Taking Tea in the Kasbah

I’ve been in a bit of a blogging slump these past few weeks, though oddly enough it’s not because I can’t think of what to write. Rather, I’m having a hard time organizing my thoughts for the posts I do want to write. I have at least a half-dozen posts that I’ve started but can’t seem to bring to completion. Whenever I work on them, my mind goes all fuzzy and thoughts zip in and out of my funny little brain. I just haven’t been able to write the posts in a coherent way suitable for publishing.

For now, those posts will remain a work in progress, hidden in the depths of the kasbah until further notice.

And so, because my mind’s all scattered and unfocused, I thought it apropos to share an older post from last year on the art of being easily distracted as a writer. Enjoy.


If You Give a Writer a Brownie


If you give a writer a brownie, she’ll want a cup of coffee to go with it. She will immediately stop her writing, go into her kitchen and get out the Italian coffee pot to brew some nice, strong coffee.

Strong coffee will remind her of her recent trip to Italy. She will want to look at her photos from her Italian adventures, so she will pull them up on her laptop while she eats her brownie and drinks her coffee.

Venice, you enchanting temptress

Seeing her photos will make her want to figure out where her next international trip will be, so she will go to her library’s website to reserve multiple guide books for places in Africa, like Tanzania and Zanzibar.

african elephant at sunset

Thinking about going to Africa will make her realize that she doesn’t have the necessary travel gear, so she will go to several websites and seriously contemplate purchasing some necessary items.

indiana jones hat, camera, map

Seeing the hat will remind her of the other hats in her collection, including the one from the 1930’s that her friend recently gave her. She will put the hat on and look at herself in the mirror. The writer will be frightened by the reflection staring back at her because she is in desperate need of a haircut. She will quickly take off the hat and walk to her closet to put it away.

On the way, she will see one of her cats lounging about, looking completely and insanely adorable. She will stop to pet and snuggle him.

sleepy lil' Hen on chair

Having awakened the cat from his hours-long slumber, the writer will commence her one-sided dialogue with him, talking in Β what could only be described as a terrible rendition of Ricky Ricardo:

“Lil’ Hen, you have some ‘splaining to do. Can you ‘splain to me why you are so cute?”

It will not be the writer’s finest moment.

The cat, bored with all of the compliments, will go back to sleep, leaving the writer to resume her prior activity. Except the writer will not be able to remember what she was going to do before petting the cat. She will shrug her shoulders, as she will often do in moments like that, and then will notice her laptop sitting open on the table nearby. It will remind her that she is a writer and really should be doing some writing.


She will hop on the internet and notice that she has not yet checked her Twitter, Facebook, or email accounts, not to mention working on her novel-in-progress or writing blog posts. The writer will feel completely overwhelmed by all of this and will have a sudden, strong desire for another cup of coffee.

The writer will head into the kitchen to fix herself another cup of coffee to give her the necessary writing mojo to crank out some brilliant prose. And if the writer has another cup of coffee, chances are she’ll want a brownie to go with it.


Inspired by “If You Give a Mouse a Cookie” by Laura Numeroff

If You Give a Mouse a Cookie

Oddly, this still rings true for me. How about you? What distractions have you faced down today? How did you overcome them? If you read this last year when I first posted it, have you been more successful at staying focused since then? Do tell. Sit, sip, and share your trials, tribulations, and success stories. I always love to hear from you.

17 thoughts on “If You Give a Writer a Brownie, Rerun Edition

  1. Have you been lurking around my house to find this information? It fits perfectly, except that I run down to our local WAWA to get the coffee. That takes a little longer. Anyway, loved this post.

    • Thanks, Janice! I think we’re all somewhere on the easily distracted continuum, some of just seem to be more easily distracted than others. πŸ™‚

  2. Cuddly cats and the internet are two of my main distractions … oh! and elephants … especially posts by the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust on Facebook… oh, wait … and the laundry and … ooooh … Pinterest! …
    Setting deadlines helps me focus, but to avoid all the distractions I need to go work where there are no cats and preferably no internet connection. πŸ™‚

    • I’ve become better about not letting the internet become a time suck for me. What I haven’t done better with is blocking out all of the “shoulds” that play out in my head – I should be throwing a load of laundry in the washer, I should sweep the floor, I should put the clothes in the dryer, I should make out that grocery list, etc. I seem to write with more focus when I leave the house and go to a coffee shop. Caffeine + No visible chores to be done = Lots more writing accomplished πŸ™‚

  3. Sigh. Your head is a lot more interesting than mine, but you got the gist of it.
    (I loved this one the first time around, too!)

    • I wouldn’t say my head is more interesting, especially based on your Sunday Sentences as of late. I will say the Plot Bunnies sent me a scene from a story in a dream last week that was quite steamy and has absolutely nothing to do with either of the novels I’m working on right now. I have no idea what to do with it so I merely jotted it down. Thanks for nothing, Plot Bunnies. πŸ˜‰

  4. ack! this is me, distracted again.
    I’m supposed to be editing. So I made a cup of tea to get in the right mood. Then I thought about the slide show I’d promised to make and remembered I need to look for a particular photo.Couldn’t find the photo so decided I’d better email a friend to see if she had it. Then while I was in email, I noticed Tami’s post, so I thought I’d better come over here and read, with what is left of my tea. Now I need another cup of tea . . .

    • And so the cycle repeats itself again. If it helps, I find great comfort knowing I’m not the only one who does this sort of thing. πŸ™‚

  5. Love this and you pretty much described my life right there! I keep saying I’m going to make a calendar and get myself under control, but calendars will remind me of…

    • It’s so easy to fall down the rabbit hole, isn’t it? On the flip side, I’ve discovered some interesting ideas by allowing myself to go there. Granted, I don’t get much else done, but sometimes the idea I find is a pretty good one.

  6. It’s the perfect post to resurrect… I certainly recognise the symptoms ~ heh. Hence my current cafe writing habit. I also know what you mean about needing time to organise thoughts for new posts. I suffer from this a lot too.

    • I’m glad to hear I’m not alone in the quest to get jumbled thoughts organized. It has been a struggle these last few weeks. Then again, I haven’t been in my usual cafe at my usual time doing my usual thing. Good grief, I’m such a creature of habit.

  7. I haven’t been blogging with gusto lately. I mean…I did the A to Z, but it wasn’t fun for me. and blogging should be lots of fun. So fun that you must have a brownie, coffee, and small party to accompany said blogging. Hey, that’s what you’re having. I think I’ll head over to your house for blogging fun.

    • I thought your A to Z theme was fabulous and you found some really great quotes. I hear ya on the blogging slump. Been there, still there. Hence the rerun post. Though now that you’re here, we can get the party started. I’ll cue the disco ball, you grab the snacks. πŸ˜‰

  8. on ,
    Marcia said:

    This one was worth another round! (-:

  9. Pingback: Five Great Writing Blogs | JaniceHeck

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