Writer’s block


There is something very stressful about committing to deliver a memorable blog on a weekly basis. This week I have absolutely nothing to say. By nothing I mean today’s musing will only be 1,064 words.

I suffer from writer’s block constantly. It manifests itself in the strangest ways. For example, I receive many of those cute evite invitations that are clearly begging me to show up at some social event. This is where my writer’s block is immediately exposed. I get stuck on what a great writer should say when responding to these opportunities. I appreciate there are only three options, yes, no or maybe, but that is when the block occurs. If I say yes, that kind of means I have to go, but what if I get a better offer?  If I say no, I will disappoint so many people who look forward to seeing me. The mere thought of a party without me sends me spiraling down to a dark place that only infrared goggles can observe. If you don’t own infrared goggles, those 3D glasses they give away at the movies might work.  I can only imagine the devastation any recipient feels if I choose the “No” button. “Maybe” is a very attractive option because it puts the inviter in such a state of anticipated excitement. The inviter must just salivate thinking, “Hey he might show but we are low on scotch. Then again he probably has so many invites he might not show, God I hope he can drop by for just a few minutes. Screw it we are cancelling the party!” You know if these computer programmers would add the obvious fourth choice, “If I feel like coming I might be there” my writer’s block would be cured.

So how does one overcome this crippling situation?  What does one say when one has nothing to say?  You are sitting at your computer, and the blank screen is starting to get so impatient, it goes into sleep mode just to mock your pathetic lack of creativity. My answer is I stare out the window of my office, and try to remember where I put the Windex. Of course that will not address all the outside dirt, and now I am going to need a ladder. Because I am petrified of heights, writer’s block no longer seems to be my biggest problem. Born Again Christians solve this problem so easily. They ponder, “What would Jesus do?”  and  immediately replace water bottles to wine bottles and quickly drink the wine.  Though you still have nothing to say the effect of the wine allows you to say a lot of stuff that people wished you hadn’t said.  A little bonus for the wine solution is you get a nice cash refund when they return the bottle.  As the writer’s block continues I find myself asking a much different question. What would Shakespeare do?

I can imagine William Shakespeare sitting at his desk in Stratford just sweating as he struggled with every word in his plays. I am not comparing myself to Shakespeare, as that would be kind of arrogant. The differences in our writing styles alone make the comparison ridiculous. He wrote comedies, tragedies, histories and quite a few sonnets using iambic pentameter, because William was a brutal rapper. I write weekly blogs in dynamic pentameter just to keep you awake. Some other striking differences are Shakespeare is dead, and according to my psychic, I am going to stay alive at least until the cheque clears. He used a quill and delicate parchment paper without spell check (don’t get me started on all the spelling mistakes in The Tempest} to write his mediocre stuff. I use a quill but very expensive heavy stock paper to write my mediocre stuff.

There are of course some striking similarities to me and the Bard of Avon. We both have goatees except for me, we are both closet fans of The Carpenters music, we are both regular viewers of Netflix and finally we both claim to have written MacBeth.

So let’s imagine William Shakespeare in his den suffering from writer’s block as he tries to write an important scene for a play whose original working title was The Godfather III, but eventually was retitled to what we know today as Hamlet.

To be or…. Man that is such a great opener for this scene and the Hamlet guy. If I were a Danish prince, who is surrounded by ghosts, murderers and a crazy woman, what would I say next?”

“To be… frank..there is going to be a lot of stabbing at the castle tonight. No that is a little too foreboding. I might ruin the ending if I give it all away. It has to be more subtle. Speaking of subtle, note to self, remove the car chase scene from Act II. Let me try again.”

“To be or WTF… I like it but it might be a little too “street’ for the gentry. I gotta remember to appeal to the aristocracy if we ever hope to get this to the Globe theatre. Note to self: Keep the soliloquies a little more “high brow”. Let me try again.”

“To be … a fly on the wall when Rosencrantz and Guildenstern see that letter, man they are gonna be pissed” No that will never work. What am I thinking? Who cares about the minor supporting characters in my friggin play.”

“This is tragic or as Hamlet might say, Thoust is tragic! I can’t even finish one line in this stupid play that will probably get lousy reviews anyway. That critic from Soho really has it out for me. Like he’s ever written a thing people are going to remember. I should have listened to my mother and taken that night course at Stratford College in accounting.”

“What is all that buzzing no wonder I can’t write! Are you kidding me, is that an actual fly on my wall? How cool is that when I just wrote that line about a fly on the wall and now there is real fly on my wall. I hate flies. Wait that tisn’t a fly, Heavens to Horatio it’s a bloody bee. I hate bees even more than flies. Ann! Ann! Where’s the newspaper? I am going to kill this bee. Wait for it to land. Patience, patience, okay that’s too funny it’s landed on my unfinished script. WACK. Got it! Well you were a bee, but now you’re not a bee. Well technically you are still a bee but a very dead bee.  A bee who is not to be a bee anymore. “

“Anyway enough of this distraction lets get back to that line for Mr. Hamlet…. I got it! To be or not to be… Hey that’s pretty good. Now if I just …OUCH! What was that? The kids slinky?  Unbelievable! Seriously, under my desk?  Ann! Ann! I thought we agreed the kids were not allowed to play in my den? Could you take these toy slings and arrows that cost me an outrageous fortune and put them back in the kid’s bloody toy box. ”

The writer’s block continues….



Cue the blong:  This week’s original song has no connection to Shakespeare

To be tender or not to be tender?  Should we even ask the question?.







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