustomed to adjusting medicine and following a certain diet. Handing wild lows are part of my life, but they remain difficult to deal with. I’m just thankful that my low glucose wasn’t as severe as it was a few months ago. That incident was truly scary.

This morning I got my glucose level back on track, then went on with my work routine. Sometimes the effects of a bad low tends to linger throughout, but thankfully thay didn’t happen. I’m so thankful that I have friends and family in my life who I can lean on in case things become very difficult.