Writerhead Wednesday: The “Tell Me About Your Writerhead” Giveaway

Welcome to Writerhead Wednesday, a weekly feature in which a brilliant, charming, remarkable author answers three questions about her/his writerhead…a precious opportunity for looky-loos around the world to sneak into the creative noggins of talented writers and (ever so gently) muck about.

This week, Writerhead Wednesday is all about you.

Yes, you!

Yes, yes, you, the writer in the red shirt.

You, the writer in the tweed jacket.

And yep, you, too, sleepy writer still tromping around in your pajamas.

All about you and YOUR writerhead.

Here’s the scoop:

This week, I’m giving away a $25 Visa gift card…with the hope, intention, and understanding that the lucky winner will use it to buy necessary writer-related stuff—books, pens, paper, a shiny new stapler, one-third (one-fourth?) of a much-needed therapy session, a thumb drive, business cards, a couple of double-shot lattes, a few hours of babysitting time, a bottle of Jack, etc.

And all you have to do to win is share a little something about YOUR writerhead. Tell us what writerhead is like for you.

If you need a bit of inspiration, check out these recent writerhead interviews with authors Eric Olsen, Alma Katsu, and Diana Abu-Jaber.

Easy peasy.

If you’re new to this site (welcome!) or need a refresher course on what exactly writerhead is, keep reading:

Writerhead is “a (usually) temporary state of dreamy concentration and fluctuating consciousness during which a writer is most creative, productive, and artistic.”

You know…the purest moments of creation. Those beautiful (sometimes excruciating) sh, sh, sh, ssssssshhhhhh, I’ve got to get this down moments when words are bubbling, popping, zinging, and swinging. The ones when the “real” world disappears behind a gauzy cloud (insert sucking sound here…) and the imaginative world takes on firmer lines and brighter hues.

Some writers call it “the flow” or “the zone.” Some call it “hell.” Others refer to it as “writerland.” I’ve always called it writerhead.

(“Sshshh,” I growl at my husband if he tries to talk to me in the morning before I hunker down to write. “I’m in writerhead!”)

For example, perhaps your writerhead is something like this (lucky you!):

Or maybe, on a tough day, more like this. (Don’t worry…we’ve all been there.):

So get moving…post your description of your writerhead in the comment section below. You’ve got until midnight on November 22 to do so.

Good luck! Can’t wait to read about your writerhead!



*To enter the giveaway contest, please leave a comment about your writerhead.

**Comments must be posted before the clock strikes midnight on November 22, 2011. (That’s Eastern Standard Time U.S.)

***This contest is open internationally.

****A winner will be drawn on Wednesday, November 23. Be sure to check back to see who wins.

*****The winner will be drawn randomly by the highly scientific method of my 3yo pulling a name out of a hat (or some other convenient container).

******Though I welcome all charming comments, only one comment per person will be counted in the contest.


Image: Idea go / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image: dan / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image: Salvatore Vuono / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

16 Responses to Writerhead Wednesday: The “Tell Me About Your Writerhead” Giveaway

  1. There is a vast space wherein lies my pea-headed brain, and in that vast space are many galaxies with planets and moons and stars, though I only really know about very well about my own little planet and moon and sun—and even that has its limitations.

    And in that vast universe in my head is a Great Black Hole. The GBH pulls to it, sucks in, devours everything in its path, and as those objects approach it, they speed up—faster faster faster—until at the event horizon, they slow down to where it seems they stop, before they are spaghetified and into the GBH they go.

    Inside the GBH it seems that it is all dark and there is nothingness, but this is not true, for inside the GBH is all the wonder that has been sucked in, everything that has stopped by on accident and on purpose and everything in between.

    That is how my writerhead is—like a Great Black Hole. I can’t see all the wonderful things I’ve sucked in from my universe, but they are there because when I sit down to write, and am immersed in full writerhead, the GBH provides what I never can see. This is the only way I can explain why I can’t see my characters or places (even when I read I have this problem), but somehow images and people and places emerge from that GBH—somehow I defy the rules of the universe, because it is my pea-headed universe after all—and the GBH gives me just what I need to create.

    (what fun this is, thank you)

  2. My writerhead thrives when I’m walking to get somewhere. You can usually find me typing fast and furious on my cell phone in the notepad app trying to get everything down before I forget. Luckily, I walk in a residential neighborhood so my risk of getting run over is minimal. Plus, I’ve been doing it for so many years that I’m adept at walking and doing something else.

    • Brianna, maybe we should strap an alarm system to you that will clang whenever you’re about to collide with a wall or pole or fellow writer in writerhead. You know, the kind of alarm they install in new cars now so you don’t run over bikes or skateboards or whatnot when backing up. 🙂

      Love it!

  3. My writerhead is most definitely in my shower… like living in there. The warm water comes on and I jump in and I start getting some really interesting poems floating around in the aroma of the Pantene and lavender soap.
    I have to hurry out though because once the water is off… so goes my thoughts.
    I keep a journal on hand, no… It’s not waterproof.

  4. Well Kristin, we’ve discussed this one before but here’s a little more detail for mine.

    For me it’s like a mini movie goes off in my head at the most oddball times and I must write. Most recently I was in a small smoke filled bar (yup there are still a few of those) where my nephew’s band was playing. They are a heavy metal/thrash type band, not my usual cup of tea but I don’t mind a bit of it, I was going to support my nephew. ;o)

    They were just starting thier second set and led off with a 13 minute instramental that went from a slow tempo to fast to slow at different intervals and thats when it happened. My mind went into writerhead or what I sometimes refer to movie mode. I saw my charachters play out an entire 3 part scene start to finish in my minds eyes and so for me the only thing to do was to dig in my purse grab my notebook and pen and scribbled away in the dimly lit room. My husband, bless his soul, just smiled, after 23 years together he knows to just not bug me and let me write no matter where we are, resturante, concert or wherever, because when movie mode strikes I must write. LOL

    I have had movie mode strike in the oddest places over the years and that is why I have pen and paper in every room of my house, every vehicle I drive in and my purses too. Its a habit my husband and kids have grown use to but outsiders just don’t get it, but I’m ok with that LOL.

  5. I imagine that my moments of writerhead are a bit like mania. Usually they correspond to a caffeine high so there are the physical symptoms: sweating, heart racing, fidgety fingers that need to move across the keyboard. And my mind is going and going and going, ideas overlapping like waves coming in. I feel, for the duration, powerful, with an expansive sense of my understanding of the world, like I can read the patterns in the wind and the trajectory of the lives that pass by me. I also have (like a person in a manic stage) trouble sleeping and an urge to spend money. But at the same time that there’s this acceleration of thought and motion, there is also a kind of telescoping of focus and vision. I shut the noise out, and only let in all the rich, textured stuff that I can use in my work.

    Unfortunately, these moments don’t happen that often… most of the time it’s like squeezing blood from a stone. Maybe I need some more caffeine.

  6. Jennifer, I love this and can so relate: “I feel, for the duration, powerful, with an expansive sense of my understanding of the world, like I can read the patterns in the wind and the trajectory of the lives that pass by me.”

    Thank you for sharing this. And here’s hoping it happens more & more often for you.


  7. Hi Kristin,
    For me Writerhead is about being in such a zone that I actually begin to lose track of everything – I forget to eat, don’t feel the least bit drowsy, lose all track of time, and feel like it was the very use possible for a day. I love that feeling of my fingers whipping around the keyboard so quickly that I can barely keep up with all of my thoughts!

  8. I’ve been wanting to tell you this but haven’t had time. I’ve been teaching a poetry unit in my son’s grade 4 classroom. I sit down and write when they write. There was one day when I started and the words were just flowing. I mean, I managed to write a surprisingly good first two stanzas without hardly trying. That doesn’t usually happen fro me. When I used to write with my students, I’d sometimes get a few useful phrases but most of my good work came later in the revsions. On this day, I was in intense writerhead for about 15 minutes- it was fantastic. Afterwards, I told the students about my experience and your phrase, writerhead. They thought it was cool. Some of them told me about their writerhead that day and now we’ve been using the phrase. I’ll see them again in about an hour.

  9. Hey Writers…sorry for the long delay in choosing a winner. Thanksgiving got in the way.

    But now that the turkey is off the table, I’m happy to announce that Brianna is the winner!

    Whoot! Thanks to all for sharing your writerheads.