You may have noticed the frequency of posts around here has
dropped slightly plummeted drastically. Without a doubt, this is the longest case of Writer’s Block I’ve ever had. Aside from neglecting this blog, I can’t write my local humor column assignments, I can’t write freelance work for clients, I can’t continue another novel I’ve been excited about, I can’t journal, I can’t write a creative email to someone I really adore, nor a birthday card, nor create an excuse note for my child to get out of P.E. class — I cannot even make out a grocery list.
Regarding the last one, I literally sat and asked myself, “What’s another way of saying “Buy milk?” And it took me a really long time to come up with “Obtain pasteurized, homogenized cow’s juice.” And then I got grossed out and crossed it off.
And through it all, well-meaning family and friends aggravate me beyond belief with the things they say to me. So I’ve compiled a few. Ready?
NEVER EVER OFFER THESE SOLUTIONS….
“Just write about _________.” And then blurt out the first random inane word that pops into your head. Like . . . “Winklepickers!” or “Agastopia!” or “Tittynope!”
“Anything you write will be brilliant.” (Thanks Grandma, but now you’ve just ratcheted up expectations, so you may as well just cue my nervous breakdown.)
“Who can think with so much hair on their head? What you need is a sweet little pixie cut like I gave you when you were five, so I can see those pretty eyes and your thoughts will be able to flow more freely.” (Nice try, Mom.)
“Good sex has been preventing Writer’s Block for decades.” (Even though this won’t work, you may not care if he’s really good.)
“Ran out of material, did ya? I’m free to go to coffee and you can interview me.”
“Don’t be so hard on yourself. You’re overestimating the consequences of this issue. Who actually reads what you write anyhow?” (I immediately introduced this individual to my Grandma.)
“All the greats were rejected before they had bestsellers. Google Margaret Mitchell and Gone With the Wind.” (Okay, what? You’re not even listening to me. You have to write something before it can be rejected. I. Cannot. Write. A. Thing.)
“Take a hot bath.” (This same advice also came from this person after my marriage fell apart, after I cracked a rib, when I mentioned I wanted to eat a bunch of chocolate, when my dad passed away, when my house had a mold infestation, and when I’d get a HOT flash.)
“C’mon, whadya working on? How difficult can it be? I’ll write it for you lickety-split.”
“Your muse was abducted. She got into a car she thought was her Uber driver and was sold as a sex slave, but there’s a pregnant psychic in Rhode Island who was tracking her down using a secret code from her unborn baby’s kicks but yesterday the child entered this world and now you’ll just have to wait until she learns to talk.” (This person just called, thanking me for sharing that I had writer’s block, because they now have a three book contract.)
“Writer’s Block….pfffffft! There’s no such thing. It’s just something you made up in your head, dearie.” (I CANNOT make anything up in my head. That’s the problem.)
“So then start in the middle.” (This person used to tell me to start at the end and work backwards, but I slapped him.)
“Try my clever writing prompt …. Satan has instructed his incompetent younger brother, Stan, to open a milder version of Hell known as Heck. How does one end up there, and what punishments does Stan devise?” (Aw, just go to Heck!)
“Read books by Jane Austin. That always helped my Aunt Fran when she had any kind of feminine problem.”
“Just get rid of your inner critic.” (Yes, thank you. I’ll order her an Uber to Rhode Island)
“Write about having Writer’s Block.” (Seriously?? I’d sooner die.)
I’ve seen the cartoon of Snoopy typing, ‘It was a dark and stormy night,’ several times and it has tickled my funny bone every time.
It’s hard to imagine you having writer’s block but it’s comforting to imagine that the greatest or funniest writers do on occasion have them.
This post is, of course, funny and I enjoyed it immensely. Way to go LMM.
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Thank you Wendy! Hope you got my email response? Ps. I’m thinking Snoopy should type “It was a Bark and Dogma night!” 😉
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Hi Stephanie, it’s been ages since I’ve come by and I wanted to say hello and to see how you’re doing. So sorry to hear that such a brilliantly creative person like you is dealing with writer’s block and of course the idealist in me believes your best is yet to come. Sending you a virtual hug.
Stephanae! You made my day! No wait, it’s the start of the Jewish New Year so you just made my entire year! I’m also always reading you my friend, but I’ve had little time to let you know that I’m there. I’m gonna change that. Truly wonderful to hear from you.
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Awe!! It’s so good to hear back from you Steph. I’m changing the way I’ve been doing things around here so I can get back to basics. I’ve so missed engaging with my blogger friends and decided to make this a higher priority than social media. Reading several of your posts today reminded me of how much I miss your intelligent quick wit. While we’ve exchanged comments every now and then on FB most of what happens there drives me a bit batty. Take for example pokes (what are those anyway? and what are their purpose). Then the chain messages and nonsensical group messages and such. Okay, I can see I’m on a tangent and I apologize. It’s really, really, good to reconnect with you.
Facebook is what I call “Without a Trace Book.” You can interact with someone without them ever knowing you did. Where’s the “inter” in that?! In my opinion, All of social media leads to anti-social behavior in real life. And pokes…. you’re so right. Soon there will be slaps and pinches and punches and Whoops, your tangent had room for two… I slipped in myself! 😉
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Hahahaha!!! You are so funny and this is what I adore about you and that is your ability to share wisdom, truth and humor. Social media does lead to anti-social behavior but we as humans have a choice. Sadly, though it seems many of us choose to use social media to indulge our darkside.
Oh, and Happy New Year!!
Maybe this very clever article opened the floodgates!
Awww, here’s hoping. Thanks!
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Priceless! It must be in the air. Duck…here comes another one 😉
Oh no. Can we hold our breath, roomie???
I know this isn’t what you need to hear, but I figure you were able to write a post about Writer’s Block, so you must be past it. Right?
So I can tell you what worked for me. I hadn’t been able to write for weeks, not for lack of trying. So one day I told myself to open up a book, any book, open it to a random page, and let my eyes choose a word. That word was “furious.”
I typed it as I saw it, without a capital. I stared at it for awhile, but nothing came. So I forced myself to make it into a sentence. Writer’s block allowed me to come up with the greatest opening sentence ever: He was furious!
But it worked. Why was he furious? How was he showing his fury? What was the result of his fury. “Everything he threw flew everywhere it could fly!” I was off to the races. With a few days I had a novella. Of course, I never got it publushed, never even tried, but the block was over. That was all that mattered.
Ha! Thank you. That reminds me of the Facebook posts where they tell you to open up the nearest book to your left hand and go to page 31 and type the second sentence in the last paragraph into the comments. Those little exercises used to trigger me creatively so you may be into something!
Lol. Anything can work… Or not…
“Treat it with cynical disrespect” and throw a few hundred words at it! I hope this posting is the pry bar to creative rejuvenation. Otherwise… the sex one as a ‘fall back’ gets my vote.
Thanks for reading/commenting.