How To Destroy Writers Block…
As they approached the town they couldn’t help but be puzzled by the sign that read:
Welcome To Odd Sockville
Population: 4 (we R many)
So I was listening to my usual healthy dose of the Tim Ferris Podcast today on my way home from a modelling shoot. Oh, did I tell you I was a model? No? That’s because I’m not. I look remotely human some of the time and barely human most of the time. I’m certainly not one of the chiselled, Colgate Smile wearing Superhumans you see in magazines. I’m more like the product of a one night stand between a Neanderthal and a war ravaged Viking. An offspring who evolved enough and cleaned himself up enough to pass as an acceptable member of society. I’m not offensive to look at and I’m sharp enough looking in a suit. When you need a guy who has a not-too-frightening mowhawk, plenty of interesting, non-offensive tattoos, and who isn’t completely deformed I’m the guy you call. *get in there you little red faced smiley emoji*
Hold on, something interesting has just happened and this is the interesting part of writing for me. This is the part where I’m standing at a crossroads… with no demons in sight. This is way past that crossroads. Hell, that Crossroads is way in the rearview mirror and the demons are already having the time of their lives in the playground of my head, after chasing all the good boys and girls away. The Crossroads has just appeared as if by black magic.
Oh, wait a minute… now we’ve just added a freeway above the crossroads.
What? But you haven’t explained the crossroads thing yet.
Ok, we’ll get to that but I have to explain the freeway first while we’re sitting right above it. The freeway is the part the readers have built. They’ve actually hacked into the Odd Sock Matrix and added a glitch.
Does that even make sense?
Don’t worry, it will. Anyway, it’s not my fault. I can’t control what my readers think… or can I? *we’ll have a scary ghosty emoji please, Bob*
So lets go back to ‘The Crossroads’. Oh look there’s a Monorail sign… it couldn’t be… wait… no surely not… yep, it’s happened. A Monorail has just been built that takes you all around and through the Crossroad’s and Freeways of Odd Sockville.
What? Now we’ve got a monorail to interpret? We still haven’t got an explanation of the Crossroads thing yet! Or a decent explanation of the Freeway!
Oh shit, yeah, the Crossroads… and the Freeway.
Dammit, dude get your shit together and finish this Blog before you lose any readers that are miraculously still reading at this point and who haven’t sold their eyes on the black market to avoid ever reading your nonsense again.”
Ahhh… would this be a bad time to point out the Tram that’s just appeared? The Tram that takes you in and out of all the streets of Odd Sockville? While we’re at it, I should mention the fact that some streets have appeared.
Dude, the big vein in my head’s starting to go here. I think it’s gonna blow if you don’t clean this mess of hyperbole up in the next paragraph.
Ah… howsabout we make it four paragraphs?
Two – take it or leave it before Odd Sockville finds an exploded head on the Tramline.
Ok, ok, chill. We have a deal.
Right lets get through this without any further distraction. Ladies and gentlemen, the cast of tonight’s Blog in order of appearance are:
Number 1) The Crossroads! This popped up when I mentioned ‘…not too frightening mohawk…’ and ‘…non offensive tattoos…’ What happens at this point of writing for me is that a Crossroads pops up. I’m presented with a choice of roads that I can take the Blog, or Book (or whatever it is I’m writing at that time) down for a little cruise, or maybe a voyage of exploration, or maybe even a spot of pillaging. In my head, the ‘tattoos and mohawks’ line instantly sparked off a few streetlights that lit up the Crossroads. I can start talking about how crazy it is for a human being to take offence at anything. That’s one of the roads I could choose for the next part of this adventure. Or what about road number two? It looks like it would maybe lead me to start riffing on how preposterous a notion it is that a mohawk haircut should cause anyone to feel frightened. Hold on, let’s see road number three. It looks windy and it isn’t too well lit. Hmmm… that’s the road where I could start elaborating on how fear is the cause of every negative outcome, emotion, action, or thought on the planet. That’s an ambitious road. I might not wanna be out this late at night on such a dimly lit, twisty road. Wait a minute! There’s my old friend, road number four! That’s the road that just keeps on going. It’s the road that lets you drive as recklessly and as fast as you like. No Traffic Cops, no speed limits, no rules. I like that road. Fyi: we’re about to hit road number four. You might wanna put on your seatbelt.
Right, that’s that done. Freeway next! We agreed three paragraphs didn’t we?
Two. Don’t push it.
Ok, but this one doesn’t count.
So, the freeway! The Freeway is formed when I write about demons, playgrounds, and other such metaphorical meanderings. I basically start going all Dante, and maybe get a tad illustrious. It’s the part where the reader has the choice to buy into what I’m saying and really connect with the words on a deeper level… or it’s the time for them to check out with the “Is this guy for real?” thought bouncing around their heads… or it’s the time for a genuine “Is this guy for real?” musing. The Freeway, ladies and gentlemen. Head North for “Connect”; South for “Eject”; and East or West for “Hmmm Is This For Me?” Now, I can’t be held responsible for the Freeway. It is the sole property of my readers and they are fully responsible for it’s erection and maintenance.
Jeez what is it now?
A Drive Thru just popped up in Odd Sockville.
A Drive Thru?!
Yeah, you know, a place where you can get fast and convenient food with instant gratification and zero substance whatsoever.
It was the erection comment wasn’t it? You instantly laughed like an adolescent schoolboy at the very mention of the word erection and you felt the even greater need to tell everyone in the room. Didn’t you? Will you ever grow up?
No. I will never grow up.
Good. I laughed my ass off when you typed erection too.
I knew it!! Imagine I had typed ‘penis’. It would have been game over. I’d have never managed any serious work after that. I’d be all like “Oh no! A Circus has just popped up in Odd Sockville!” and you’d be like “Oh no! My big veins popping and it’s about to blow!”, and then I’d be like “Dude, you can’t mention your big vein and penis in the same sentence, that’s too much!”, and then that boring old fart Common Sense would waken from his slumber to find chaos reigning supreme and he’d do his best to calm things down.
Yeah, that’d be about right. God I love funny words and adolescent humour. Let’s keep it between the hedges here though. We don’t want Mr Spoil The Party to wake up. We’ve had to be sensible all day working with that smokin hot model. Jeez the things I would…
Ah.. bro, remember we’ve got company.
Oh right, yeah, good thinking, man. Inside head voice, inside head voice.
What? Good thinking? I never spoke.
What do you mean you never… Uh oh, Captain Sensible’s just woke up. Craparoo. I don’t know what his problem is. I mean it’s not like anybody reads this shit anyway. Let’s go crazy wild and tie Captain Sensible up!
Wtf?! Dude! You’re supposed to be my Higher Self! You can’t say those things about my Blog!
Shit, sorry bro. I’m all goofed out on that erection banter.
It’s ok, we’re all cool, just chill out. Hey, imagine you had mistyped the word banter and wrote ‘batt…
Don’t finish that sentence, I’m begging you, I’m on the verge of sharing the same fate as the Toon Patrol Weasels from ‘Who Framed Roger Rabbit’ here!
Hahaha I know! That’d be a riot though wouldn’t it? Imagine the headlines: “Higher Conscious Laughs Himself To Death At Erection Joke”
Code Red! Code Red! Higher Self has gone rogue! I repeat Higher Self has gone rogue! He has taken over the cockpit of the Monorail and is hurtling towards the Circus with a full tank of fuel and no brakes!
Uh oh, here’s old Captain Sensible in full swing now. Wait, do Monorail trains have cockpits?
How would I know!? I’m not the one usually doing the writing. Does it matter if what you write isn’t strictly true?
You’re asking me? How the f**k should I know!? I just kinda fell into this as a way to amuse myself, spend less time smoking weed, and keep the demons at bay.
There you go again with the demons. Always with the demons.
Ok there you cheap-ass Ernest Hemingway wannabe, I think you’ve had quite enough Monorail fumes for one evening. Let me take the wheel back.
I’m sorry, man, I thought I was ready.
That’s ok, just step away from the gearstick and back out of the cockpit…
Do Monorail trains have gearsticks?
If you’re still reading then I must say a huge congratulations – to you for hanging in there and making your way this far; and to me for managing to keep your attention with a front row seat to the crazy prison riot that is my writing process. It’s not just the writing process – it’s pretty much what any given day looks like inside my head.
I think I have the crazies all put to bed now and I can maybe explain how this all started and where I wanted to go with it. But you’ll have to wait till tomorrow to find out because I have an early start in the morning and I am pooped after a long day of trying to be handsome and an even longer day of trying my best not to creep out my very lovely co-worker and professional model.
I will say this though – the term writer’s block came up on the Tim Ferriss Podcast this afternoon and I agreed wholeheartedly with Evan Goldberg when he said (I’m paraphrasing here) “I don’t believe in writer’s block – it’s bullshit! Sometimes you have a bad week – that’s not writer’s block that’s just a bad week.” I fist pumped the cockpit of my car (not a monorail train) and shouted “Hell Yeah! Preach it!” Am I qualified to talk about writer’s block? Am I a seasoned enough writer to even bring the subject up? Who knows. What I do know is that I sat down to write a simple Blog and it turned into a runaway train very quickly. What I do know is that I think the phrase ‘writer’s block’ has been used as a tool for people to validate themselves as a writer. I’ve never been fortunate to suffer from the loveliness that would be days or weeks of sheer nothingness in my head. Seriously, there was actually a point in my life where I had to drink a few large rums and smoke a few large joints every night to quiet my head down just enough to beat the insomnia and get to sleep before 4am. A writer’s head is a mass of information, ideas, and reasonings. There is always something a writer is wrestling with. What some people might call writer’s block I would call ‘reflection time’. You gotta reflect sometimes, for your own sanity, and then you can let the writing flow. Everything in this Blog just happened – none of it was planned. I had definite things I wanted to say, and riff on but I didn’t get a chance because I’ve learned to listen to and peer into the spaces between. Sometimes you gotta let the writing take you where it wants to go. Sometimes the things you want to say are not ready to be articulated onto paper or screen. Sometimes you just gotta freestyle the shit out of it and see what comes out.
I genuinely do hope that someone resonates with this craziness. I genuinely, more than anything hope that someone gets a laugh and some sort of inspiration from this whackiness. More than anything tonight I hope some writer, who thinks he has writer’s block, reads this blog, jumps up in the air shouting “writers block is bullshit”, sits down at his desk and writes something truly awesome and truly amazing.
Thank You for taking the time to have a spin around Odd Sockville. Did you catch all the hidden nods and references? Tune in tomorrow when I will try my very best to explain how a few thoughts that I wanted to fit into a Blog ended up turning into a crazy runaway train…
PS: Glenn, I told you I would find a way to work the word ‘penis’ into a blog. I bet you laughed like a schoolgirl. *insert sunglasses ‘I just nailed it’ emoji*