Diagnosis: Writer’s Block

I have some bad news, I’m afraid.  It’s writer’s block.  You’ve got it pretty bad, worst case I’ve seen since before Stephen King realised he could simply cut and paste a different haunted/evil object into his previous novels.   You’ve got nothing to say and no words with which to say it.  That last sentence is a case in point.  There’s a nasty strain of it going round, Dr-patient confidentiality prevents me from naming names, but you know who they are.

There’s no real cure – we can try to treat the symptoms, but that’s about it.  It might last for days or weeks, maybe years.  Maybe it’ll never go away.

Another thing. Um. This isn’t easy, I don’t want to be insensitive at this difficult time…but, your insurance doesn’t cover it.  I’d love to help, but my frustrated hands are tied.  See, you’re even lifting lines from The Faculty.

Don’t try and hide it; don’t try swiping bits and pieces from here and there hoping no one will notice.  People notice these things: people will notice.

Your condition has received a lot of media attention, it’s no longer seen as just a, a fiction writer’s disease anymore, y’know a lifestyle thing.  People might be uncomfortable at first, then rubberneck, ask to see the scars.  I served in ‘Nam, I know how it is.  But they won’t cross the street to avoid you.  They won’t commit hate crimes against you – won’t call you ‘blocky’ or worse.  Well, some might.  There’s always some asshole.  But that’s something, right?

Mostly they’ll try and be understanding, even though they can’t understand.

I won’t lie to you, it’s gonna’ be a difficult few months: recuperation, rehabilitation, that’s assuming the treatment even works.  That’s assuming you get your insurers to back you.

No, you can’t afford me.  Go on, say pro bono on more time.

You’ll get frustrated, but whatever you do, don’t rush it, don’t try and force it by writing crap like this:

Phone box, somewhere in the Midwest, some kind of suburban ‘city’ like Aurora, Illinois. Spring time, midnight, in the rain.

…Franklin it’s me.  I can’t talk long I think the feds is trailin’ me – maybe they got a wire I dunno’, I ain’t some poindexter just some schmo’ got in too deep.  I think I’m goin’ down this time, Franklin, all ‘cause some broad couldn’t keep her mouth shut round some bent cop who wanted out.  He wanted to go straight, sold me out to pay for it.

Listen Franklin, I gotta’ go; they’re closing in like that old show Dragnet.  Tell Babyface if I catch him messing with my hooch he’ll be sorry, tell Kazinsky to cool it for a while, and tell… tell my little cousin Sammy I’m gonna’ miss his big game.  Break it to ‘im gently.  And Franklin? Tell my old lady, tell her…Oh shucks they comin’ and I don’t think they’re playin’ this time.  Just tell her somethin’ sweet ‘n easy.

[off phone]

I ain’t goin back, ya hear?! I won’t go!  You’re gonna’ have to come get me!

[gun shots ring out]

Dial tone…

See how awful that was?  How hackneyed?  I mean you could throw in some expletives or something, some pop-culture references, do a Tarantino.  Or maybe some explosions.  Have it follow a car chase and you’ve got a Michael Bay film right there.  Or…you get the picture.

Just don’t give up the fight.

See, you’ve even given me writer’s block.  It shouldn’t even be infectious.

Like I said, you got it bad.

7 thoughts on “Diagnosis: Writer’s Block

  1. I’ve just read through your last two or so months worths of posts and laughed more than once – it was rather gratifying. So thank you and, please, keep it up. (And don’t hate me, but I do love Stephen King)

    1. Much like Blanche Dubois I depend on the kindnesses of strangers, so thank you kindly.

      I too am a big fan of our Steve but they say you should kill your idols. Also, Rose Madder was dreadful, and that one with the cell phones turning people into zombies or something and hey whatever, just send my royalty cheques to the usual address.

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