The Creative Tap is All Tapped Out - A Piece Of My Mind
The truth is, ideas catch you up during traffic jams, they drift in on the lapping water of a cooling bath and even occasionally pop up while standing behind someone who has dared to take six items into the five items or fewer shopping queue.'
~Sandi Toksvig, in her column, "Seven" in The Sunday Telegraph magazine
Writer's block is a condition that few people actually understand. Like tennis elbow, it sounds dafter and less painful than it is. To lose one's craft is a bereavement.'
Ever had a day when you don't know what to write about? There are days when my mind seems to go on empty. Mine tends to happen when the dreaded deadline doom chimes its death knell (this is an overly dramatic version of an editor sending me an e-mail, asking where my column is and when can she have it).
And still, with all this pressure on me to perform a simple task as in writing a column, I cannot formulate words to write about something. Anything at all. It feels like my creative well has tapped itself dry of any ideas. Whereas, days before these ideas flowed out like a river.
So what can I write about . . . Maybe I can reflect on a pressing point of writing involving integrity, BUT what point do I address? What point of view do I want to take? I am getting upset, not knowing where to go.
By now you must understand I have a bad case of WRITER'S BLOCK. Oh my GOD, this can't happen to me! You know Writer's Block is not a named disease, but it should be one. There is no known cure for the block. We should have a Writer's Block Foundation . . . You know a mind is a terrible thing to waste.
I stare at the blank computer screen. The cursor blinks in its rhythm, like the second hand of a watch. I don't need to hear the tick of the clock, I already hear its tick, tick, tick in my head as time goes by. And still I cannot fester an idea to write this month's column.
Wait I have an idea! Maybe I should print a page from my daily personal journal. And maybe I shouldn't, it may seem too boring for many to read . . . I know I wrote it!
Why don't I call another writer friend and see what they are writing? Just my luck, they may have a worse case of Writer's block, worse than mine . . . then we will just be crying in our beers.
Ideas should come to you, so many say. However, there are days when your creative tap is all tapped out. Your lovely inner voice chimes out "C'mon you have to have an idea somewhere?"
Sometimes, I wish there was an idea fairy. Like the tooth fairy, leaving an idea under your pillow with a chocolate mint . . . instead of a dollar. I hear the voice of the tooth fairy, who is not allowing my chocolate candy. "What do you mean I can't have a chocolate mint?',I tell her indignantly. "This is my fantasy . . . and if I want a chocolate mint under my pillow . . . I will have a mint!" I smile, telling off that winged toothy fairy. You see you don't mess with me fairy. She won't bother me, she paid for all my baby teeth already!
So, instead of writing today, I muse what I can do. I could play games on the Internet or Facebook. Or maybe I could surf the web and look for an idea to write about. However when I do surf, I tend to wander over to E-BAY and bid on DVDs and MP3s I want. That won't get the column written. It will only make me buy more items with the money I will earn from writing the column, so I feel guilty.
I enjoy the talents of writer/director/actor Kevin Smith. For those who don't know him, he is the writer and the director of Dogma, Jersey Girl, Chasing Amy, Clerks, Tusk and Mallrats. In his DVD An Evening with Kevin Smith 2- Evening Harder, he told an audience in Toronto "I don't have writer's block. I have writer's malaise. I tend to watch episodes of Law and Order. Then my wife reminds me about the mortgage payment and I rush into working as fast as I can." I wish that would happen to me, but I have a block. I know cuz I feel it!
So here I sit, waiting for inspiration to hit. Like Newton waiting for his apple to hit his head, I too wait for my idea to hit like that apple . . . wish me luck!
Until next time, Reach for the Stars
Columnist: Bennet Pomerantz has covered the Audio medium for the last 20 years. He has syndicated newspaper columns, AUDIOWORLD and "Movies of Your Mind", in Affaire De Coeur Magazine. In which he showcase his vast and diverse knowledge of the spoken word medium.
He is also known as a media review critic (books, music, graphic novels, DVDs, CDs) in his weekly syndicated newspaper column "A Piece of the Page". He also is a ranked media reviewer for Amazon.com. http://www.facebook.com/bennet.pomerantz1 / E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org