Writer’s block

It’s not life or death. It’s not even a make or break business deal, a non-negotiable deadline that could mean a cut in pay or total loss of a job. It’s a personal mission to write some little something that doesn’t completely suck and maybe, just maybe garner a few ‘nice job’ comments from faceless admirers and longtime friends.

A few years ago finding the voice of my muse was easier. I could rant on the need for national health care reform after a particularly craptastic encounter with insurance companies, or count on one or both of my children to provide material for a pithy life lesson or funny anecdote.

“The other morning, early… Hubs and I heard an ungodly noise from across the hall. It sounded like WK’s room had imploded. Upon investigation, Hubs found The Boy had only excavated a box of old die cast toys from his closet and was not in actuality buried under tons of scree from said closet.

Later that same morning when we were revisiting the event, in his charming way of dodging the subject of his overstuffed room, WK began expounding on a scientific report he had read about a team of mathematicians trying to estimate the number of grains of sand on the world’s many beaches.

(It all kinda tied together, the immeasurable number of ‘things’ in WK’s room in comparison to the seemingly infinite number of single grains of sand on earth.)

Ever the purist, I wondered aloud at what depth in the sand did these scientists consider to be beach and when did it become something else, like the earth’s crust perhaps.

“But, how far down does a beach go?”

“Somewhere between a ‘skank’ and a ‘ho’…”

Where does he get this stuff?”

Dang it if the kids didn’t grow up. They got even more potty-mouthed, and demanded I ask permission to share their stories. I still have anger issues with our current health care industry, but won’t be boring anyone any longer with the details.

So what’s left to write about. There are only so many times diet and exercise can be made fresh and entertaining. Everyone has a medical insurance horror story and I fear that my pith pot has a hole in it.

There are very few things in my life that are memorable or inspiring. I’ve chosen not to write about certain topics like politics and religion, only sharing how these apply to me. I have told about painful personal issues, but would much rather brag about exciting events.

I have found creative sparks in mundane things like our local news. There’s not enough ink or space available for the whole story to be printed. The imagination can run with these little snippets of true life and create a whole other world.

Occasionally I will peruse my photo files for that one picture that inspires a 1000 words. Sometimes it works… sometimes it’s just a space saver.

Joining writing groups like Indie Ink and 100 Words has been a wonderful way to jump start a blank mind. As were writing for collective sites like Band Back Together and Story Bleed.

Then again, I have to mow the yard today. It’s hot and dusty outside, and there are about 100 poop bombs I have to clear before starting. I will sweat like a P.I.G. the whole time and blow black snot for hours afterward. It will be a great cardio workout… I should lose about five pounds, easy. I could take pictures or maybe vlog it?

There is a nest in one of bushes in our side yard. The ‘Awww factor’ is huge. It would be tragic if nothing could be found to write about the imagery of a mother bird and her chicks. The animal/human analogies are endless.

The dog will want to go out with me in the backyard, then beg to be let in after only a few minutes. I’ll have to stop and put her in the house because my son is still asleep and won’t hear her whine. I could discuss responsible pet ownership or expound on the catatonic sleeping habits of teenage boys.

Perhaps I can gripe about our backdoor neighbor and his juvenile delinquent son, but instead write about forgiveness and redemption.

See, I have several story ideas right there…

I sent a challenge out to “Finding a skinnier me” – “I know it sounds absurd, but please tell me who I am.

My challenge came from Greg at The Lamentations of Gregory R. Perry: “You have a terrible case of writer’s block. Describe the steps you take to break the dam and get the words flowing.”

Interested in joining the Challenge? Stop by Indie Ink for details.

12 replies »

  1. You are definitely write on. A search for more prompts is what got me going on Indie Ink too. It’s even made me think outside of the box and expanded my writing horizons. I get my writers block too. I just turn to my other love, graphic design, and work out my creativity there. It usually gets me back on track.

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  2. I’ve struggled with how to comment on this one.

    First of how, you slayed the prompt. Plus, you made it so personal, it took me two days to think about it.

    We’re similar. When I started this current blog I assumed I would ponificate about sports or music or pop culture. Then I found you and the writing prompt people. Being inspired by actual artists like you has been great. In every sense of the word.

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  3. when I first stepped away from my “family blog” and eliminated the cute stories about my kids I wondered what the heck I would write about! But I’ve found inspiration in some strange places and joined up with some fabulous groups to prompt me in creative endevors :)

    And look at me now: attempting to do NaBloPoMo this month (how can I not since the topic is Fiction). So far so good but I’m fearful the ideas will dry up by the end of the month. My usual haunts haven’t been providing the inspiration I’d have liked.

    OT, but what is going on with 100 words? No prompt for 2 weeks now :( I was hoping she’d keep using guest posters. Sigh

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  4. I agree, this writing challenge is a wonderful writing boost, as are snippets of stories in the papers, or conversations overheard.

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