The Block

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As writers, we’ve all been there. It shows up when you least expect it, and hangs around longer than we want. The block.

How the “hello” are we supposed to hone our craft when the block party shows up? Do you know I sat in front of my computer for an hour the other day, searching for some credible material to write? In the end, I walked away mad.

In the past, I would take on writing small devotionals whenever I was confronted with the block. Nothing would free up my mind like reading scripture. Can I get an amen? But lately, not even the Word has been able to snap me out of this particular funk.

Every one of us has that secret stash of unfinished works we like to revisit, in times of emergency, right? Yeah…that didn’t work either. I have a particular story about a gunfight standoff, I’ve been working on for about a month now. This block has obstructed the creative flow of that story’s plot. I almost scrapped it completely yesterday, I was so frustrated.

So, in the spirit of rebellion against the evil block, I decided to write about it instead. And let me encourage you at the same time. I know it sux when we’re visited by writer’s block, but rest assured you are not alone fellow wordsmiths. I think the key to conquering the block is the hit it hard with the 10-pound hammer of tenacity. When it shows up, write about anything, even if it’s your feelings about dealing with writer’s block. You do that; hey! You win! You’ve beat it!

Writers gotta write, right? So what’s your excuse? Get to it!

In The Buff

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Here’s my admission: I hate summer heat. Its probably because I was born in January and simply grew accustomed to winter birthdays. Hot, sweltering, blistering heat is not my idea of a good time. So believe me when I tell you, that when the thermometer outside my tiny office window reads 86 degrees, its probably 95 degrees inside the 7′ x 15′ room. And I am not enjoying it

“Why do I keep subjecting myself to this? This really isn’t the only room in the house, to write in?”

No, but this is where the magic always happens

Except tonight. Tonight, I got an unexpected visit from an old friend. His name is Writer S. Block. This jerk tends to show up at the most inopportune times. Whenever he’s around, I can literally feel my time being wasted, as I sit in front of my computer screen staring at a blank page, sometimes for hours. He’s a taker, you see. Saps the life right out of a great idea, leaving no tip, no pun, no advice, nothing. 

So, here I am sitting in this God-forsaken heat, staring at my blank screen, while my desktop tower’s internal fan buzzes, just trying to keep the motherboard from frying. I’m so hot and flustered, I can’t even think straight anymore. I don’t remember if I’ve been sitting for an hour or two. But, my left leg is beginning to go numb from the knee down, and sweat is blazing a trail down my back, headed straight for my crack. That’s when I get this brilliantly stupid idea.

Go free man

“What the heck does that mean?”

Take it all off! Liberate yourself and free up those creative juices

“Uh…yeah, I’m still not following.” I guess the fact that I’m speaking to myself doesn’t matter at this point.

Take off your clothes! Set yourself free 

Sure, the notion was goofy, but I did it anyway. And you know what? It was awesome! The second I dropped my drawers, it was like an invisible cap fell off my head. My mind opened up. I sat down and immediately went to work on the keyboard. It was actually cool, writing in the nude. Really! A breeze suddenly blew through my little window dropping the room temperature, just a tick. My fingers cranked out a 750-word short in less than 20 minutes. Wooo!

I felt so free, I decided to take a midnight stroll around the block, in the nude. But, just before I hit the front door, I chickened out, ran upstairs and put on a pair of boxers, before sprinting around the block one time. Hey, at least I can say that I was a partial streaker at one point in my life.

So fellow wordsmiths, if you ever find yourself in a state of writer’s blockage, I recommend trying the Buff Method. Its free, invigorating and painless. And you just may be surprised at the tale you’re able to write about while in the nude.