Hanging In

So now instead or writers block I have blog block, which doesn’t sound as professional or mysterious as writers block, in fact, it sounds a little creepy, but apparently it is just as real. I was afraid this would happen. What’s the point of blogging to overcome writers block if you just contract another version of the disease? I wonder if there is a pill I can take, or if I missed out on some immunization or if my diet is wrong. I read an interview in Poets & Writers some time ago with a popular author (whose name I shall withhold for no reason other than it makes me sound like a journalist) and she said she didn’t understand writers block.  She went to a writers colony (which sounds too close to a lepers colony for my taste, I mean, don’t we already feel enough like lepers just telling people we write?) for a month and she pounded out a best seller. Now, I happened to read this best seller and thought the writing was uninteresting, the plot predictable and the characters flat. Nonetheless, her book made it into mini-bookstores in airports and was turned into a movie and she made a lot of money. I have a couple of dear friends who keep telling me I should write a smutty romance novel to make money and then I can write what I want (I used to teach sex education and somehow they think this qualifies me). I have scoffed at this idea for years, but now I think, well, why not? I want to be able to make enough money so I can quit my day job, I want to get something in print, what’s stopping me?

What’s stopping me is I think it would be just as hard to write a smutty romance as it would be to write literary fiction. I would have to live with icky characters and write about heaving bosoms and God knows what. And then I would try to make it perfect. I would do research (hmmm…I guess that could be fun) and edit and rewrite and second guess and hate myself and if I’m going to go through all that, I should really write something I’m in love with. Or something that keeps calling out to me or something I can let my mother read. It might be a good strategy for some people–I wish you well–but I am far too neurotic and insanely attached to language and driven by the desire to write something slightly remarkable, even if I can’t sell the movie rights.

I know. I’m screwed.



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2 responses to “Hanging In

  1. Susan Hradil

    You crack me up.

    Blog block sounds serious; get over it. I like reading your blog. Then get over the other block too, but please don’t stop blogging.

    And the image you chose… to accompany the words… now, that scares me. S.

  2. Ellen

    I have two words for you: write comedy. You are hilarious. And I don’t say that lightly; it takes a certain kind of humor (and lots of it) to actually make me laugh. You’ve got it. For God’s sake, you could probably write for SNL or something. It’s a talent; use it, wring it dry. I would love to be able to do comedic writing but I’m not sure I could.

    Heaving bosoms, indeed. Ha!

    And please don’t succumb to blog block (as Susan says, a serious affliction). I’m hooked on your blog. I need it. I look forward to it. Don’t leave me.

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