A Walk Around the Writer’s Block

Posted: February 28, 2013 in Uncategorized
Tags: , , , ,

By Paul Gaszak, English Faculty

“If I had a penny for my thoughts, I’d be a millionaire.”

—The Beastie Boys

It is time for my regular Thursday posting on ye ole Turtle, and I have no idea what to write about. Yet, I offer that as evidence to support the following claim:

Writer’s Block does not exist.

My problem isn’t that I have no ideas to write about; it’s quite the opposite. The problem is that I have too many ideas.

Ain’t I special?

The answer is NO – I’m not special. We all have countless topics we can write about, which is why it always blows my mind when anyone says they have “writer’s block.” No – you don’t have writer’s block. You have “I-don’t-feel-like-writing” block. Big difference.

For anyone writing an essay, a story, a poem, a Flaneur’s Turtle post….you want an idea of what to write about? Here’s a hint:

Look. Around. You.

Our world is full of topics to discuss. Look at your personal life, social life, work life. Look at the news. Look anywhere in the world. There are topics, I promise.

Granted, not all topics are made equal, and some are more worthy of investing time in as a writer and reader, but there is never “nothing” to write about.

So, with that said, rather than write a full post on one topic this week, I thought I’d share the topics I considered writing about this week:

  • How too many Chicagoans overreact to snow like we’ve never seen it before.
    • What? Cold and snow in February? In Chicago? What perverse anomaly of nature has allowed this?
  • Why the common cold needs to be less common.
    • Additionally, how I believe the spread of germs is not stopped, or even slowed, by the Kleenex with the little blue dots on them.
  • About RMU’s Eagle newspaper winning multiple awards over the weekend.
    • Front Page Design & Comic Strip! Good job, Eagle!
  • How I received a nice Thank You letter from a student who graduated, and how small moments like that make teaching awesome.
  • How I talked with my Advanced Creative Writing class about generating ideas. And during that class, we discovered….
  • The neon green arrow pointing up from a dorm room at the University Center. (It can be seen from the CLA office in Chicago.)
    • What is it pointing to? Whose room is that? WHAT DOES IT MEAN!?
  • The eclectic nature of this blog’s topics.
    • How Michael Stelzer Jocks and I will likely never write about the same topic unknowingly, but then find out about it the next day in the office and say, “What? You wrote about that, too!” and then high five.
      • I’m not opposed to that happening. It would be pretty awesome.
        • And even better if it was a leaping high five.
    • How Trish Lunt gets more page views and reads than I do on the Turtle, because as she tells me, she has more friends than I do.
      • I’d get mad about this if she weren’t right.
        • She has more siblings than I do, too.
  • The wealth of procrastination people display in writing.
    • How I waited until the last minute to write this post.
      • Yes, students, I understand the hypocracy here.
  • What happens when professors dance?
    • It’s amazing, majestic, and graceful.
  • What happens when professors sing?
    • Deceptive appearances, angelic voices. We’re like Susan Boyle, y’all.
  • Differences in regional diction, including breezeway and burm. And y’all.
  • What happens when professors brainstorm together?
    • Bad ideas, mostly.
      • Example: Thanks to brainstorming, one RMU English professor may now become a rapper named McNasty. Guess who?
  • The addictive nature of lip balm.
  • Gym etiquette as it pertains to waving at your professor while he is winded and sweaty on the treadmill.
    • I’m not built to run, wave, and say hello at the same time. I’m just not.

So, the next time you hear someone say they have Writer’s Block, tell them it isn’t an option. And if you think you’re experiencing Writer’s Block, face it, the problem is that you just don’t want to write because you really want to go watch the latest episode of New Girl that you have on DVR.  Okay, that example was too specific to my life, but you get my point, right?

(Note to self: a potential topic for next week can be the importance of audience analysis in humor writing.)

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Comments
  1. Anonymous says:

    To qualify your point, there is a difference between topical writer’s block and musing writer’s block. The former exists. Topical writer’s block is an effect of scrutinized, logical concentration on a single idea. Eventually either the writer’s knowledge on the topic, ability to logically process the topic, or ability to concentrate on the topic reaches its limit. The writer is stuck at a logical impass, or a “block.” Musing writer’s block, as you have demonstrated, knows no boundaries. Musing is topically undefined creative contemplation. It covers several ideas quickly, shallowly, and in no particular format. Your post dove into Paul Gaszak’s deep thoughts Jack Handey style, expressive and funny but not an example of overcoming writer’s block. The way to beat writer’s block is by going to google or the library, reading the information on the topic, and concentrating on learning as much about it as possible.

    Also, *hypocricy.

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