Writers Block? Never!


(Note: This article is from my book, The Poet’s Workshop – and Beyond!)
Ok, so I’m not a very good liar. If you could see my eyes right now, you’d know that I, too, occasionally succumb to the “Midwinter”, as well as the “whaddya- mean-spring-isn’t-here-yet?” Blues.

Come on. Writers are creative people. Imaginative people. We’re “all about” solutions to difficult conflicts, aren’t we? We’re also excellent mediators, negotiators, and are in possession of a veritable Mary-Poppins-purse-full of tricks and treats.

A wise friend and former co-worker once said that “all you need is a round-to-it. She made one for me, too. Keep reading, and you’ll learn how to make your own!

We could get all psychoanalytical and say that writers block is “just” a delusion, or perhaps a sign of procrastination. We could also say that writers block is a specific reactionary device to ensure that we take a break from “being in the zone” for countless hours without sleep, proper nourishment, or fresh air.

There may even be one or two writers out there who believe writers block is a message—and punishment–from The Muse. You’ve sacrificed your social life and trips to the mall, made offerings of chocolate and espresso—even star gazer lilies—and she hasn’t so much as dictated a whispered line in your ear.

It’s no secret that I have a controversial relationship with my muse. A friend in a writing group even went so far as to say that I needed to find a new one. Needless to say, I’ve composed quite a few poems about poems, also known as Ars Poetica, in an attempt to create some kind of flow.

My first published collection of poems, Lap Danced by the Muse, has several poems that express how upset I’ve been with my muse. She plays games with me, ok? Toys with my affections.

And we all know how unnerving that can be!

So, if you’ve got da Blues, why not write about it. That should get you unstuck. In the rhetoric of Gertrude Stein: writing is writing is writing. . .

Or try these exercises:

1. Buy some of those children’s wooden blocks in bright colors. Stack them by color, topple them over—or build something with them.

2. Get a piece of wood, paint–or otherwise decorate–it. In your nicest printing, inscribe “writers block” on it, place it on your desk. Isn’t it beautiful?

3. If you’re more inclined toward visualization exercises, imagine your writers block is an ice cube. Take it outside into the sun or melt it in boiling water. (NOTE: You can actually do this with a “real” ice cube if it assists your process.)

4. Get out that jigsaw and cut a round piece of wood. Drill a hole in the center. This is a round-to-it like the one my friend, Janeen made me. Make a stack of them, and give them to all your writer friends who claim to suffer from writers block or the Midwinter Blues, or the I can’t-believe-it’s-not-spring-yet Blues.

Until next time, remember this: You know you want to write. You’re compelled to write. You really want to right. Writing is like breathing to you. You love to breathe. You need to breathe. You need to write…

 

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