'writers'! If you're like me (it's obvious at this point that's
what your trying to do, and frankly it's a little sad) every now
and then you round a metaphorical corner and find yourself face
to face with that tenacious literary monster, Writer's Block!
Oh, I know what you're saying: "Mr. Burbank! A seasoned
pro like you suffers from Writer's Block?! I'd always assumed
that was just a problem for the novice writer!"
Firstly, I'm not sure I care for the use of the word 'seasoned'.
As adjectives go, that one makes me sound at best old, and at
worst likens me to some sort of less than fresh meat product
requiring a little 'Slap-n-tickle' from 'Mrs. Dash' to 'get it
up' food wise. Secondly, never use more than one punctuation
mark at the end of a sentence. It makes you look unseasoned and
is the literary equivalent of premature ejaculation. Lastly, ALL
writers suffer from writer's block. It's perfectly natural and
nothing to be ashamed of. It doesn't make you less of a man, and
anyone who implies, well maybe it's because you're a little bit gay
and self-loathing, which is by the way unnecessary, I mean,
Christ, it's 2007, no one needs to be in the closet anymore;
well, it's really HER fault, isn't it, and if she doesn't shut
up about it you'll stop being so nice and tell her that if you
were gay this never would have happened because the fact is, as
ladies go she's more than just slightly MANISH, which is maybe
why you're 'blocked' in the first place!!
You know. Metaphorically speaking.
In most cases I'd say I didn't want to talk about it, roll over
and pretend to be asleep until you shut the hell up. But to be
frank, today's my deadline and I can't think of a damn thing to
write about. Hence, this essay;
A DOZEN HELPFUL WAYS TO BEAT WRITER'S BLOCK:
1.) Write a story about Writer's Block! If there's one thing the
average reader loves, its yet another story about a writer
having writer's block. Stephen King writes about it all the
time, and that guy writes the way most people exhale!
2.) Disguise your description of your own writer's block as
"tips" for other writers. It's easier than writing a story
since you don't need to come up with a thinly veiled version of
yourself as the protagonist or spend time constructing a plot,
which is, frankly, work. Plus, the irony is guaranteed to put a
smile on your face! I'm grinning like a Plastered Sunday School
Teacher right now!
3.) Go on line to some sad little site for aspiring writers!
They always have a great list of super helpful 'exercises' for
blocked writers! For instance, check this one from
NewWriters@the'Block'!.com! "Explain what
you're really trying to say to a stuffed animal or cardboard cut
The only downside to this one is that it's what insane people
do. Oh, also? If you can explain what you're really trying to
say? You don't have writer's block. And aren't you a little old
for stuffed animals? And do me a favor and DO NOT tell me whom
you have a cardboard cut out of all handy for conversations. I
don't even want to guess and I'm already pretty sure if I knew
it would make me cry.
4.) Go to Google Images, type in any old funny word you think of
and write a story about one of the results you get. BUT! Even
though it's tempting, try not to write about Asian-themed bondage
porn. It's a great genre, but there's so much competition out
there you can barely give the stuff away, trust me!
5.) Make up a URL like NewWriters@the'Block'!.com, stick it in a
story, put it up online and imagine how many people clicked on
it to see if it was real! I tried this technique and ended up
selling a swell little inspirational piece about slack-jawed,
lonely shut-ins to "Chicken Soup for the Slack-Jawed Lonley-Shut
6.) Try writing an essay that's really just a glorified list!
It's ridiculously easy! No characters, no conflict, no plot,
Christ, it's like sleepwalking and your slack-jawed, lonely shut-in readers eat it up!
7.) Take something you've already written and stick the word
"big" in lots of places. For instance:
"A big hello, big young 'writers'! If you're big like me (it's
big obvious at this point that's what your trying to do, and
frankly it's a little big sad) every now and then you round a
big metaphorical corner and find yourself face to face with that
big, tenacious literary monster, Big Writer's Block!"
Voila! A brand new piece! Goodbye Writer's Block! Or should I
say 'A big goodbye, Big Writer's Block'!
8.) Surf for Porn! It's what God gave us the Internet for! This
is never really time wasted, and it's a great way to get ideas.
Remember though, no Asian Bondage Porn! I've got reams of the
stuff I'm trying to sell and I don't need the competition.
9.) Plagiarize! That's the other thing God gave us the Internet
for! But beware! The Internet is a double-edged sword! Search
engines like Google have made it very easy for professors, the
FBI and other troublemakers to spot plagiarism in a jiffy! One
surefire way to throw those killjoys off the track is to drop
the word "big" in a whole lot of places in your "new" work.
10.) Do something you've never done before! It's a great way to
get those creative juices flowing! Go hang-gliding, wake up a
hibernating bear, kiss a girl, tell your mother you're going to
buy your own underwear, write something that doesn't absolutely
suck, do anything as long as it's brand spankin' new!
11.) Mix it up! Whatever you usually do when writing, do
something different! For instance, I usually write fully
clothed, at my desk on my computer. Suppose one night I'm
feeling a little blocked. I decide to "Mix it up" and long story
short, I end up writing on toilet paper in just my undershorts
underneath a metal bunk in the drunk tank. Chances are that was
actually my second attempt at "mixing it up" that evening, but
if past experience is any guide, I have no memory of the first
12.) Lower your standards! Writing is all about the process, not
the product! The first draft doesn't need to be perfect and it's
not like your finished draft is going to be Hemingway anyway! (editor's
note: believe him when he says this folks... editing Max
Burbank's "finished" work so it looks presentable is like having
a porcupine rape your eyes) Let
it come how it comes and fix it later! At least you'll get
something done as opposed to nothing! Let me give you an
example. I'm blocked right now. If you think about it carefully,
you'll be able to guess which steps I'm already using to
overcome that block. But let's say instead of a list based essay
of tips on how to overcome writer's block that I'm writing while
waking up a hibernating bear, I'm determined to write a
marketable short story for a Science Fiction magazine. Okay,
here's the first paragraph:
"Cow, cow, cow, cow, cow, cow cow go poopie. MmmmOOOOO! Cowie go
Moo Moo Moo Moo Moo Moo Moocow moo you damn son of a bitch cow,
shut up the damn mooing, I hate you cow cow hate you hate you
hate you hate you bad cow cow cow bad cow cow cow shut up bad
cow cow, Daddy's head hurts you get a PUNISHMENT BAD COW YOU GET
A REAL BAD PUNISHMENT!"
Okay, not my best work, but not empirically my worst either. In
any case, unless you've read every damn word I've ever written
you have no way of knowing, and I'm pretty sure you have not.
Unless you subscribe to "Adult Baby Fetish Quarterly". In which
case, if you still think that's my worst writing I don't care
because you're a pervert.
Well, I hope I've helped. Unless you're trying to freelance to
the same markets as me, in which case I hope I made things worse
for you and stay the hell away from ABFQ, I found them first.
Now if you'll excuse me, I believe my court appointed lawyer is
here. If I'm lucky, he brought clothes.
If you enjoyed this piece, be sure to check out:
The Junk Drawer Of My Despair!