Warning: Don’t feed the writer’s block

I’m not the type of person that can sit down at a computer and hammer out a real gem of a post in one session. I’m very much the type of person that sits down at a computer and stares bewilderingly at the blinking cursor mocking my lack of typing. And sometimes I’ll be working on a project when I suddenly careen to a stop and can’t muster up the motivation to finish whatever it is I’m working on.

Yes, I’m talking about writer’s block.

It’s annoyingly hard for me to fight something that doesn’t have a face to it or isn’t actually tangible. So what I ended up doing to get around this little problem was to literally create a writer’s block…with a face. I also went ahead and personified it with a torpor outlook on life. I am all about random acts of personification.

Somewhere deep inside that grape exoskeleton is the inspiration needed to start or finish your piece, but, unfortunately, the writer’s block does not acquiesce to your whims or demands. It simply sits between you and the final product without so much as blinking…or…erm, doing anything, really.

Anyway, I have a quite a few ideas scribbled in a bunch of little notebooks around my apartment. Usually, I’ll flip through them and a little sketch or phrase will inspire me to translate it into something bigger. That’s how a majority of the content on this site is born. But even though I have the inspiration to finish one of those ideas, I can usually expect the writer’s block to manifest. Actually, I realize that my writer’s block is pretty much always around to some extent. Sometimes I genuinely can’t think of something, but typically the writer’s block is more of a Negative Nancy constantly telling me that whatever I’m working on isn’t good enough and never will be. Anyway, not wanting to stop working in fear of losing the gist of the idea, I’ll try and muscle through it to get to the finish. And I’ll attempt this through an array of different methods.

1. Pleading

2. Threats

3. Reverse Psychology

4. Humor

5. Magic

6. Pokemon

7. Power-ups

Eventually, I find the only thing I can do, is to say, “Eff it” and walk away.

I’ve realized, for me in particular, that the writer’s block is most prevalent when I’m depleting all of my creativity and humor deposits at an irregular rate. Another way of putting it would be to say that the content is all moving in one direction, away from me. I’ve figured out that I need a constant stream of inspiration to be able to put together something I think is really good and worthy of sharing. There’s an optimal range of creating and consuming I like to stay within. I accomplish the “consuming” part by walking away from my current project so that I can do laps around the internet or I’ll leave the apartment and exercise a little spontaneity. And when I feel recharged and fresh I come back and usually find that I can tune out my writer’s block just long enough to finish something and post it.

And that’s how I’ve learned to live with my writer’s block.

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50 Responses to “Warning: Don’t feed the writer’s block”

  1. KG

    Brilliant! And I’m totally with you on the TP thing. Everyone does it though, I’m convinced. I guess sometimes it’s just too difficult to switch the rolls.

    I love your blog, I might even love your writer’s block. Grape is a good color for it.

    Reply
    • timmer

      Thanks for swinging by again, KG! I think that writer’s block is starting to grow on me. I may have to keep it around.

      Reply
  2. Fiona @ lifelyricslemoncake

    Were you struggling with Mr. Writer’s Block when you decided to WRITE about him? That was a killer move :) Bet he didn’t like it one bit.

    This is also, pretty accurate to my life, also. I find ideas so difficult to come by!

    Reply
  3. atelian33

    The power ups was definitely the best one. haha that’s awesome. And I totally hear you. I’ve got about 12 unfinished blog entries right now just waiting for me to come back to them. who knows if I ever will.

    But I’ve noticed the ones I struggle to finish are the ones I don’t love to begin with so no big loss if they just sit around for a while.

    http://www.adamtelian.com

    Reply
    • timmer

      Right on, Adam! The boot is my favorite too. Do you ever go back to those back burner ideas? I find often times they can inspire something completely different.

      Reply
      • atelian33

        Yes! Totally, I’ll start a post and it fizzles out. Then I go back to finish it and it turns into something completely different.

    • timmer

      No probs! Thanks, Bee. I’m not much of an awards person, but whoa, that is quite the company to be included in! Thanks x infinity.

      Reply
  4. Svelte

    Haha brilliant!!!
    Ah, so finally there’s a face to the nuisance behind my lack of creativity! Sitting here in the presence of the impassive block, my horoscope saying, “It’s a great day for writing” and the bloody block giving me the stare down, as if to say, “Nope it isn’t!”
    The stars seems to be the only place it’s written, for my notepad is littered with innumerable incomplete pieces…*sigh*
    Perhaps I should utilise one of your clever approaches to dealing with my “concrete block”

    Reply
    • timmer

      Walking away and doing something else entirely different is what usually works best for me. Even sleeping on it works (not literally sleeping on your computer, unless that works, then go for it!). Luckily, I’m not on any true deadline, so that helps out a lot as well.

      Reply
  5. postmoderngirls;

    My writer’s block is an asshole that talks back.

    I hate it when I can’t out-back-chat someone. Especially when it’s a disembodied voice/manifestation of my own lack of creativity.

    Cheeky bastards.

    Reply
    • timmer

      What do you think the opposite of writer’s block is? a window? a door? We should investigate this further.

      Reply
      • postmoderngirls;

        It’s a swimming pool of possibility.

        Before you get all wrinkly.

  6. littleredribbon

    I actually love this! Entirely accurate! But am I the only one that has identified that you jumped from number 5 to number 7 in your list of coping methods? Poor mr number 6 is definitely missing out! Brilliant post though, highly relatable.

    Reply
  7. Eric

    I really enjoyed this, I like your drawing and humor, very simple and very funny! And I hate writer’s block too.

    Reply
    • timmer

      Thanks Eric! I feel like there’s some charm in keeping the illustrations simple, glad you enjoyed it (also I really can’t draw more than a stick figure anyways. Oops)

      Reply
  8. mortifiedpenguin

    As a fellow writer and budding journalist, I have to say this was very relevant and hilarious! I just found your blog btw, please keep up the humour and cute drawings!

    Reply
  9. hanifak

    I actually came here because I thought this blog was going to be about food. It took me 3.1 seconds to realize that this isn’t a food blog and about 5 seconds to now this blog was awesome! :D

    Reply
    • timmer

      There actually is a food blog called “The Second Lunch” I’m sure it’s pretty good, because who doesn’t like to eat a second lunch?

      Reply
  10. Ruchika

    Hey blogger! Loved these illustrations so much! The best part for me is the shadow in the drawings! A very nice post about a very ruddy thing!

    Reply
  11. Christina ~

    Stumbled on this…started reading…thinking…yeah I have writer’s block too…then you had me at ”Avada Kedavra”!! Great ideas, great post….even greater humor! Thank you! :)

    Reply
      • Christina ~

        I’m so glad I did! It was one of those ‘rabbit trail’ things…start in one place and next thing you know…I found you and had a great laugh and learned some new things! Thank you :D

  12. Clint Dunham

    Inspiration! Finally! I don’t know what it is, but I swear I can read all kinds of inspirational quotes, how to get inspired, and so on and so forth, but they just don’t do anything for me. You are an outstanding writer, the way you write is inspiration alone. You’re post has helped me quite a bit and I look forward to reading everything else you post.

    Thank you,
    Clint

    Reply
  13. EpicKash

    This was a very fun read, I thoroughly enjoyed it. Your blogging style is simply amazing! Teach me, O Great One!

    Reply
  14. The Flat Girl

    Thank you for helping me to think about my own case of “writer’s block” in a different way. It has always been a monster just lurking inside of my computer, inside my notebook, or under my desk… I can now think of it in a completely different light.

    Thank you,
    Me

    Reply

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