This is the act of hunching over and folding yourself into a fetal position while still standing.
My son has played soccer since he was four years old. During that first year, I invented this word when one of the players would grab the ball, hunch over gripping it, and refuse to give it up. Like a turtle. It caught on pretty quick because yes…I was shouting it.
“No turtling the ball!”
It’s instinct to turtle up when things get overwhelming…preferably for us adults, in bed with the covers over our head. But turtling won’t help. Our problems do not magically disappear. The day job will still be there tomorrow. Your manuscript won’t get any better unless you work on it. The 20 page synopsis (novella?) you pounded out in the middle of the night still needs you to cut…cut…cut it. And the people trying to take your ball will still be waiting.
So quit turtling…and get back in the game.
And that, my friends, is the Word.