posted in: Life 99 comments


Ideas that used to swirl in my head at all hours have been held hostage.

Motivation that used to get me out of bed at 6.00 a.m. to go to the gym has gone on vacation.

My mind feels empty.

My heart feels numb.

My legs feel heavy.


Not sad. Not happy. Not anything.


The need to write hangs around like a ghost that needs to be exorcised.

Words, words, words.


This editorial calendar on the blog has empty squares.

The need to fill them bugs me like fingernail scratches on a chalkboard.


Checking off my daily to-do list fills my need for some order.

It adds to my inertia, for no discernible reason.

I wake up, I shower, I change into clean clothes.

I make sure my children get baths, wear clean clothes, get fed at regular hours, take their naps, go to bed at night.

I do laundry, tidy the house, clean what needs to be cleaned, cook dinner.

Yet, I feel like I did nothing.


Liz Taylor quote

                                                 Source: via Alison on Pinterest



Update: After writing this, I wrote four posts. FOUR! I guess writing about not being able to write does help. Especially since I don’t drink or wear lipstick.

Don’t forget to link up with Galit of These Little Waves and I, from August 13 – 17 (linky closes at 9.00pm Eastern) for Memories Captured. Our sponsor this month is the fabulous Visions in Vinyl, who create gorgeous vinyl decals for your home. Two lucky linkers will win a decal worth $30 each (including shipping)!

Alison Lee is a former PR and marketing professional turned work-at-home mother. After a 10-year career in various PR agencies, and of the world’s biggest sports brands, Alison traded in product launches and world travel, for sippy cups, diapers, and breastfeeding. Alison's writing has been featured on Mamalode, On Parenting at The Washington Post, The Huffington Post, Everyday Family, Scary Mommy, and She is one of 35 essayists in the anthology, My Other Ex: Women’s True Stories of Leaving and Losing Friends. In 2012, she founded Little Love Media, a social media consultancy specializing in blog book tours, and because she doesn’t sleep, is an editor at BonBon Break, an online magazine. Alison lives in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia with her husband and four children (two boys and boy/ girl twins).

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  • August 6, 2012 Greta

    Newborns will do that to you. They’re totally worth it for a little brain melting, housework slacking. 😀
    Greta recently wrote…Project 365: Week 31My Profile

    • August 6, 2012 Alison

      You think it’s because of the baby? I don’t know. Because I was writing just fine even after he was born. But there was a lot of blog fodder then 🙂

      • August 6, 2012 Greta

        Maybe not. But I do know that the lack of sleep definitely caught up with me after a few weeks and it felt like I couldn’t do anything.
        Greta recently wrote…Project 365: Week 31My Profile

        • August 6, 2012 Alison

          The thing is, I can get the day-to-day things done, albeit a little sluggishly. I was just creatively blocked. Could be the accumulated sleep deprivation!

  • August 6, 2012 Amanda

    Babies, fits and starts. Good for you!
    Amanda recently wrote…Make a ListMy Profile

  • August 6, 2012 AnnMarie

    Oh, Wow…we are on the same page. I am having a terrible time of it. I seem to have all these ideas swirling aound at times when I don’t have a notebook around. I need to start carrying one around with me. When I sit down at the computer, I feel stuck. What is that? Where did it go? Glad to see you got four posts after though. I’m hoping that writing my Glass Half Empty/Full breaks me of it.
    AnnMarie recently wrote…Flashback to the 80′sMy Profile

    • August 6, 2012 Alison

      Good luck, AnnMarie! I found that once I kept going (and kept distractions to a minimum), the writing came much easier.

  • August 6, 2012 angela

    I’m glad to see that writing this unclogged the block! xo
    angela recently wrote…Running the BasesMy Profile

    • August 6, 2012 Alison

      Oh, me too!

  • August 6, 2012 Maureen

    Maybe that’s what I need to do too. Hah! My editorial calender has been sitting there collecting internet dusts for months now. 4 posts in one sitting, girl, you are on a roll! 😀
    Maureen recently wrote…Friends Who Workout Together, Party TogetherMy Profile

    • August 6, 2012 Alison

      I was on a roll! Funny how writing about not being able to write unclogged the block.

  • August 6, 2012 Tracie

    Four posts! I’m impressed – I never seem to be able to sit down and write multiple posts all at once like that. Maybe I’ll have to try writing about not writing first.
    Tracie recently wrote…Seven Minutes of GoldMy Profile

    • August 6, 2012 Alison

      Worth a try! 🙂 When I get into a writing rhythm and I have ideas, I try to just dump the words down and revisit later to edit. Then I can indulge my OCD side and plonk them into my calendar 🙂

  • August 6, 2012 Asianmommy

    Glad you got your groove back!
    Asianmommy recently wrote…Olivia Munn on The NewsroomMy Profile

    • August 6, 2012 Alison

      None gladder than me!

  • August 6, 2012 Christine

    I too am super impressed with 4 posts! I too have a bit case of inertia going on. Usually, when I’m super busy and have deadlines, etc., I am motivated to do work and thrive on that pressure. But lately? Not so much. I’d rather futz around and really just let my brain sleep all day long. I think that it’s because I need a vacation but maybe that’s just me angling for one.
    Christine recently wrote…Friday Round-Up: I almost forgot!My Profile

    • August 6, 2012 Alison

      Did you tell your husband? 🙂

  • August 6, 2012 The Laotian Commotion

    What? That’s a new thing? I just thought it was normal day-to-day of being a mom. 🙁

    I need to spice up my routine too then.

    Really though, you’re doing great. It’s a mama funk!
    The Laotian Commotion recently wrote…How Lao Parents React To A Pregnancy AnnouncementMy Profile

    • August 6, 2012 Alison

      In a way, yes it is a normal thing – but for me, I always manage to write! And I was stuck. But now am unstuck 🙂

  • August 6, 2012 JDaniel4's Mom

    It sounds like you have gone on a roll with your post writing! Hooray! I love to read your words.
    JDaniel4’s Mom recently wrote…Olympics for Kids: Long Distance Bike Ride and HopMy Profile

    • August 6, 2012 Alison

      Thank you so much, Deirdre!

  • August 6, 2012 tracy

    Hmmm…was I suppose to have an editorial calendar? Love you. xo
    tracy recently wrote…Don’t Do ThisMy Profile

    • August 6, 2012 Alison

      Hee! You don’t need one. Love you too. xo

  • August 6, 2012 Jessica

    Oh, wow! 4 posts done? That’s amazing! And yes, you are getting much accomplished!!

    • August 6, 2012 Alison

      I know, right? The kids were napping so I just wrote and wrote and wrote!

  • August 6, 2012 Blond Duck

    You poor thing. You need a vacation. It sounds like you’re burned out.
    Blond Duck recently wrote…Magical Monday and Announcement!My Profile

    • August 6, 2012 Alison

      I do. A vacation sans children 🙂

  • August 6, 2012 Natalie

    Maybe it’s just that time of year…glad you worked through it! I felt like that a few weeks ago. I agree a vacay would do you good!
    Natalie recently wrote…Winner-Winner, Chicken Dinner!My Profile

    • August 6, 2012 Alison

      Glad I worked through it too! I go through phases like these occasionally, for no reason. But a vacay would be lovely 🙂

  • August 6, 2012 jamie

    Maybe you are (w)rite! But maybe it’s not ‘writing about not being able to write’ that worked. Maybe writing itself kick start the ideas for writing. Hope I’m making sense 🙂
    jamie recently wrote…Here is where you beginMy Profile

    • August 6, 2012 Alison

      Yes, you do make sense! And you may be right 🙂

  • August 6, 2012 thedoseofreality

    I think we all find that happening from time to time. You have a much better reason right now, though. The days of having a newborn and a toddler are EXHAUSTING and mind-numbing and sometimes all you can do just survive.
    thedoseofreality recently wrote…Is It Really All You Thought It Would Be?My Profile

    • August 6, 2012 Alison

      Mind-numbing is right!

  • August 6, 2012 Katie E

    I’m glad writing this post helped you be able to write more 🙂

    Newborn days just sort of pass by and it seems like nothing’s accomplished – but a healthy baby’s growing, right?
    Katie E recently wrote…Magazine Day: Zombie Us Weekly!My Profile

    • August 6, 2012 Alison

      Yes! A good perspective 🙂

  • August 6, 2012 Robbie

    I’ve been stuck lately too. I had lots to say but just couldn’t get the words out of my head. For me I think it was the monotony of things that got me down. I’ve stepped out of my comfort zone IRL and it’s helped maky my brain not so fuzzy.

    Umm 4 posts in one sitting?? IMPRESSIVE!! I’d say Alison got her groove back!
    Robbie recently wrote…Long Live SummerMy Profile

    • August 6, 2012 Alison

      Isn’t it frustrating – to have words swirling in your head but it just stays there? Hope you get YOUR groove back soon!

  • August 6, 2012 molly

    I’ve been having quite a bit of writer’s block. One week I will be rockin’ it. The next week I am completely silent.

    I’m glad you got your mojo back though. Four posts is awesome!
    molly recently wrote…Your One FlawMy Profile

    • August 6, 2012 Alison

      Once I get some mojo, I squeeze as much juice out of it as possible. And I squeezed 4 posts out. They’re not perfect, but at least it’s something and I can still go back and edit (which I will). 🙂

  • August 7, 2012 Courtney Kirkland

    Four posts?! Way to go, mama! I’m sure having a little one doesn’t help either. I get like that sometimes. When I DO find the energy and the creative juices start flowing, I don’t like to turn them off. Sometimes their is no guarantee when they might be back. 🙂
    Courtney Kirkland recently wrote…Little Bitty Toys Review & GiveawayMy Profile

    • August 7, 2012 Alison

      Yes, exactly! Once I got started and it just flowed, I stayed with it. Fortunately. Because I’m kinda stuck again. 🙂

  • August 7, 2012 Melissa

    Stopping by from SITS

    I get stuck like that sometimes, where you kind of just feel like you’re going through the motions and not really connecting to anything or accomplishing anything. I find that I need to do something big to shake things up a bit.
    Melissa recently wrote…Fear of the UnknownMy Profile

    • August 7, 2012 Alison

      Writing this post did shake things up a little for me!

      Thanks for visiting!

  • August 7, 2012 Kristen

    We all go through waves of this but the best thing to do is write about feeling that way. Just as you saw, it opened up and freed your mind to write so much more.
    On a side note, I can’t believe how big the boys are getting. Watching them on Instagram is like watching them grow in real life. I love being able to share in it!
    Kristen recently wrote…Girls in SportsMy Profile

    • August 7, 2012 Alison

      You’re right, it did free my mind to get things going. Also, isn’t Instagram wonderful?

  • August 7, 2012 Jamie

    I’ve just come to know this as normal… sometimes I got it, sometimes I don’t. It ebbs and flows and I’m ok with it. Most of the time!
    Jamie recently wrote…weekend wisdomMy Profile

    • August 7, 2012 Alison

      Ebb and flow indeed 🙂

  • August 7, 2012 Galit Breen

    Be kind to yourself, sweet friend.

    I say slow and steady is where it’s at. Also, chocolate is totally where it’s at, too.

    Galit Breen recently wrote…Big Love, Small StepsMy Profile

    • August 7, 2012 Alison

      Chocolate is always welcomed!

      Being kind to ourselves should be so easy, but it’s not, is it?

  • August 7, 2012 JanBierens

    Nothing wrong with having a little bit of the bloggin’ blues… It’ll happen every once in a while, nothing to worry about. Inhale / exhale and you’ll live. The Internet won’t stop functioning when you don’t post, trust me.
    Ended up writing four, huh? I need some of *your* writers block… 😉
    JanBierens recently wrote…Google Rules – Do they really?My Profile

    • August 7, 2012 Alison

      Inhale, exhale, indeed, good advice, Jan 🙂

  • August 7, 2012 Runnermom-jen

    Alison, even your writing about your lack of creativity and lack of writing is beautiful.
    Runnermom-jen recently wrote…Be HappyMy Profile

    • August 7, 2012 Alison

      Aw, shucks, Jen. xo

  • August 7, 2012 Katie

    sometimes you have to write through the clog to unclog the clog that is clogged.



    you know what i mean.
    Katie recently wrote…thoughts on going back to schoolMy Profile

    • August 7, 2012 Alison


      Yes, yes, I do.

  • August 7, 2012 Not a Perfect Mom

    summer has me feeling this same exact way….it’s like you’re peaking in my windows….so much needs to be done and I know I’m going through the motions but it still seems like nothing is accomplished and I feel empty….
    like this is the first time I’ve been to your new page…because it’s summer and I have nothing but time yet no time at all….
    Not a Perfect Mom recently wrote…My Dinner Guests….My Profile

    • August 7, 2012 Alison

      And soon, summer will be over, and you’ll be back to your old self! Right?

  • August 7, 2012 Blond Duck

    I just have to tell you–I hope I’m as good of a writer/ blogger like you when we have kids. You’re inspirational.
    Blond Duck recently wrote…Magical Monday and Announcement!My Profile

    • August 7, 2012 Alison

      Aw, thank you, that’s so sweet of you to say.

  • August 7, 2012 Christie O. tate

    Oh this is great. I love the update. I get that inertia when I am tired. And your baby is so young….of course you have this sense of not feeling as you described so perfectly. I related, except I spent so much time raging and being exhausted that inertia might have looked good on me.

    • August 7, 2012 Alison

      I don’t even have the energy to rage 🙂

  • August 7, 2012 Co-Pilot Mom

    I like the word ‘inertia’ – I have had days like the one you describe and I think that is a great word for it. Glad that it has passed and you are unclogged again – four posts, that’s fantastic!
    Co-Pilot Mom recently wrote…VacationMy Profile

    • August 7, 2012 Alison

      Thank you, I did feel a little accomplished after the four posts! Now I can slink around for another 2 weeks before I need to write again 🙂

  • August 7, 2012 Susi

    I’ve felt this way a little the past few weeks… but I’ve been really spending time with the kids, doing some travelling etc… and when I finally have time to write I sit and stare. So much to do, so little time… Glad to hear this unstuck it for you!!! 🙂
    Susi recently wrote…Some blanks to fill in…My Profile

    • August 7, 2012 Alison

      I haven’t even been doing any fun stuff like travelling 🙂 Just the day-to-day stuff dragging me down. Sigh.

  • August 7, 2012 Lucy

    I totally know what you mean. I do, do, do all day, and then I feel like I did nothing. Ugh. So frustrating. It’s so much work to take care of a family. Some day they will appreciate it… Also, I have been feeling the same way lately. It’s hard to be motivated to exercise especially. I blame it on the summer 🙂 We have been conditioned from the first decade or two of our life that summers are meant for relaxing. It’s not necessarily a bad thing, but as adults, we must find the balance.
    Lucy recently wrote…Beyond the end of the world.My Profile

    • August 7, 2012 Alison

      Looking after a family IS exhausting. Someone did point out, you’re not accomplishing nothing – the kids are happy and loved and growing, that’s something, yes? Sometimes, a change of perspective is needed 🙂

  • August 7, 2012 Jamie

    I have serious inertia going. This is a big problem because I have something due Friday. My desire to write (something that requires brainpower) is stuck in neutral. Hope that I get new movement forward when school starts tomorrow.
    Jamie recently wrote…I was not a good mummy today.My Profile

    • August 8, 2012 Alison

      I hope you managed to move forward, Jamie!

  • Post 2nd baby blues. It happens. Although I feel the inertia every now and then and I stopped having babies 4 years ago.

    Glad you got your write on after this post! Yeehaw!
    Bruna from Bees with Honey recently wrote…a summer hike in the snowMy Profile

    • August 8, 2012 Alison

      Yes I did, and yeehaw indeed!

  • August 7, 2012 KalleyC

    Wow, 4 posts. Glad you are no longer stuck. This happens to the better of us. We all go through dry spells then next thing you know, you can’t contain the dam of ideas and words.
    KalleyC recently wrote…Our Typical Morning ConversationMy Profile

    • August 8, 2012 Alison

      Yes, it ebbs and flows, doesn’t it?

  • August 8, 2012 Christine

    I agree, Alison. I think there really IS something to just getting it out. I had a similar experience with my rejection post. Glad you’re writing again.
    Christine recently wrote…Hangin’ With Scary Mommy.My Profile

    • August 8, 2012 Alison

      None gladder than me 🙂

  • August 8, 2012 Elena

    I feel this way all the flipping time. My best suggestion is to just get out. Even if it’s to run out for a coffee (or tea). The thing that gets me is when my days feel like groundhog day – that I’m just completely repeating my steps over and over. I’m sure you’ll find something soon that gives you that spark you’re needing.
    Elena recently wrote…Salsa Me, PleaseMy Profile

    • August 8, 2012 Alison

      If only I have the time and freedom to get out whenever I like! Sigh.

  • August 8, 2012 Rach (DonutsMama)

    Ugh, I’m right there with ya. I just feel like I have so much to do and the more I think about it, the less I want to do anything!
    Rach (DonutsMama) recently wrote…A Rare TreasureMy Profile

    • August 8, 2012 Alison

      Yes! Which is why I’m giving up on thinking about it.

  • August 8, 2012 Jessica

    I have found that when I feel this way, getting outside in the sun is the best thing I can do.

    • August 8, 2012 Alison

      Glad you have something that works for you 🙂

  • August 8, 2012 Elaine A.

    I wrote 3 posts in an hour the night I got home from BlogHer. I think I had stuff just swirling in my brain that had to get out! BUT. I’ve had very little motivation to do anything else since then. I need some Inertia BAD.
    Elaine A. recently wrote…BlogHer ’12, The Love PostMy Profile

    • August 8, 2012 Alison

      Don’t wish too hard! 🙂

  • August 8, 2012 Ashley

    You inspired me to get off my duff and get something done. Thank you 🙂

    Finished my very first written product today. I think you get some of the credit!

    • August 8, 2012 Alison

      I’m glad my inertia helped someone! 🙂

  • August 8, 2012 Leslie

    You could have taken the words right out of my mouth…except far more eloquently. Glad to hear you’ve found a bit more of your blogging mojo!
    Leslie recently wrote…Things I’m Afraid To Tell YouMy Profile

    • August 8, 2012 Alison

      I’m glad too!

  • August 8, 2012 My Inner Chick

    —Love the honesty and freshness of your voice, Mama A.

    Even when you feel as if you are doing nothing…
    you are doing something.
    My Inner Chick recently wrote…Broken & WinglessMy Profile

    • August 8, 2012 Alison

      Thank you, Kim. Thank you.

  • August 8, 2012 Tonya

    My favorite part of this post is your update. This ALWAYS happens to me. Just when I think I need a break from blogging, I get uber inspired and the words just flow. Sometimes just stepping back and pausing helps immensely.
    Tonya recently wrote…God & AngelsMy Profile

    • August 8, 2012 Alison

      Stepping back does help. Writing about not writing helped for sure!

  • August 8, 2012 Barbara

    I never have the time to write anymore and my youngest is nearly 8 months. I admire you!

    • August 8, 2012 Alison

      Writing is the one thing that’s mine and mine alone, so I HAVE to make time 🙂

  • August 9, 2012 Stasha

    I don’t drink or wear lipstick either. But I am completely running on empty these days. Well does editing thousands of customer photos count? Yeay for two beautiful boys happy and four posts written.
    Stasha recently wrote…Wordless WednesdayMy Profile

    • August 9, 2012 Alison

      But you’re always out and about! Not like me, stuck at home most days. And yes, hurrah for two happy boys and posts written!

  • August 9, 2012 Julia

    Beautifully written. I have felt this way lately, and my blog space has been quiet. I haven’t had much to say; I have felt buried under the tasks of daily living rather than inspired by the joy of daily life.
    So glad to hear that your writing inspiration came back to you! And in case I haven’t told you yet, I LOVE the new site!
    Julia recently wrote…All Birds Go To HeavenMy Profile

    • August 9, 2012 Alison

      You said it succinctly, Julia. Hope you get your inspiration back soon. And thank you!

  • August 9, 2012 Alexandra

    I believe the same thing you do, A, before we can write we have to move the obstacles,the debris/ the rubble out of the way.

    Then things can flow again.

    I’m sitting here, getting ready to pound out 4 things,too.

    xo Thanks for keeping me company.

    • August 9, 2012 Alison

      Thank YOU.

      I cannot imagine you, with writing inertia. You pound those beautiful words out so regularly 🙂 xo

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