painting by Rigney
There’s nothing worse than writer’s block. Okay, maybe famine, genocide, or a Mensa mixer is worse.
Ever been to a Mensa mixer?
Imagine it. The space — a Quality Inn banquet room? Something more upscale? A Hyatt?
Tables, carpet patterns, windows, drapery, caterers.
Characters? Base them on people you know. One of your old high school teachers, an aging history droner with badly dyed hair (you choose the color).
Mix and unmatch outfits.
Add a recent widow with helmet-like hair and a nasal Midwestern accent, a brayer when amused.
You, the protagonist, a lonely man or woman who has joined out of desperation. There’s someone there you sort of dig, maybe. Make him or her up yourself. Have your would-be love interest constantly checking a Tinder feed.
It’s all up to you because I’m not going to write that short story. Writing fiction is too damned demanding.
Crucial Tip #1: One of the most effective ways to overcome writer’s block os to quit writing.
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If you’re a poet and stuck, you can always come up with an image and start from there, whether it’s a memory from childhood, your alcoholic father snoring on a sofa at four PM on a Saturday, his hairy over-abundant stomach exposed beneath a too-small wifebeater, the stomach inflating and deflating while a college football game blares from the TV.
Or a tropically bright painted bunting with nervous eyes doing reconnaissance. He darts out of a thicket as he cops drops trickling from the so-called waterfall in an aquatic garden in your back yard. He flits back, disappearing into shadows.
Cf. Wordsworth and Dickinson.
Coming up with ideas for poems isn’t that taxing, but writing a good poem is almost impossible, and there’s absolutely no money in it. Plus poets tend to commit suicide with such abnormally high rates that actuaries prefer to insure wingsuit fliers over sonneteers.
Crucial Tip # 2: One of the most effective ways to overcome writer’s block is to give up writing poetry. (It just very well could save your life).
Dead Suicide Poets Society
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Therefore, if you’re one of these self-indulgent people who must write, I suggest non-fiction, and it would seem there’s so much to write about – the homeless, McMansions, the state of the spray-on tan industry, the Death of God/the Republican Party, the history of Mensa/the fallibility inherent in IQ testing, sleep apnea, the Nebraska Cornhuskers, the evolution of intimate apparel, the problem of writing block and how to overcome it.