The Block and I are old pals. He creeps up at the most significant moments, you know, when there’s a crucial chapter coming, or a self set deadline approaching.
I’ll roll back in the chair, peer at my smooth white ceiling and explode with expletives.
Ahhhh, Mr. Block, the trouble you’ve caused my neighbours.
I’ve tried pushing him to one side, but the words come out like mush. I’ve tried taking a walk, having a glass of vino (cheeky, I know), reading a book, but he always claws through any distraction.
I’ve even read about the git. They say he comes around with timing, apparently the ideas have not had enough time to stew. Sometimes he rears his ugly head at fear, the terror of ruining your work, or simply a paranoia that it isn’t good enough. Other’s put Mr. Block down to perfectionism.
Whatever draws him out, he’s a hell of a beast to put away.
That’s until I came up with the one and only George Derringer writer’s block smash in the mouth, knee in the groin technique. It kicks off a little bit like this- slide your work to one side. In fact wipe it from your thoughts. This is probably the hardest step in the process, but if you can go out with your friends, meet a member of the opposite sex, or use the salsa class coupon you’ve had sitting around for the previous six months, it’ll help.
Next, you’ll need to get through the day without writing. Don’t do a thing. Don’t consider it, don’t touch a pen or keyboard. Lay in bed with a cold sweat and stare at the bloody ceiling.
Finally, wake up, and write. Don’t pick up where you’ve left off, don’t go to the toilet, don’t brush your teeth. Just sit in that damn seat and thrash out anything. Spend thirty minutes, an hour, two hours writing the most pointless drivel that’s ever stirred in your thoughts. Get the furnace blowing on a runaway train of writing. Whirl up a jet engine of speed and vigour on the keyboard.
Stop. Open up your work where Mr. Block came for you.
Take the momentum at the inconsiderate git. Hit him with a tsunami of writing energy.
And he goes.
Washed away with the words.