Goodbye My Friend, It’s Hard to Die

You may have noticed that there’s been radio silence on my end for the last few weeks, and that is because I forgot I have a blog.

Just kidding. I think about this dumb blog all the time. It will be three years old next week and I’m going to buy it a cake. Because blogs are virtual and do not have mouths, stomachs, or an understanding of traditional birthday activities, read that sentence as, “I want dessert and I’m grasping at straws to justify it.”

The only problem with cake is that it's not pie enough.

The only problem with cake is that it’s not pie enough.

The truth is, I haven’t posted anything in three weeks because I’ve come down with a terminal case of writer’s block. I’ve said my goodbyes to my loved ones and given away my worldly possessions, because at this point it’s become clear that it will be the death of me. I don’t know what caused this particularly deadly strain of writer’s block, but I have few theories.

Possible Reasons I’ve Lost the Put to Order Ability in the Right Words

1. I might be the victim of a super villain determined to put an end to coherent, meaningful communication.

2. There’s a chance I’m being poisoned by the government via tap water. Are any of you experiencing writer’s block? HOW DEEP DOES THIS THING GO?

3. I wouldn’t be surprised if there’s a wizard involved.

4. Maybe the ideas in your brain are a lot like eggs in your ovaries– you start out with a bunch of them but you can’t make any more. Over time they wither up and die and that’s that. Maybe this is some kind of mental menopause.

5. Maybe when I was born, scientists implanted an idea-feeding chip in my brain, but then they all died because the government poisoned their tap water and a wizard cast a spell on them and now there’s no one to think for me. Maybe.

6. Perhaps the feng shui in my apartment is wrong. I’m facing the north and there’s a lamp in the corner of the room. Is that bad?

7. I’m pretty happy lately. It’s horrible. I can’t write anything when I’m happy.

Here I am being happy. Not pictured: writing.

Here I am being happy. You’ll note that I’m not writing.

Some brief Googling confirmed my fear that I was indeed suffering from writer’s block. Listlessness is no joke when you have a blog about lists. I urged someone else to type my symptoms into WebMD because I couldn’t bear to look at a keyboard. WebMD doesn’t shy away from bad news: it once called me a schizophrenic and regularly tells me I have cancer, so when that venerable doctor of the interwebs refused to diagnose me, I could only assume my case was so bad it had run out of things to say to me. I wasn’t going to let this cruel illness take me down without a fight.

Race for the Cure

1. The internet told me to try free-writing for 10 minutes before I started on whatever I was actually trying to write. That’s how I ended up writing a page and a half about a dream in which I punched a lion in the face. I looked up at the end of the 10 minute period, expecting inspiration to rain down from the heavens. It did not. I gave up.

2. Someone said I should try writing with a prompt for a while. I chose to list “Things That Keep Me Up at Night”. The list included things like “I’ll never have a French accent” and “What we should do about Syria?”. It didn’t help, but it did keep me up that night.

3. Sometimes when I’m stuck, a good brainstorming session helps. There are no bad ideas in brainstorming!

Sublist: Turns Out There Are Bad Ideas in Brainstorming

– Talk me out of buying a typewriter!
– Drinking a lot of water is pretty nuts, am I right?
– One time my grandparents got separated at a museum.
– I just remembered I have to get in an airplane again at the end of the month. Why did I do that to myself? This isn’t a list, is it?
– The pros and cons of exploding vs. imploding vs. drowning vs. suffocating vs. bleeding out vs. getting burned at the stake
– Signs that I might be in a bad mood, including making lists about the pros and cons of violent deaths.
– It turns out all you need to do to become a good writer is have tuberculosis like the following people…
– I used to write on my fingernails in Sharpie and now I have a lot of 10-letter phrases. Would you like to hear them? No? Me neither.
– I just found this old list I wrote highlighting evidence that David Bowie is an alien. It is uncomfortable.

 4. Several writers I know suggested I distract myself and promised genius would arrive like a bolt out of the blue. This was pretty much the excuse I was looking for the whole time.

Things I Did Instead of Writing Blog Posts

1. Say Yes to the Dress is on Netflix. There are hours of my life I will never get back because I wanted a complete stranger to pick a pretty wedding dress. That show. Is evil.

2. I trained a cat to attack my pen every time I moved it. This is bad news because I write most of my posts longhand before I type them.

cat

Then he fell asleep on my arm and of course I couldn’t move him because, you know, rude.

3. I stared at the wall. Then I ate some stuff while staring at the wall. Then I called my boyfriend, ate some stuff, and stared at the wall.

4. I tried to balance a pencil in my bellybutton for half an hour.

Around the 500th time I’d failed with the pencil, I realized that inspiration would not strike. My muse had abandoned me, and I was doomed. I wasn’t mad anymore. I didn’t try to fight it. I accepted my fate serenely and drafted a will.

No, no. Please don’t cry. I’ve had a good run. It’s better this way, anyhow. We had joy, we had fun, we had seasons in the sun, but the stars we could reach were just starfish on the beach. (Whatever that means.)

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23 comments

  1. Is Everyone an Idiot but Me?

    I don’t know, you did a good job of writing about not being able to write! Better than a lot of other posts I’ve read on writer’s block. #4 and #7 of your reasons for writer’s block get me too. that and maybe the poisoned water thing, who knows!

  2. beautycalyptique

    how can one have a writer’s block when listening to bowie!? he *is* the ultimate cure, an instant shift to an unhappy, dark, awful, brilliant, fragile, hostile, uglytiful place! ;)

  3. profcochran

    Tap water is bland. Eat more Mexican food and go places just for french fries. Better yet, ask for onion rings instead of french fries and dip them in Ranch instead of ketchup. In other words. Do stuff different – so different it’s uncomfortable. The inspiration will come. Try dumping music for a week and switch to the Bill Cosby Pandora channel. You’re welcome.

  4. Jessica Noelle Glitterpony

    I’d really like to see that list about David Bowie is, in fact, an alien. I’d believe it. Especially after seeing Labyrinth. Holy sweet mother of silver skin tight pants, batman! No regular earthling would wear that. Ever. Is this on your list? It should be. :)

  5. Marissa Q.

    It does appear that it was contagious. I myself was down with writer’s block for a few months but I seem to be somewhat on the mend. I do think it’s happiness-related. I am however happy to see you’ve somewhat recovered because I steadfastly believe you are the funniest human who puts stuff on the internet. Damnit, you’ve made me happier. Now I’ll never write anything.

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