What to Write When You Have Writer’s Block

When writers run out of things to say, but must say something, they always and without fail write about the same thing, the very phenomenon that they are presently suffering from:

Writer’s Block.

Writer’s Block is the ailment contracted by writers who usually can write witty and clever things at the drop of a hat, but are suddenly stricken with either a drying up of the mental word assembling faculties, or a crippling indifference and apathy.

Or in my case, when they’re just not very creative.

Writer’s Block can be very disconcerting to a person who thinks of writing as more than a chore, but as a pleasurable pursuit. Instead of a viable excuse to keep them from writing, the inability to craft sentences feels more like a time when their inner self has abandoned them and thrown them to wolves.

When stricken with this dreaded disease of the wordsmith, a writer may at first be only slightly vexed, but maintaining a spirit of hopeful optimism, believes that it will pass quickly, being only the doldrum prologue of possibly their most productive period. The writer will make a few feeble and halfhearted attempts at writing, usually on the subject of Writer’s Block, and how to shake it.

As the disease progresses, it will claim more and more of the author’s brain. It becomes his mild obsession, causing him to spend hours in his study fiddling away time with silly rituals to increase or jumpstart his creative abilities. These rituals begin with reading blogs on how to write, or some such reading matter intended to sharpen his writing senses, but soon devolve to superstitious atrocities such as petting a teddy bear 3 times in a clockwise motion to appease the minor deities of creativity.

Every writer, ever, when faced with an inability to write takes up running or simple jogging with the intention of maybe someday running a marathon. Since writing has been endlessly been compared to running long distances, the mental process of association convinces the writer of the connection between the two activities and turns him into a runner. This hardly ever works and profits little except to give the writer gasping breath and flat feet.

Eventually the writer becomes a shallow fragile wreck of a man, walking around his house with a glazed expression covering his normally clever face, mumbling to himself, and throwing wistfully forlorn glances as his keyboard. His standards of hygiene fall through the floor, and he begins to wear nothing but saggy pajamas and a faded bathrobe.

At some point he will sit down at his desk and write a few halting words, usually words with no grammatical relation to each other, and never words of more than one syllable. At this point the writer is inevitably interrupted by friends or family, who then apologize for interrupting his work.

The writer laughs bitterly inside.

It is at this moment that the true writer is born.

A writer who cannot be stopped by the obstacles of talent, experience, or even interest, is a force than no earthly power can reckon with. The writer who writes just to write, without personal gain, is a giant envied by all men. His bathrobe and broken soul are the honorable battle wounds of his office. He is the man for the ages.

Until the next time he gets Writer’s Block, of course.

Writer’s Block: A malady affecting only those who write regularly for pleasure or business. Usually manifested in a preference to wearing unwashed bathrobes. The disease has existed for the entire duration of written language and much longer than its name. The phrase was first coined in 2500 BC when the Egyptian scribe Imhotebepin paused while inscribing the exterior of a pyramid and was crushed by a falling limestone slab. Workers said that the ‘writer’s block’ would keep one from writing.” -The Barnum Dictionary of Imaginary Diseases, 1943

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