Break Out The Battering Ram

What do you need besides books? MORE BOOKS.

Goooood morning, gentle viewers, and welcome to today’s edition of Sunday, My Prints Will Come! In which Emmie discusses blockages — and not the kind you battle with Metamucil.


Writer’s block.


All writers know that sense of despair that comes from looking at a blank screen and having a blank brain to match. Sometimes you’ll be flying through a story at NaNoWriMo speeds, past 10,000; 20,000; 30,000 words. And then?


English: a yellow bricks wall in a restaurant

Ow. English: a yellow bricks wall in a restaurant (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

So you sidle over a little, and then a little bit more. Pretty soon you’re doing a hop-scotch of a sidestep trying to find out where the edge of the wall can be found. Then you go back the other way, but to no avail.


You want to go forward. On the other side of the bricks, you know there are things like exciting fight scenes and you weren’t going to use staring to communicate anything at all.


You bang your fists against the brick once, but of course your fists come out second best. You hit it again. And again. And again.


Pretty soon you’re banging away, and all you’ve got are bloody fists.


You try to distract yourself, because hey, cake!

Mixed Berry Earl Grey Cake

Oooh, very pretty and delicious cake! Mixed Berry Earl Grey Cake (Photo credit: Sifu Renka)

But once you’ve eaten all the cake, the wall is still there in front of your face.

Mocking you.

It even shows up at parties and social gatherings. It shows up when you’re talking to your in-laws about how your boss hates you and you’re scratching your head because they think you should have a better job. It shows up when you’re cooking dinner and you get so mad that you manage to burn the broccoli.

And worst, when you sit down to write, it wedges itself between you and your open Scrivener document. Or Squidoo lens. Or WordPress blog post.

“Just write ten words,” you tell yourself. “Then you can go on Twitter and talk about Rocky Horror Picture Show and superpowers!”

So you write two words. “That’s good enough, right?” And off to Twitter you go.

English: Mountain Bluebird (Sialia currucoides)

IRL Twitter is horribly disappointed in you. English: Mountain Bluebird (Sialia currucoides) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

There’s only so much Twitter and cake you can take before you start to realise that you haven’t written more than two words at a time in five days. And when you remember that NaNoWriMo is, in actuality, right around the corner instead of simply being a handy metaphor for the flurry of writing you’re NOT doing, you start to bang your head into that wall o’ brick.

Here’s the secret about writer’s block. This secret is the only reason this blog post is happening right now and that you didn’t just get a random picture of my dog today.

The battering ram to get through that damn brick wall is writing.

I know. It’s the most annoying secret in the world, and it’s disingenuous to boot. The worst kind of secret. But it’s true.

Write about anything. Write about writer’s block, like I’m doing now. Write about how annoyed you are that you stepped in dog poo and tracked it into work. Write about brussels sprouts. Write about how much you need coffee. Write about your cat chasing a bug. Write, write, write, just bloody write already.

Every word that hits the page chips away at that wall of bricks.

If you can’t move forward on your WIP, start something different write a short. Write a poem. Write an article. Write a political diatribe. Write about your love of socks and woolly jumpers.

If you just write, and I just write, then the brick wall will come tumbling down. You don’t have to clap your hands and make a fairy fart or pen the next Great Whatevery Whosit with your toes. You just have to write.

So…go write.

And here’s a random picture of my

Buffy as a baby! Aw, look how cute and un-potty trained she was! The only thing worse than stepping in poo is doing it in bare feet inside your home. Aw. Puppies.





About Emmie Mears

Saving the world from brooding, one self-actualized vampire at a time.

Posted on September 30, 2012, in Sunday My Prints Will Come and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 9 Comments.

  1. You are so right. The secret to writing is to *start*. The action of writing anything opens the door to creativity. Then the good stuff flows through. I think it was Hemmingway who said that finishing is hardest. But you won’t have anything to finish if you never start!

  2. Great advice. But what’s really sticking with me from this post? The memory of stepping in my childhood puppy’s poo outside my bedroom door one morning with my bare foot. Priceless. 🙂

    • Yeah, both Spouse and I have had that displeasure as well. Not to mention waking up to a terrible stench when she had an upset tummy and didn’t make it through the night in her crate. Great alarm clock, that. Except not.

      • I think it’s like having children (although I can’t speak from experience). Over time, the memories of such events are “softened” or “sweetened.”

  3. Write. You. Are.

  4. So true. Just suck it up and keep writing (although easier said then done!)

  5. Heehee. This is just like the advice I give people for getting in shape. You have to exercise and eat right. Nope no magic spell or bubbly potions. To get pastwriters block, you have to write.

    As the wise Yoda says; “Do or do not… there is no try.” 😉

  6. There’s no other way around it. Write on!

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