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Writer's Block Tried to Ruin Me

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Acute panic accompanies a blank page, so I almost never use one. It's a mental trick. You see, I write columns in one contiguous Google document of half-shaped paragraphs and ideas, a grotesque prose jabberwocky that eventually grows too bloated to function.

My previous document got to 629 pages and 127,000 words before it froze. My current file is a third of that in various states of undress, a busker's tip jar. Throw a couple (40,000) words in, and you can fool even yourself.

Not this week. Not right now. Can you tell I have writer's block? This doesn't normally happen. I've built a catalog being fast, productive and free from the prison of overthinking. Confident writing is a muscle that develops with use, each collection of words a bicep curl. I write two columns and one email newsletter each week, and in my free time, fiction. I'm constantly writing. Results vary, but the words plop out and I move on.

This blockage, though, this intellectual fatberg wedged into the pipes of my right hemisphere and would not budge. In a hysterical state, I made repetitive trips to the coffee pot and sent a check-in to my editor that read, "Trying to avoid a full mental spiral, that's the update." For four days, I couldn't focus or even compose a tweet. That's 280 characters. Emojis are an option. "Real Housewives" GIFs. Photos of sloths.

There have been moments lately the internet seems so bad, so fast, so furious that no path feels distillable, entertaining or insightful. I started and stopped pieces, dashed off notes about local and world events, toyed with potential headlines, mined my drab, puny personal life.

The Google doc became a notebook found beneath floorboards of a remote cabin.

 

Do not waste food. Use all food in fridge! Be inspired by French.

Start a community garden? Explore logistics.

Gas is for millionaires?

Men online. Is this the end of men?

...continued

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