I wrote this months ago, but ended up too brain fried to edit it properly. Then it wasn't timely. However, since I've just come down with another cold it's probably time to dig it out.
I learned something this week.
I've spent the past couple of days coping with a cold, one that came complete with a fever and a general slowing of mental processes. This has had a negative impact on my writing productivity among other things. The first day, I got about 1,300 words, respectable but not what I should have managed. The second day was a dead stop. Nothing happened. The third day I managed 400, probably. I had to stop because I couldn't tell whether they were any good. It was dialogue and it was a natural flow, but I wasn't sure if it was doing what I needed it to do. So, I went and looked at the outline to see what it was supposed to do. Still couldn't tell. The part of my brain that processes that information simply wasn't functioning.
It's not the only bit that's been out sick. I've also had trouble with cooking and pretty much any other process that involves decision making or advanced reasoning, with one lone exception: argument
I've written several essay bits for the Wyrdsmiths blog and other purposes over this same period and I haven't had the slightest bit of trouble with them. I appear to process argumentation by spinal reflex. When I mentioned this to my wife, her response was pretty much "Duh!"
So, what do you do by spinal reflex? Can you write when your head feels stuffed full of cotton? Would you want to?