Sunday, October 12, 2014

Writer’s Block - Aarrrggghh!

by Children’s Book Author Marilyn Kleiber

The words “writer’s block’ strike terror in the hearts of every author. I suspect this fear is induced by demanding editors and/or looming publishing deadlines.

As a writer, when you write for pleasure, do you experience that nasty roadblock that prevents  ideas? Or do you sit in comfort at your word processor, happily immersed in character and plot, ideas flowing fast and furiously?

I would like to suggest you change your attitude about writer’s block and look upon it as something of immeasurable benefit.

Let me explain.

The first time I experienced writer’s block, the pressure of a deadline to produce a newsletter for which I was to be paid a rather handsome amount, loomed on the horizon. Instead of being productive, I sat in front of my computer, speechless. Of course, my fingers and brain were speechless, not my mouth.

Doing nothing is against my nature, and thus I discovered the boon of an occasional writer’s block.

To attempt to get the muse flowing, my first action commenced with alphabetizing my books -- all sixteen shelves of them, I might add.

I sat down to write, but after a half hour headed to the kitchen to make tea.

I have ten stacking trays on my desk, holding a variety of projects on which I am working. After tea, I tidied every single tray, dusted them, and stacked all the paperwork back on the shelves with care.

Once more in front of the computer ideas still refused to flow. I decided upon further action.

I removed everything from my cork board, and replaced them, making sure all were perfectly lined up. I even used a ruler to ensure the alignment was pristine.

Again I stared at my blank screen, hoping for inspiration, but the only thing visible seemed to be the annoying little memory jogger about unread e-mails.

I succumbed and cleared 2,356 e-mails out of my inbox, prudently making electronic copies on word documents of the ones I considered of some importance.

However, still no inspiring words could I commit to screen.

I dusted every stick of furniture in my office, swept the entire floor, and took the garbage out to the garage.

In front of the screen once more. Nothing.

I systematically lined up every pen and pencil and arranged them according to the colors of the rainbow.

Still nothing.

My stomach growled at me for lunch, so I hustled out to the kitchen for sustenance. Seated at my table, I digested my food and completed three sudoku puzzles.

No words flowed from my keyboard to the screen, so I browsed through files on my computer and discovered some amusing videos I had collected over the years.

I sent seventeen e-mails to friends with videos attached.

In desperation, I called a writer friend who had just sent her completed novel off to her editor. I knew she would at least give me a a brief time to wail about my unfortunate brain challenge.

A wise woman indeed, she said, “If you don’t do the article tonight, you’ll lose the job and you won’t get paid.”

OMG! She was right!

Without pause, I hung up the phone and found my fingers flying over the keyboard. Extraordinary prose flowed from my previously inert brain like gold from a Leprechaun’s cauldron.

To solve all subsequent writer’s block challenges, I now have the following words posted on a bright orange piece of paper, right above my computer screen.

“The Magic of Inspiration!
My Words will Pay the Rent and Buy the Food”

My Short Bio

As an author, Marilyn has written articles for magazines and newspapers, edited newsletters and published her first book - Short Tales From a Tall Person. In 2013, she was one of the winners in the Alice Munro Short Story Contest. Marilyn has a plethora of short stories and two novels in progress. While her full time occupation is Acquisitions Editor for Sun Dragon Press, she teaches writing in a variety of locations in Ontario, Canada.


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Brian Feinblum’s views, opinions, and ideas expressed in this blog are his alone and not that of his employer, Media Connect, the nation’s largest book promoter. You can follow him on Twitter @theprexpert and email him at He feels more important when discussed in the third-person. This is copyrighted by BookMarketingBuzzBlog © 2014

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