Never one to turn down a challenge, I have written the following post in answer to a post by Riatarded.
Writer’s block is a difficult thing to overcome. As a person who has written a blog post everyday for the last 98 days, I have now overcome writer’s block 326 times in that time span.
I have become an expert in the field of writer’s block. If there were a master’s program about writer’s block, it would be the most useless master’s degree ever. Nonetheless, I would be there educated all of our fine young minds on how one can overcome this beast.
The first step would be to identify what is causing your writer’s block. For instance, I have often found the cause of my writer’s block to be environmental. It is very difficult to write a decent post if I am also busy trying to watch TV while my wife tells me a story about a phone conversation she had with her grandmother. All the while, I am swatting my stupid cat off of my lap.
Since these conditions are not ideal, I usually have to wait until the TV show has ended (I’m not turning it off in the middle, lest I miss some sort of monumental event), my wife’s story has ended, and my cat has finally gotten the hint that pushing him off my lap repeatedly means I do not want to hold him. He doesn’t seem to understand this also means I harbor a strong dislike for him, but I continue to hold out hope.
Once this happens, I often find myself able to write.
Other times, though, it is much more difficult. For instance, there are some days where nothing interesting has happened. Not only that, but nothing that I can even pretend was interesting happened. To further complicate the issue, I can’t even dream up a lie about something that might have happened.
These are days that I like to call my “Uhhhhhh…” days. The name is derived from my initial attempt to defeat that dastardly writer’s block villain. I begin by staring at my laptop and, for the next 20 minutes to a half of an hour, letting out one long “Uhhhhhh….”
I search through the ideas in the back of my mind. Maybe someone would want to read a post about soup? How about candles? As it turns out, there is usually a reason these ideas are at the back of my mind. Each idea seems to lead into a “So what’s the deal with…” type of post, effectively turning me into a written version of every terrible 90’s comedian.
After this idea inevitably fails, I begin to perusethe internet. I don’t know how much time you have spent on the internet, but there is a lot of stuff out there. I mean A LOT. I go through the news, hoping for an amusing current event. I hope for my dream story (“Kim Kardashian Hang-Glides into Polar Bear Den, Saves Gro
up of Boy Scouts”), knowing full well that I would have a great deal to say about this.
Of course, if anything of note had happened in the world, I would have already have heard about it. These days are filled with stories about golf, scientific studies involving grass and its growth, or the new summer fashions (Boat Shoes!). Since I can’t force myself to make it through any of these articles, I can’t possibly expect to write a good post about it.
After a brief walk to clear the mind, I return rejuvenated. This is when my second “Uhhhhh…” period takes place.
Around this time, I begin to think back to those terrible ideas I had rejected earlier. While none, on the surface, seem like a good idea, there are small seedlings of ideas there. I could talk about soup and people’s insistence that this liquid is an entrée for days.
With a deadline rapidly approaching, I find the least offensive idea and run with it. I try to come up with a creative way to approach the subject, starting off with an anecdote that might lead to a witty, or at the very least semi-witty, thought. Once that key thought is established, it’s off to the races.
These posts that grow from a crappy seedling of an idea usually become one of my best and most popular posts. Either that or people leave nice comments out of pity, an incredibly likely possibility.
It doesn’t really matter, though. Another post has been written and, out of pity or not, people have given me positive feedback.
I’ll take pity likes. It’s much better than being ignored.
- Is it Writer’s Block if it’s Just Bad? (kellielarsenmurphy.com)
- Writer’s Block (schoolhouseshock.wordpress.com)
- Writing and Seizure (mmendus.wordpress.com)
- Wishing for Writer’s Block (valerieraynerants.wordpress.com)
- Where the Magic Happens (emmiemears.com)
- Too Much To Say, or The Opposite of Writer’s Block (wrenswritings.wordpress.com)
- writer’s block: one full rotation around the earth (ladyquizzical.wordpress.com)
- Getting Past Your Writer’s Block (boldstate.com)