First of all, I want to give my prayers and respects to C.J. for persevering through crap that most of us will, hopefully, never have to deal with until after we retire.
As for writer’s block, I have suffered from a form of it for decades.
It’s called “Writer’s blah.”
I wish I could be serious about all this like C.J., but that’s not my style. I really wish I could, but those of us who know what “C.J. Ellisson” translates into (SWMBO) will understand.
When I sit back and think about why I have the blahs with my writing, I know there are several possible reasons.
Ray: You know what it could be? Past-life experience intruding in on present time.
Egon: Could be erased memories stored in the collective unconscious. I wouldn’t rule out clairvoyance or telepathic contact either.
Greg: I’m sorry. I don’t believe in any of those things.
Peter: Well, that’s all right. I don’t either.
Okay, let me cut this off before I get sued by Harold Ramis. And apologies to Sigourney Weaver for taking her part in Ghostbusters.
Actually, my blahs come from letting life get in the way and from what is probably an undiagnosed case of ADD (must thank George for the July 19 "Writers & Mental Illness" blog for stirring that up). Case in point, as I type this, I am listening to Insane Clown Posse on my iTunes, while watching a Road Runner/Coyote marathon on my DVD player. I’ve also thumbed through two old issues of Justice League Europe and Justice League America.
Of course (or off course), the symptoms of the blahs are striking. I feel lethargic at times (probably from all the junk food). I would rather go out to Goodwill and shop for nothing than do anything constructive. I’ll get down on myself for not having a social life and then go out to night clubs and more adult clubs, while not hanging out with co-workers at happy hour.
I’ll get into these funks and doldrums that can last for weeks. I can be the best guy at work and the worst guy at home (which is sad because I'm a lifelong bachelor yearning for Michelle Rodriguez, Lucy Liu, Rachel McLish, Kerry Ellis or, gasp, Kristy McNichol to walk through the front door). I’ll dwell so much on one thing – like the U.S. Census clerk job – that I’ll ignore everything else. Then, I’ll try to compensate by going out more and doing something de-constructive.
Since I started working for the Census back in March, I have written exactly two chapters (prologue and chapter one of Red Herring) and exactly three articles for my Examiner.com blog. I’ll even be honest and say that I often wrote my weekly blogs for Wicked Writers late on Sunday night and I apologize to David and C.J. for that.
So, what gets me out of my blahs? I haven’t been able to pinpoint anything specific. Usually, I get tired of the rut and shut it down for a while. Going to clubs and spending three hours nursing half a bottle of Smirnoff Ice does get real old real fast.
Ah, if only it could be as easy as planting an idea in one's brain like in that fantastic Leonardo DiCaprio movie Inception that I saw Sunday (I highly recommend it even for non-science fiction buffs). It doesn't appear that Christopher Nolan has writer's block.
Currently, no one's implanting any ideas in my head (though I've got way too much free space and someone should at least try).
But, on a different note, I’m free.
My four-month stint with the U.S. Census Bureau ended last Friday (lack of work) so now I have plenty of free time to do the blogs, writing and sports articles. As soon as I get over the doldrums of being let go. I mean, we all knew the census was a temp job, but I was in a set routine for four months.
As for advice for others, sorry, ain’t got any, except maybe getting yourself into a set routine. I might also suggest doubling down and maintaining some discipline. I plan to devote an hour in the morning and an hour or two in the evening to writing. The middle of the day will be for job hunting and early evening for Examiner.com.
Whoa, wait a minute!
I actually think I just solved this round of the blahs. I was writing my stuff late at night (like 1 a.m. late, not 11 p.m.), but I had been going to bed at 11 to prepare for work.
Hey, I guess that means time management is the way to beat writer’s blahs.
After all this dribble, I accidentally stumbled over the answer.
Thanks, guys. If I hadn’t sat down to write this blog on writer’s block, I wouldn’t have figured it out.
I’ll get right on it.