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Saturday, July 24, 2010

Writer's Block (or maybe Blogger's Block)

At the end of last year, and the beginning of this year, I was so excited about blogging I managed to find something new to add almost daily. Now, even though I have plenty to blog about, I've run up against the dreaded brick wall called Writer's Block. I don't know how it happens, and I don't know how to change it. I just hope it doesn't last much longer.
Once, in the 1980s, I hit a similar brick wall and actually sought professional help for it. Back then, even though I had computerized typesetting equipment at my day job, my "home work" was on an electric typewriter, and I had to make a carbon copy.
In desperation, I flew a friend in from a long distance to try something called Neurolinguistic Programming on my bad case of writer's block. I was sure it wouldn't help, but I was willing to try anything. After giving my friend the spare key to my apartment, I went to work as usual.
When I came home, and unlocked my apartment door, I was met with a "wall" of newspaper blocking the doorway. Facing me was a note reading "This is your brick wall, you have two minutes to break through it, sit down at your typewriter and write a paragraph." Or maybe it was "write a sentence" -- it was a long time ago, but I remember being so blocked I couldn't write a word, so I figured I might as well give it a try.
Once inside, I could see my typewriter had been moved and unplugged, and other things (chairs, if I recall correctly) had been piled upside down on top of the table where I usually sat. I managed to get my chair and the typewriter into place, sit down, insert two sheets of paper with carbon paper between, and write what was required of me within the specified two minutes.
So, okay, I didn't write The Great Canadian Novel, but something about the hustle and bustle of getting in, moving my chair, moving the typewriter and plugging it in, made me burst past or through my writer's block. I don't know if it was any sort of example of NLP or just a trick played on me by my friend, but it helped.
I doubt if such a thing would work for my present Blogger's Block. When I come home now, I don't burst through anything. I don't have the energy for bursting, so I'm glad there's no paper wall, but I do have to get past a bouncing golden retriever, over a pile of shoes in the hall, through an untidy kitchen, past a dining table piled high with teetering stacks of books and papers, then into my computer chair without twisting my ankle, breaking my neck, or developing muscle spasms in my chest. Once here, I'm so tired I can barely breathe, never mind write. It's a dog's life, I tell you, but stay tuned. The unfittie will be back, I really will.
The unfittie then and now. What a difference a day makes.

1 comment:

aka Penelope said...

Pretty before and after pictures, Kay. There’s no way around it, chipping away at that block is never easy.