Writer's Block: Blessing or Curse?

This month, the dreaded writer’s block parked its imposing presence smack dab in front of me.  The effect was measurable:  31 days; 4 posts; 2 of them repeats.  For some, that might be a blessing.  For somebody who writes either for fun or as part of a day job, it is a curse.

Writer’s block not only keeps anything from getting onto “paper."  You non-Luddites can think the cloud, the blogosphere, or wherever cyberstuff goes.  Writer’s block also suppresses thought and creativity.  A cartoon would portray it as some muscle-bound bruiser making sure that ideas remain locked up.  I am so plugged that I cannot even draw that cartoon.  Nothing similar to Metamucil or Ex Lax is available for writer’s block.  Quick (and gentle) relief generally does not exist.

For the last couple of weeks, writer’s block was the only obstacle to posts.  After all, we had an abundance potential subjects.  Disruption from our normal routine presented humor and irony as well as an opportunity to whine.  Living in a hotel in Downtown Sacramento for two weeks meant spending two weekends with thousands of Jehovah’s Witnesses.  Young and old, they began lining up at 7:30 in the morning outside the Convention Center to wait patiently and politely for whatever they would hear during the day.  Was it how to be one of the 144,000 who will survive Armageddon or how to go door-to-door on Saturdays and respond to rude remarks and doors shut in their faces with a pleasant “thank you”?

One morning brought strange juxtaposition of symbolism, the faithful, and the faithless.  Families of the faithful had to walk by a homeless man who is spewing expletive-laced rants -- all while pacing back and forth in front of the Methodist Church on the corner of 15th and J.  Did the families see that as a test?  Your guess is as good as mine.  All that I know is nobody stopped to give him the current issue of the “Watchtower.”

One evening, we sat in overstuffed chairs in a corner of the bar at the hotel drinking IPAs -- I am convinced that IPA is an acquired taste.  A very fit man in his forties sat at the bar nursing Ketel One over and eating a hamburger -- another strange juxtaposition of contrasts.  Soon the three of us were exchanging stories of workout regimens (I was only a listener), Becky’s travel adventures, Sacramento basketball stars who went bust, and “oldsters” who use their wiles to teach young folks athletic lessons.  Eventually, we learned that he was part of a team that “escorted” the rich and famous -- in an earlier time, his team would be called body guards.  Becky gave him first aid advice including how to perform an emergency tracheotomy with a pen.  That earned us another round of IPAs as he moved on to The Mix.

Before he left, Becky handed him business cards for the Lava Pups.  Maybe some of his rich and famous clients need an instrumental surf band for a party.

So much fodder but so little meat.  No matter how you may see it, I am sure that writer’s block is a curse!


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