I’m having a little fun with writer’s block here; I had a lot of not-fun with it in the 90s, when I went nearly ten years with only two poems worth keeping to show for it. People who say writer’s block doesn’t exist are wrong, simple as that. They’re the kind of people who think anything that hasn’t happened to them has never happened to anyone; how much do you really want to take their advice?
If anyone grabs an idea from among these and runs with it, I’d love to see the result.
Writer’s Block Rx
Accept that you’re stuck,
but don’t give up. You’re
creative, remember? Try an exotic form. If that
doesn’t work, drop the whole thing and go buy a book of writing
exercises, rush home, and open it to page forty-two.
Follow the instructions there. Or
go for a walk and make a list of things you see. Stop and
have a couple of beers somewhere. The words may not flow yet, but
it’s better than sitting around
just pulling out your hair and wishing you could go back in time and
kill whoever thought versification was a good idea to start with.
Listen — these things never last. Go grab your favorite poem and
model a new one after its third-to-last line. That’s
not working? Write a poem about an obstreperous
oenophile; invent new words for his response to a bottle of
Pagan Pink Ripple. Bite into an unbletted
quince and write about how it hurts your teeth. Lift a
random phrase from a 70s sitcom and make it your second line. Go have
sex, or just think about it for a while. Hell,
that’s more fun than booze, anyway.
Under no circumstances think of a pink elephant, or a
violet-green swallow, Tachycinda thalassina. Or make a list of all the
words you know that start with
x, then think of a rhyme for each one. Or
you could pick a word about weevils and go from there. How about
zyzzyva? That’s a good one. Start writing.