Writer’s Block

February 26, 2007 at 1:02 am 23 comments

Just hearing the phrase writer’s block makes my hands shake and sweat roll down my forehead.  I lead a large writers group, and while we frequently blocked1.JPGpass around tools for dealing with this malady, we never call it that.  We call them inpiration tools, right before we knock on wood and throw salt over our shoulders. 

Never the less, with fewer than 3,000 words left to complete THE BOOK, I am blocked.  And have been for several days.  It isn’t that I don’t know where the story is  going.  I do, but everything I write is shit.  The words are landing on the page like lumps of vomit…ugly, smelly and full of little unrecognizable bits.  I’ve tried walking away, switching to handwriting, writing something else, reading something, housework, aimless driving, inspiring music and just continuing to write shit.  I even actually, in total desperation, took Mr. Fab’s advice and attempted to add a monkey. 

The Doctor, who originally asked me to ghost write this book is desperate.  He calls every day, he’s always called every day, but now I can hear the desperation in his voice.  I think he thinks this is some passive-aggressive attempt to extort more money out of him.  If I stay blocked long enough, I may end up with a house out of this deal. 

Entry filed under: writing.

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23 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Dave  |  February 26, 2007 at 1:16 am

    Is it worth talking to the Doctor and asking him as he may have some ideas which will inspire you. Dont tell him you are blocked, just meet up and discuss “some aspect”. If you have walked away from it then perhaps the deadlines are forcing you into writing something that you wont be happy with. So maybe discussing it will help.

    Good luck.

  • 2. Linda  |  February 26, 2007 at 2:08 am

    I hope things get better soon. Here is a song that I have liked for awhile, the writer seems to have the same issues tht you do…

    The Yeti by Clutch

    Standing waist high in snow,
    what brought me here I do not know.
    Sky is filled with starry scenes
    of heroes and their greatest deeds.
    Satellites move across the sky,
    and every year they multiply.
    Father bear is sound asleep
    and will be so for several weeks.

    Across the plain I see a figure,
    every instant growing bigger.
    Instinct tells me to run away
    while faith proposes that I wave.
    He approaches to a rod.
    I whisper up a prayer to God.
    The stranger asks me with a grin,
    “Do you have the time my friend?”

    Himalaya is my old time stomping ground
    (oh yes, time is of the essence).
    Manitoba, better snows I’ve never found
    (oh yes, time is of the essence.)

    The author looms above his page
    and thinks it strange that at his age
    he can not find the proper words
    to describe his only world.
    One would think that in a life
    where no two snowflakes are alike
    one would have a brilliant rhyme
    for each and every bit of time.

    Himalaya is my old time stomping ground
    (oh yes, time is of the essence).
    Manitoba, better snows I’ve never found
    (oh yes, time is of the essence.)

  • 3. EelKat  |  February 26, 2007 at 2:20 am

    there is always hope, just keep the faith in yourself and your work and keep on plugging away at it, and before you know it, you’ll be finished… than all you have to do is edit (I hate editing! LOL!)… good luck! let us know how it turns out!

  • 4. Shelli  |  February 26, 2007 at 2:43 am

    Turn around 3 times and then click your heels together and say, “I must be unblocked. I must be unblocked. I must be unblocked.” Then meditate for 5 minutes and whatever you do, don’t think about writing. Think empty thoughts or imagine a happy place.

    The first part of that was shit advice. The second part might help. Thinking of having writer’s block gives me a headache. Wait, everything gives me a headache.

    I hope the damn is broken and when it is, I hope it gives you more ideas than you can use.

  • 5. hammer  |  February 26, 2007 at 3:10 am

    lol I just take laxatives. Seriously, when I get blocked I just hit random blog buttons and find all kinds of inspirationl.

    Hope you get unblocked soon 🙂

  • 6. katcampbell  |  February 26, 2007 at 4:03 am

    Dave – That’s good advice, if it were anyone but this doctor. He’ll yak away hours of my time on strange solutions that don’t even fit this scenario. But in another day or two, if things have not improved, I’ll try it.

    Linda – What a great song, sums up my situation perfectly

    Eelkat – Thanks for dropping by! I don’t mind editing, but I nitpick myself to death.

    Hammer – Randon surfing usually helps me too…but with the blog, not the book! Maybe I’ll try the laxatives….

  • 7. katcampbell  |  February 26, 2007 at 5:00 am

    Thanks Shelli. Ordinary writers block I know how to fix. Specific, I’m writing like shit writing block is probably best repaired by magic.

  • 8. John Linna  |  February 26, 2007 at 5:59 am

    Since I’m not a writer I can’t have writer’s block and so I have no idea how to cure it. I am one who prays and I will pray that theblock passes.

  • 9. smileymama  |  February 26, 2007 at 7:06 am

    I have no helpful advice. Just hope you can shake it off. The description of the words hitting the pages like chunks of vomit…now, that’s talent!
    🙂 Here’s to a quick debloquage. I think that’s French for unblocking.

  • 10. katcampbell  |  February 26, 2007 at 7:53 am

    Dr. John – Thank you. That is one cure that might actually work.

    Mama T – I’m fairly sure debloquage must definately be French! You made me laugh, that’s bound to help.

  • 11. J.  |  February 26, 2007 at 9:12 am

    I can’t help laughing, thinking you should hold out for the house.
    With a pool.
    And a poolboy.
    Want me to write the end? He’ll run screaming for the hills …

  • 12. another kat.  |  February 26, 2007 at 11:48 am

    I went from The Couch with maggots to you with vomit.

    this block too will pass….

  • 13. Catch  |  February 26, 2007 at 2:12 pm

    Dont tell that Dr your blocked…he will just prescribe a laxative!!! lol. Seriously, I hope you get “unblocked” real soon….sending good thoughts your way!

  • 14. Mr. Fabulous  |  February 26, 2007 at 2:51 pm

    The monkey didn’t work? Then go with the penguin. They are ALL the rage these days…

  • 15. The Rev. Dr. Kate  |  February 26, 2007 at 10:41 pm

    While I am not a writer, preparing a sermon can have that same “OMG what am I going to say about this?” feeling to it where the words get stuck and every word visible clunks when it hits the paper. Like Dr. John, I find prayer a good solution and then, if the words really won’t come on the page, I just figure the Holy Spirit wants me to wing it come Sunday and I don’t prepare the text, just wait and see what comes out. I supposed the Dr. isn’t paying for that though – so I’ll just stick to praying for you along with Dr. John!

  • 16. Diesel  |  February 26, 2007 at 11:06 pm

    “If I stay blocked long enough, I may end up with a house out of this deal.”

    LOL! Reminds me of the time when I was totally burnt out at my job and hadn’t done anything for like 6 weeks. Finally they called a “special meeting,” where I thought I was going to get the third degree. Turns out they wanted to hire someone to “help me out.”

    I’ve got nothing for you. I’ve been trying to get back to my novel for 3 weeks now. Sigh.

    Anyway, Happy Inappropriate Card Day!

  • 17. Nessa  |  February 26, 2007 at 11:49 pm

    Take a nap and retreat into dreams. Only time’s passing will solve this. I hope it goes quickly for you.

  • 18. katcampbell  |  February 27, 2007 at 12:27 am

    Nessa – Napping, now there’s an option.

    Diesel – Happy Inappropriate Card Day to you too.

    Dr. Kate – Thank you! Since the gift came from Him, perhaps he’ll listen and help me use it again.

    Mr. Fab – Penquins? I don’t need no cheepin penquins.

    Thanks Catch, no good thoughts ever turned away around this joint.

    Other Kat – Oh bummer, I’m sorry about all that gruesome reading in one day.

    Jan – Hey, a pool boy would rock…maybe a driver too…hmm…

  • 19. Janet  |  February 27, 2007 at 4:27 am

    I have a friend who occasionally sends me what he’s written, and I wind up thinking, “I can write better than that!” and that motivates me to do my own writing. That might work for you, too.

  • 20. katcampbell  |  February 27, 2007 at 5:40 am

    Funny you should say that, Janet. That’s one of the reasons I keep reading as well as editing for my publishing company. Sometimes you just have to see the kind of crap that’s out there to appreciate what you can do.

  • 21. Gawpo  |  March 5, 2007 at 2:05 am

    You can’t lose with Fab, Kat. Go with whatever he says. Except don’t DO as he does (see today’s post on his page. YUK!)

  • 22. Blogs for Writers « EK’s Star Log  |  March 14, 2007 at 1:15 am

    […] On All Serius Bloggers To Read This And Respond Are most writing contests even worth it anymore? Writer’s Block writers are horribly boring journalcomic Troy Worman’s Blog Copywriter’s Crucible Copywriting […]

  • 23. Blogs for Writers « Xavier’s Nest  |  March 14, 2007 at 1:29 am

    […] On All Serius Bloggers To Read This And Respond Are most writing contests even worth it anymore? Writer’s Block writers are horribly boring journalcomic Troy Worman’s Blog Copywriter’s Crucible Copywriting […]


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