Wednesday, May 2, 2012

The Monthly Meeting of the Insecure Writers' Support Group is now called to order

Do we have any old business?
Ah, yes, Harriet in the corner - what is it?
No, the fact that we forgot the decaf green tea for the second month does not mean we don't want you. It simply means that whoever was on the tea and treats rota forgot to add it to the shopping list.
Anyone else?
Well we do have a special guest this evening. The ...ahem...crusty old bugger as he wishes to be called will speak to us on writer's block, its origins and antidotes. Mr. Penderwhistlesnatch, or Mr. P. as his close compadres like to call him, has over twenty-five self-help books published and many more awaiting their day. He has trundled through recessions, the fall of the publisher world, the disappearance of his wife and children, and survived it all brilliantly. Please welcome Mr. P. to our little meeting.

Ahem...ahem. Thank you Ms. Morrison for that erudite intro. Why last week I was at one of the many Coal's Bookstores and was introduced by the newest employee. The boy was twelve I believe and had never read anything other than vampire novels. I think he thought my latest book "How to suck the goodness out of every transaction" was a vampire book! Bwahahahah!

And now for today's topic - that old bugbear 'writers' block' or as my wife, when she was still in residence, called it 'a bottle of Johnny Walker and a muttering fool'. She was a very wry woman. Seriously though, there is only one cure for writers' block and that is to completely and utterly deny its existence. Pretend it is as foolish as leaning over the fence and talking about the Sasquatch you saw last week. Oh, and while I think of it, I do have some copies of "Big Foot or Sasquatch - get them out of your public parks" if you are interested. Denial is essential when it comes to writers' block. If you think you are having a spot of low production, by all means call it 'ruminating about plot points' or 'researching'. That always works - especially if you have some completely bit of tedious research detail to foist on the next bumpkin who asks you at a cocktail party what you're working on lately. I'm always ready with something about the newest stats on how the Japanese are approaching their whale hunt problem. And really, is there any book one could write that whale hunting wouldn't be appropriate research for? I think not. So to reiterate - deny that you have the block, that you know the block, that you've known others that have the block or that such a thing is even humanly possible. Now - is there any scotch in the house?

5 comments:

Margot Kinberg said...

Jan - LOL! What a great story! Denial ain't just a river in Egypt, is it? There is something to be said though for just putting your head down and... writing. If it's not coming together in one scene or chapter, go back and edit something else. Write a character description. Do something. I think you can do those things and still practice that healthy denial ;-).

Green Monkey said...

oh..... I'm new here, one of those "high fiber" writers who never experiences blockage... (denial is key, right?)

YOU are so clever. THIS was by far the most entertaining monthly meeting I've ever attended. Makes me proud to be included!

Cheers~

Faith Pray said...

Ha! I love it. I just heard at my writer's conference that the brain can slip past writer's block through rhythmic subconscious movement. The author who spoke on it said that she goes for a long hike or takes a nap when she's stuck. Since I'm tired most of the time anyway, I thought I might commandeer the nap idea. :) Hilarious characters. I want to read more of Harriet and Mr. P!

Faith Pray said...

Ha! I love it. I just heard at my writer's conference that the brain can slip past writer's block through rhythmic subconscious movement. The author who spoke on it said that she goes for a long hike or takes a nap when she's stuck. Since I'm tired most of the time anyway, I thought I might commandeer the nap idea. :) Hilarious characters. I want to read more of Harriet and Mr. P!

Liza said...

I'm laughing...