Monday, May 16, 2011

On, In and Around Mondays: What to Do About Writer's Block

old books

What do you do when you don't have words, she's been asking. I might answer this more than once. I like the question. Here's an idea for today...

Choose a morning. Stay in bed. This is not going to take all day. Grab a notebook (the one you keep by your bedside, or will after today).

Leave the curtains closed. Mine are faded yellow with leaves, lilacs, and unidentifiable pink flowers that could pass for peonies if you let them. I like these curtains all right. They were our first real purchase as newlyweds, in search of a matching bedroom set. By now, the curtains don't match the comforter, for two reasons. One, the old comforter got tossed (I think it was too hot for one of the people who sleeps underneath it). And, two, I am allergic to Bed, Bath, and Beyond— both the little white price stickies and the candle section.

If you leave the shades down while you write, it will be hard to see the lines in your notebook. Maybe that is just what you need. Maybe you've been too attentive to the lines lately.

My shades, by the way, are of the Room-Darkening Power Level. As I recall, the little white price stickies proved it. Which would be perfectly fine if the shades kept me asleep through sunrise. Who wouldn't pay extra for a good night's sleep?

The sun begins its rising at about 4 a.m. I know this, because the super-hero shades are no competition for my body's Light-Awareness-Sensors. (I am wishing I could patent these sensors for some useful purpose, package them in pink peony paper, and sell them at Bed, Bath and Beyond.)

Besides developing a great potential product for sleep-deprived middle agers, you have now almost filled a page in your notebook with confessions of your losses and your superpowers. It is no doubt messy, the curtains are still drawn, your bed isn't made. But there are two good outcomes: you've finally written something, and nobody can tell that the curtains don't match the comforter.

On, In and Around Mondays (which partly means you can post any day and still add a link) is an invitation to write from where you are. Tell us what is on, in, around (over, under, near, by...) you. Feel free to write any which way... compose a tight poem or just ramble for a few paragraphs. But we should feel a sense of place. Would you like to try? Write something 'in place' and add your link below.

If you could kindly link back here when you post, it will create a central meeting place. :)

On In Around button

This post is also shared with Laura Boggess, for...

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Blogger Laura said...

This is de-lightful! You. Always the teacher. And, hey, did you see my new button? I must admit, I felt a little sad to say goodbye to my lovely pink (I am sentimental about these these things)--it has served me very well these past weeks. Thank you for that :).

10:48 AM  
Blogger Jim Martin said...

L.L., I always enjoy reading your blog. Your use of words and images (Here I am thinking about Bath and Body Works! Not normal for this guy.)

I suspect many people deal with writer's block (whether post, essay or sermon). Thanks.

11:12 AM  
Blogger Deidra said...

I like any option that lets me stay in bed on a Monday morning. : )

So grateful I asked the question...and even more grateful for your answer.

11:36 AM  
Anonymous Simply Darlene said...

I love this!

Guess what? I am married to a light man. I, on the other hand, could live in a cave, according to him. He has his dream bedroom now because our "sleeping loft" is floor to slanted ceiling windows. I cannot sleep with my head under the pillow so I get up at 5am nowadays, but sometimes I stay in bed and watch the deer, magpies, pheasants and quail wander around the hillside. I reckon daylight ain't so bad after all!


11:37 AM  
Blogger Megan Willome said...

I, too, have an over-developed light sensor. But stay in bed? I'd have to fake sickness.

Still, it might be worth it. I have not had a shred of creativity since my mom died and quite a bit before that. If I didn't have a writing job, I'd be done-for.

1:06 PM  
Anonymous HisFireFly said...

You have brightened my day, even more than the brilliant sun outside my window!

2:58 PM  
Blogger nance marie said...

i like your curtain story.

3:46 PM  
Blogger Sheila said...

I can see those putative peonies on the honeymooner curtains--love it!

Could I instead command the rest of the household to spend the morning in bed so I could pad around downstairs undisturbed? That would work well for me if I could gain cooperation. I think the humans would be willing to accommodate me, but the dogs...well...I dunno.

6:39 PM  
Blogger Louise Gallagher said...

I love your writing style, the stories you write and your stories your writing conjure up in my mind.

thank you!

9:37 AM  
Anonymous Zena Neds-Fox said...

i've been wading through the writer's block waters as of late. today i left the premisis. my house is the same is my writing is the same and everything i put on paper just feels the same.

and it helped.

it was good to be writing in a new space.

thanks for putting this out there.


8:25 PM  

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