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Monday, March 30, 2015

Writer's Block OR How to Motivate Myself

Nasty writer's block.  My muse has been mysteriously absent.  I have a laundry list of things to write and people are writing me to tell me to hurry the eff up and my brain was saying, "I don't think so."  I like my brain, but sometimes it rules and I drool.

Writer's block: "Writing about writer's block is better than not writing at all." - Charles Bukowski.  I like this definition.  It pretty much describes what I'm doing.  Kevetching about writer's block.  I'll do it larger:


There.  It had to be said.  And in blue, because writer's block gives me the blues.

Don't tell Splotch the rescue cat.  He thinks if I'm not actually working, I should be providing a lap for him to sit upon.  He also thinks that the keyboard is his newest bestest friend.  I had to buy a kitty castle so he could park his tuckus upon while I work.

I found another quote while looking for stuff about writer's block:

"I don't believe in writer's block.  Do doctors have 'doctors block?' Do plumbers have plumbers' block?' No. We all have days when we don't feel like working, but why do writers turn that into something so damn special by giving it a faintly romantic name?" - Larry Kahaner.  I'm pretty sure the answer to that question is that writers are prima donnas.  Pretty darn sure.

Where was I?  Ah, writer's block, and also making up stuff.  I have a magazine on my desk with an article about black holes.  I've read the article three times because I didn't understand the first two times.  There's a comment about "confounding general relativity" and "particle physics" which gives me a headache kind of like the kind I get when I've been skipping drinking tea.  I should probably take the magazine off my desk, but it gives me a little cheap thrill to say something about it.  (Scientific American, which is probably something most people like me buy because it helps them feel smarter.  It doesn't make me feel smarter to read the same article three times, but I'm persistent.  Also I like making the fonts smaller in some sentences, just to see if people are paying attention.)

Ideas on how to break my block!

1.  I brainstorm everything in five minutes, even the silliest storyline imaginable.  That one involved radioactive clowns and geomagnetic t-rexes starting a detective's agency in Phoenix, Arizona in an alternative time where aliens helped George Washington discover his feminine side while crossing the Delaware.  I bet no one ever did that one.

2.  I hit my head with a mallet until stars appear.  Or until I wake up in the hospital.  Hospitals are always good for inspiration.  It's the drugs or sometimes the time spent in the ER waiting room where you meet people you will never meet anywhere else ever.  (And they don't give a damn if I change the font size.)

3.  I take a break.  Unfortunately this break lasted two months, but it's better than not ever writing again.  (Harper Lee's got her second book coming out after fifty years, which is essentially something she wrote before To Kill a Mockingbird, which is a different version of the same book.  So she wrote one book.  That's it.  Do you think she ever gets tired of people asking her why she didn't write another damn book?)  I lurve Gregory Peck.

Okay, I'm done.  I just wanted to write, er, expel, er, vomit out, er, rant about my brain for a while.  I actually outlined a whole novella today and worked out the next two outlines on my schedule, so I'm fairly happy.

Hope you all are happy too.


Anonymous said...

I voted funny and mindless drivel. I write nothing more complicated than a grocery list, so can't really comismerate. I do like reading your stories, so hope you get better soon.


Andsetinn said...

How to beat writers block. Open any book you have lying around at random (one of your own would be nice to avoid copyright issues) Copy one paragraph and work it into your story. :)

Sapna Kapoor said...

Your approach to this topic is unique and informative. I am writing an article for our school paper and this post has helped me. Thanks.