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From The Writer’s Notebook: Fucking Brick Wall

There are few things I hate more than writer’s block. The cloying knowledge that you’re wasting what little bit of potential you possess. The bright white glare of all those empty pages. The futility of screaming "WRITE DAMMIT" to your hands as they hover fruitlessly a few painful inches above the paper/keyboard. Worst of all, the final exhausted surrender and bitter disappointment one feels when they find themselves playing Harvest Moon as opposed to fucking CREATING. Anything. At all. At least when I was working I could blame the writer’s block on my early hours and the physically taxing nature of my job. But now, being unemployed and on student financial assistance I really have no excuse. You know it’s a bad sign when I can’t even crap out a half decent blog post for over a month. Something I had no trouble doing at 3:00 AM on a Tuesday after being awake for three days straight. I figured it had to be stress or anxiety, both of which have bogged down my writing in the past. But I was neither, not really. Aside from the normal frustration of moving and my irritation with Alberta’s student loan office, nothing was really getting under my skin. Nonetheless the mental brick wall blocking the flow of ideas remained obstinately in place. I exercised, I mediated, I went for long walks, I stayed awake for two days straight and I even rode the bus (weird I know but surprisingly effective), all things that used to help jog the creative juices just a few months ago. I was rewarded with nothing but a few feeble ruminations and frustration. Desperation point had been reached and I was forced to consider "emergency measures". Unwilling to stay awake for four days and lacking a ready supply of psychoactives I was forced to employ my oldest and most trusted "Block-Buster." I went down to the basement at midnight with a handful of beers and a half pint of Jameson, cranked up the Celtic music and let the magic happen. Now let’s be clear: the preceding method is not an effective writer’s block cure for everyone, nor is it advisable. In fact it’s slightly pathetic. HELLO CITY and Timothy Johnson in no way suggest getting half drunk by yourself in the middle of the night is even remotely a good idea. That being said it did work for me. And to those of you rolling your eyes right now (Kim), it’s not like I got blind loaded or that I do this as a regular part of my writing process. Once or twice a year I find three or four pints and The Pogues are an effective means of shutting down the day to day part of my brain just long enough to give my "artistic" side free reign to run amok uninterrupted by the cares of the world. Don’t worry I’m not descending into Shane MacGowan territory…
..not yet anyway. So after a good month of little appreciable progress I was back on track, pounding away on a script or some such nonsense. I ended up deleting and revising a lot of it the next day but quality wasn’t the point, it just felt good to be back in business.

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