Lumber in the attic

blogIMG_7809It happened.  My brain has turned to mush.

I don’t know how. I don’t know why.  All I know is I’m left with the result…mush brain. 

Maybe it was just too much time spent playing Trivia Crack – no, wait – shouldn’t being able to recall answers to all those tidbits of information sharpen my mind, not dull it?

Maybe my mind just went on vacation…and didn’t take the rest of my body?

Maybe perusing Facebook just sucked thoughts and coherent sentences right out of my head?  After all, some of the stupid stuff posted there does boggle my mind.

Maybe my diet is lacking in food that boosts brain function…things, according to WebMD, like blueberries, wild salmon, nuts and seeds, avocados, whole grains, beans, pomegranate juice, freshly brewed tea, and dark chocolate?

Nah,  I drink plenty of freshly brewed tea, eat enough blueberries, nuts and seeds, whole grains, beans, and – yes!!! – dark chocolate to keep my brain fully functioning, I think.

I could blame watching too much television…but I hardly ever watch it.

Perhaps stress, worry, and upset has something to do with it – I’ve certainly encountered enough of that to qualify for a reason.

But still. I don’t know why there’s a puddle of mush in my skull where my brain used to light up and fire away so much writing fodder for this blog that it kept me awake at night.

And I can’t really explain why my creative muses have packed up and vacated the premises.

All I know is I’m left with a mush brain.  A brain that can’t (or won’t) come up with one creative idea to morph into a blog post.

That explains my sporadic posts and downright absence from the blogosphere for the last few weeks for you, my readers. But not for me.

I just didn’t understand it until I ran across this quote, attributed to Arthur Conan Doyle, creator of Sherlock Holmes stories.

“A man should keep his little brain attic stocked with all the furniture that he is likely to use, and the rest he can put away in the lumber room of his library, where he can get it if he wants it.” ― Arthur Conan Doyle

I actually do have a little “lumber room library” both on my computer and in a paper notebook where I jot down blogging ideas and even though I’ve accessed my library over and over again, I still haven’t been able to nail down an idea and hammer out a worthwhile post.

Digging a little deeper into that quote though, I found what Doyle actually wrote in his novel, A Study in Scarlet:  

“I consider that a man’s brain originally is like a little empty attic, and you have to stock it with such furniture as you choose. A fool takes in all the lumber of every sort that he comes across, so that the knowledge which might be useful to him gets crowded out, or at best is jumbled up with a lot of other things, so that he has a difficulty in laying his hands upon it. Now the skillful workman is very careful indeed as to what he takes into his brain-attic. He will have nothing but the tools which may help him in doing his work, but of these he has a large assortment, and all in the most perfect order. It is a mistake to think that this little room has elastic walls and can distend to any extent. Depend upon it, there comes a time when for any addition of knowledge, you forget something that you knew before. It is of the highest importance, therefore, not to have useless facts elbowing out the useful ones.”  

Aha! That’s it! There’s way too much lumber in my attic brain.



20 responses

  1. I can relate right now, for sure. Sometimes it’s just hard to sit down and write something that I think would be meaningful to both me and my readers, and this is such a time. Oh well, for everything there is a season…. maybe this season is one of listening more than talking, at least for a little while. Nice post, my friend. 😉


  2. Great post! I can’t tell you how often I had brain mush… too much lumber in the attic. Then the surprise is when the old stuff goes and new material is delivered by some magic wand I cannot see.


  3. I find that blogging is becoming increasingly difficult. When I began over 5 years ago, I was posting 7 days a week, then I stopped blogging on the weekends. Then I went to Monday, Wednesday and Friday, and sometimes, I struggle to complete those. And my comments have dropped off significantly, so that affects my inspiration….


    • Me too, Dianna. When I started seriously blogging in 2010, I couldn’t seem to stop, blogging almost every day. Then as life got a little busier, I stuck to my T,W, TH schedule. But now, I’m hard pressed to write once a week. I have several other writing projects just sitting on the back burner and I can’t even get motivated to work on them. And yes, the drop off of people reading and commenting does affect me too even though I know it shouldn’t. 😦


      • My stats and comments have ‘dropped off’ too – but so have many of the bloggers who used to be around in ‘the good old days’! “Freshly Pressed” has been replaced by ‘Discover” and the content of that ‘best content’ reminds me that I am not any more likely to be popular now than I was in High School!


      • Margie, so true! Changes abound, don’t they? And I wholeheartedly agree with you, I won’t be running with the so-called ‘best content’ crowd either. 😉 I know my blog won’t win any popularity contests, but that doesn’t matter to me.


  4. I love this quote, and the analogy. I have so much ‘useless wood’ in my brain, it must surely look like an abandoned lumber yard (and I suspect some of the ‘lumber’ has rotted and a goodly amount has turned to sawdust). I have been ‘off’ my writing for over a year, and while I get the odd ‘inspiration’ now and again, it never amounts to anything worth posting. Perhaps its just an overload of other commitments piled on top of our age. Or maybe we’ve just said everything we needed to say.


  5. I so very much appreciate your comments on the foggy brain. My problem is remembering the important Bible Study questions that I need to answer and then realize my brain left me. I get so upset with myself I have been a part of a lot of Bible Studies and seem like lately I get foggy moments. Please pray for my brain to come back!! Enjoy your posts and May God Bless you Dearly!!!


    • Sheila, I know exactly what you mean. I can’t seem to memorize scripture any more. I can remember the gist of a passage but also have trouble recalling just where I can find it in the Bible. Thank goodness for websites like Bible Gateway. Blessings right back to you!


  6. Ha……I am going to use that same logic for my lack of creativity – although mine has lasted considerably more years than yours. I will patiently wait for your next blog – knowing full well it will be worth the wait. Enjoy this spring with your beautiful girls !!


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