Sunday, January 25, 2015

Dear Writer's Block, Please Die

It isn't the first time I've had writer's block. But, it certainly feels just as dreadful and career-ending every time I do.

When I have it, I often imagine writer's block to be a person who bursts in through my door uninvited, much like Kramer, wearing a red cape, two horns and a triangular tipped tail.

It doesn't take long before Writer's Block settles into my house. I imagine him sitting on my couch, dirty socks resting on the coffee table, laughing obnoxiously at the TV while cramming handfuls of chips into his mouth and spilling crumbs everywhere.

Meanwhile, I'm sitting in the uncomfortable armchair across the room, staring longingly at the couch. Every so often, I clear my throat and ask him impishly to "please leave..."

"Nah," he says, then takes a swig of coke directly from the 2 liter. "I'm good."

I generally have more to say, in much more powerful ways, but when he comes, my words grow stale, and my opinions vanish before they've reached my mouth. My mind, once crackling with ideas and images, becomes a dead silent, pitch dark landscape.

Lucky for me, this happened after I turned in Sapphire #3 to Diversion Books. Unluckily, he struck when I had ample writing time. If there's something that bugs me, it's wasted writing time. Some people call it Obsession, I call it Purpose.

Each time this pest comes for an unannounced visit, I Google. But when stepping away, free-writing, allowing yourself to write crap, running and Yoga doesn't work, what are you left with? A devilish man who eats all your double stuffed Oreos, spews negativity, snores like a wildebeest, and doesn't flush after going number two, that's what.

I've never managed to exterminate him in the past. He simply just leaves when he is finished, or when my cupboards are emptied of junk food.

The silver lining? While I, myself, can't get a word out right now, I at least have the time to enjoy the works of people who can. Without the help of people like Susan Ee, Amy Sherman-Palladino, Marian Keyes, Dean Koontz, and Matthew Quick, I'd be sitting in that armchair day in and day out, feeling every second pass as I waited for Writer's Block to leave, or preferably, self-die.

Until then, excelsior.

Mia Thompson is the author of an internationally bestselling New Adult Thriller series.  Her first two novels, STALKING SAPPHIRE and SILENCING SAPPHIRE, were published by Diversion Books in 2013.


Anonymous said...

I LOVE this! So, if that's what Writer's Block looks like, what does (your) Muse look like?

I wish you much success with Sapphire 3, Mia!

Peter Hogenkamp said...

Loved the post, Mia, and it's great to have you back. (You're not supposed to drink straight out of the 2 liter bottle? Who knew?)

Mia Thompson said...

Thanks, Sue!! I'd imagine my muse is more like a pleasant-looking woman who stands silently in the corner of my office with a very polite smile :)

Mia Thompson said...

It was your latest post that got me back in gear, Peter. So thanks!
And no, no you shouldn't. The milk jug, however, is up for debate ;)

Eliza Cross said...

It's good to know that we all get hit with this affliction from time to time, but your description of the creep made me laugh so hard! I like your strategy of doing some good reading when the well feels dry. When I feel like this, I sometimes work on structure or do some outlining or brainstorming about plot to keep my subconscious working while also giving my brain a break. Thanks for a very entertaining post, Mia.

Mia Thompson said...

Thank you, Eliza!
Straight out plotting is a good idea. I'm going to give it a go :)