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Around the Block

Thursday, July 29, 2010 - 11:11 AM

Writer’s block.  The mere thought of it is enough to chill anyone who makes their living by putting quill to parchment, or fingertips to keyboard.

That moment when you stare at the blank page and you think – omigod, I have absolutely nothing to say.  I know, I know, the cheap trick to get you through writer’s block is just to start writing.  “I have absolutely nothing to say…”  Then what? 

I’ve been lucky.  The writing I’ve done is about something – usually music, but occasionally dance, theater, soccer, and horse racing.  Still, there’ve been times when the blank page has become a taunting adversary, daring me to come up with something, anything, to fill it with.  It is both the blessing and the curse of, for example, a daily blog.  You have to write something every day; but on the other hand, you’re in the habit of writing every day, so there’s a process going on.  (Plus, it’s a blog; so really, who cares if it’s any good…)  

Seriously, though, writing “I have nothing to say” over and over doesn’t help break through writer’s block, at least not for me.  But as the late great conceptualist/composer John Cage once said, “begin anywhere.”  For me, if I’m really up against it, I just start writing about a favorite song or singer (or a song I really, really hate), and since I have a tendency to stray off topic a lot, that will usually get me around the block, in a manner of speaking. 

Today’s blog, for example, began with me writing about thoroughbred racing.  (I’m making my annual pilgrimage up to Saratoga for 2 weeks after tomorrow.)  All deleted now, of course, but hey, it got me here…

What do you do to deal with a creative block?  Leave a comment



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