Strategies for attacking writer’s block…


November 2, 2012 by rebelwithalabelmaker

I have been suffering from writer’s block.  This never happens.  Writing is easy for me, as I have mentioned, because it’s just like talking except you don’t have to find someone who wants to listen to you.

In the last month or two, two things have shaken up my blogging routine:

1)  People started reading my blog.  Not the gad zillions of readers of a “true” blogger, but a lot more than your average hobby blog.  It’s disconcerting–I was used to the few faithful readings who love me and would continue loving me even if I write tripe.

2)  Someone pointed out to me that blogging is “a kind of Ministry” for me (I’m a Ministry Student).  If you are Unitarian, you will be nodding wisely (maybe), and if you are not, you might be thinking “Huh.  I always pictured Ministry as a bit more… dignified…”.

Because Unitarians include people who believe in God and people who don’t, the Unitarian idea of “Ministry” is pretty vague.  It includes making a difference in the world, connecting people, inspiring awe or wonder…

David:  Your definition of “Ministry” basically includes anything a person could do that would be good for people.

Me:  Well, not just people.  There is a guy in my class who is working just with dogs…

David:  It can be Ministry if it’s just with dogs?

Me:  No, not usually…  I’m sorry, I’m totally lessening your opinion of Ministry.

David:  Oh, you’re not.  And you’re explaining that bumper sticker.

Me:  I told you before, that was a bumper sticker about dyslexic Unitarians… …it was a joke.  We do actually pretty much all believe in the existence of one or more Dogs.

David:  Actually pretty much?

Anyways, the difference between blogging as a hobby and blogging as “a kind of Ministry”, at least for Unitarians, is academic.  But the label makes me all self conscious about using words like dude and troll-booger, which cramps my style more than I’d like to admit.

Also, it got me thinking I should write about death more often, even though I already write about death way more often than your average comedy blog.  Then I thought maybe I would write about politics and that worked pretty well except then I got distracted volunteering for a campaign and even though lots of write-worthy things happen on a campaign you have to be careful because you know how politicians can be all “I didn’t say that.  I didn’t say anything like that.  Also, what is this ‘not named Bryan Smiley’ stuff?  That completely rhymes with my actual name.”

Note:  The above conversation is a slight embellishment.  In the interests of political transparency, I feel I must print the original:

Political Candidate I volunteer for:  I’m going across the street to get a sandwich.  Would you like me to grab you anything?

Me:  No thanks, I just had lunch.

As I have mentioned, I occasionally take things out of context or change the flow of dialogue, but everybody understands this and doesn’t mind except for Kathleen Who Irons Napkins, who seems to feel that my representation of her is a bit one sided.  This is technically true, as she doesn’t only iron napkins.  She also has a PhD in something that is not Community Health and Episiotomies and is an amazing artist and community activist and the best mother in the Universe as I previously mentioned, but none of those things are funny.

Also, she doesn’t actually iron napkins.  She made her daughter do it, because she is a master of delegation.  But I can’t call her Kathleen Who Makes Her Daughter Iron Napkins, as I explained to her at a recent dinner party, because that wouldn’t get to the essence of who she is at all.

I’m not sure she really understood my point, because she is mostly a visual artist and so she doesn’t understand literary subtlety.  And in my defence, every dinner guest who had read the blog recognized her right away.  She does have a napkin ironing look to her.  I pointed this out and she retaliated by asking Gary about whether he knows I blog about his sex life.  I retaliated by saying that I do not blog about his sex life, I blog about my sex life, and then he was all “sex life with who, then?”.

And he looked all agitated so Kathleen intervened and corrected the situation by telling him that he should have said “sex life with whom” and he was not very grateful to her at all, mostly because he was kind of paying attention to me at the time.  And then I explained that it was only a passing reference on the blog, and it was one he proof read (because I have him look at all of the posts about him so he stays up to date on what he has said).  It was the post about not being allowed any physical activity after my operation.  And technically I wasn’t so much referring to sex life as lack of sex life.

In politics, you can’t run around printing that you aren’t sleeping with people all willy-nilly like that.  My talent for indiscretion is one of the many things that makes me possibly the Worst Campaign Volunteer Ever.  Also, it may be why they haven’t yet trusted me to make phone calls.  That and the part where I said “I tend to blurt socially inappropriate things on the phone”.

And then, just to be sure they got the idea, I said several socially inappropriate things just to demonstrate my talent.  And then I got to stuff envelopes.  Which is awesome because there is tons of scope for creativity in that job.  I am great at origami.

2 thoughts on “Strategies for attacking writer’s block…

  1. Suzie says:

    Well, if you want my 2 cents, I like you best when you’re just YOU, not trying to blog to fit a certain niche in society. You know I’ve always enjoyed the quirky sense of humour you infuse into your writing. It helps to lighten up the serious stuff, but you still get your point across. If you got too serious, I probably would get too bored and not read it. 😉 But that’s just your far away cousin talking who never actually gets to talk to you in real life!

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