writer’s block is a real person.

he’s sitting on my desk right now, poking his tongue out at me. he thinks he’s cleverer than me by pointing out that everything i write has been written before only better. he cackles very loudly at my complete dependence on spell check and my blatant disregard for grammar. even the lack of capitals at the beginning of sentences is a source of endless amusement for mr. block. the problem with this unwanted guest is that he doesn’t seem to understand simple instructions like “go away” or “you’re not welcome here”. in fact, the more he hears those words, the more he digs his heels in.

one of the worst traits of wb is that he’s a frequent visitor. one of those annoying people who turn up unannounced on an alarmingly regular basis and declare that they’ll be staying “for a while”. you have no idea for how long. could be a few hours. a few days. forever? sometimes he brings along members of his family. uncle yousuck, auntie giveitup and cousin bigfatfail. and they all seem very content to set up camp in your living room and banter endlessly while you’re trying to “hahahaha she calls it writing!” work.

in a seemingly endless battle to keep this irritating little pest away, i find myself procrastinating, surfing nonsense on the internet and playing mafia wars. what i should be doing is writing the little bugger out of existence. there’s nothing writer’s block likes less than being ineffective. my muse (who shall remain nameless for now but she knows who she is ;-)) sent me a poem the other day. it’s not often you get a bit of real culture on this blog but i don’t think there’s any harm in it every now and then. you never know, it might even do you some good. it certainly did me.

if you lose your pen by ruth forman

and all you find is a broken pencil on the floor
and the pencil has no sharpener
and the sharpener is in the store
and your pocket has no money

and if you look
and all you find is a black Bic
and the Bic you need is green

and if it appears beneath the mattress of your couch
but the couch is dirty and suddenly you want to clean
beneath the pillows
but you have no vacuum and the vacuum is in the store
and your pocket has no money

it is not your pen you are looking for

it is your tongue and those who speak with it
your grandmothers and doves and ebony spiders
hovering in the corners of your throat

it is your tongue
and if you cannot find your tongue
do not go looking for the cat
you know you will not find her
she is in the neighbor’s kitchen eating Friskies
she is in the neighbor’s yard making love

if you cannot find your tongue do not look for it
for you are so busy looking it cannot find you
the doves are getting dizzy and your grandmothers annoyed
be still and let them find you
they will come when they are ready

and when they are
it will not matter if your pockets are empty
if you write with a green Bic or a black Bic
or the blood of your finger
you will write
you will write

One thought on “how to beat writer's block”

  1. that is a wonderful poem. very inspirational. i think i WILL clean under the cushions of my sofa … 😉

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