Once more around the writer’s block


I KNEW that if I started a blog, sooner or later I’d face the monster that plagues every scribe: THE WRITER’S BLOCK.

And here it is: that hard gray barrier that separates the wordsmith from her words… or even worse, from her ideas.

While you might think that sounds unpleasant, frankly, I welcome it, because I’ve also found a cure for writer’s block that works every single time.



I can sit at the keyboard, whether at home or in the office, and tell what kind of an evening my poor unsuspecting spouse is in for. The first sign of a glorious night is that I find myself  staring at my keyboard. At my screen. At my notes. At my hands. At my fingernails. My brain is devoid of thought, but my eyes dart about independently, as though they could chance upon a completed piece and deliver it by themselves.

Then, I discover I’m itchy. My back itches. My scalp. My cleavage. If I happen to be somewhere where I can be seen by others, I twitch a little and scratch those places one can reach unobtrusively. If I think I’m alone, I unfurl my fingernails like a cat, and claw away at myself as though shredding my skin could release the flow of language.

Then I clean my fingernails. Sometimes, I even clip them, and stare deeply at each discarded half-moon of keratin as though it held the wonders of the universe. And it might! If each nail is made of atoms, and each atom is like a solar system, and each solar system has satellites, and if some of these satellites hold a form of life we can’t even imagine…

Oh, my God! I’ve separated an untold number of universes from their source of existence!

I toss away all the clippings, and stare at my screen once again. I read anything I may have already written. Tap tap tap tap at the keyboard… I move some sentences around, and edit a few words. I wonder what I’m making for dinner. I realize I may need to go food shopping. I reach for a pen and a post-it note, and list those things I’ll need to get from the market. The post-it note is discarded once I realize it’s too small, and I reach for a proper piece of paper. I’ll write out a shopping list that looks like a professional piece of writing, with bullets, and words, and the occasional sidebar of nearly off-topic trivia (“flank steak if they don’t have skirt”).

Then I realize I’m off on a tangent, and have written nothing of value… but I know what I’m making for dinner, and I know this will please my husband.

I think of my Jeffrey with his warm, easy smile, and his careless mastery of language. I think of the way he can talk about anything and everything, and about the enthusiasm which infuses his every conversation. I think of how he’ll enjoy our time together at the end of a long day, how he’ll appreciate that good, hot meal I’m cooking. I think of how he’ll stretch on the couch once he’s sated, and stroke one of the cats as he watches TV, and how I’ll envy that cat as he runs his hands across her…

You see what I mean? The words start flowing so much more smoothly! The writer’s block is gone, and now I have plenty to say… not necessarily about the topic I was supposed to be writing about, but hey! Once the flow of words begins, it can very easily be diverted.

And better yet, I’m in the mood for some nooky, so I have the world’s best motivation to finish writing whatever it is I’m working on, so I can go home and get busy with something infinitely more pleasant.

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