Writers’ Block

The last three weeks have been especially…um…what’s the word? Tough? Every day I walk my wife to work and every day when I walk back, I have about 27 minutes of think time. I float home with auto-pilot engaged and I think of what I am going to center my blog post around. If you’re keeping score, it’s been a while since I’ve put pen to paper, as it were.

Every day I have great ideas: My Welsh friend’s melodious way of saying ‘puncture’. How the air around the Europol building has smelled of fried chicken twice in the last week. The ratcheting clankiness of most bicycles around here.

Every day I triumphantly take the elevator up to our apartment and I’m buzzing with words that need to be read by the Internet. But, every day, once the key is inserted and I walk through the threshold, something slides the eraser knob over my Magna-Doodle brain. It might be feline related.

This is not a one-off thing. It’s been happening for three weeks now. I know it’s going to happen. But I can’t stop it. I try to avoid being blank-slated by the powers that be in our apartment by concentrating on a good topic. I focus and lock it in my head. But as I enter the apartment, the blog post simply dissipates like when you try to remember the details of a dream in the morning.

People have told me that serious writers always have a notepad and pen handy. Well, I’m not that serious and I have this weird thing about having stuff in my pockets. Even carrying around house keys, cell phone and wallet encumbers me–and forget about loose change. I have tried to use my phone as my digital notepad because most phones these days have a notepad application, usually called notepad. Though, somewhere in the process of unlocking the phone, finding the correct app, giving it a title, typing out some notes (clumsily I might add because I have fat thumbs) and saving, my mind wanders off abandoning the slippery idea it had briefly held.

This is as far as I got.

In the case of the phone not working for me, I blame my popularity. Because as frequently as I have an idea worth wrestling over with my phone, I have a message as manifested by email, Whatsapp, SMS or software update. They’re usually software updates. I also blame good old fashioned laziness. I know it’s going to be tough to actually make it to the part where I am ‘typing’ my ‘ideas’ on the ‘notepad’. So, I just convince myself that the idea sucked.

But if Europol smells like fried chicken again, I’m asking for some.

[image courtesy of seniorinteractiveproducer.com]


  1. It’s tough to be so popular. I know how that goes. I definitely relate to this process of chasing ideas. I do keep a notebook with me (I have a purse so that’s easier – you could invest in a European man purse) so I don’t forget anything when I’m on the go. I highly recommend Field Notes: http://fieldnotesbrand.com/. I also have a million different Google docs for client writing, other work writing, personal writing ideas that I record when I’m sitting in front of my computer… My problem is follow-through on writing projects that aren’t for a client and don’t have a deadline. After writing client work all day, it’s tough to stay motivated to write a blog post for my personal blog or the Creative Distillery website.

    Good post!

  2. Thanks for the comment Gillie, and I have considered getting a man purse. But it’s just not going to happen. The notepads look awesome, perhaps they are even thin enough to slip into my back pocket. Though, don’t you find something romantic about scratching down some notes on a bar napkin or on the back of a receipt for cat food? I don’t because I don’t like garbage in my pocket.

    I agree that the hardest part is the follow through. I have many “oh, that would be an awesome blog post–if I had already written it” moments. The fact of the matter is, writing is hard work and many times my brain is too tuckered out to flesh out the ideas IT came up with. Anyway, thanks again and here’s to being popular.


    • Yeah, I’ll write on the back of receipts and napkins and anything else I can get my hands on… then promptly lose everything. The romantic writer thing is way less cool in real life. Brian always carries a Field Notes notebook in his pocket; it’s definitely slim enough so it doesn’t really get in your way. Good luck, dude. I’m still impressed at how often you post!

  3. Sonja

    You should get a small notepad that fits in your back pocket and take a detour through the park on your way home. Maybe the trees will help get the words out – and if not at least you enjoyed some time in the park 🙂

  4. Colette Hayes

    In my experience, the ONLY effective cure for writer’s block is to write. And write, and write, and write. By the looks of it, you’ve already started this prescription.

  5. Adam

    I have yet to see a frisbee related post. Just saying 🙂

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