META: Writer's Block and Crazy-Ass Ideas

Arthur Spitzer arspitzer at
Sat Jul 5 17:43:01 PDT 2008

Tom Russell wrote:

> Anyone else want to share their thoughts on writer's block, crazy-ass
> ideas, and inspiration?
> ==Tom

Writer's block...

Had a bad case of that from like '99 to 2004.  I think I posted 
Hurrikhal #1 back in '99 and was working on #2, but I got stuck 
rewriting sentences over and over again.  I think I was trying to make 
#2 a lot better than #1 and in trying to write the perfect story I just 
kind of got stuck.  Probably a big reason I never finished On the 
Deadbeat #4, or Jong #6 or Saviors of Net #18.  Just too worried about 
making them great.

As for how I broke out of that block... isn't funny how when you have 
writer's block the one story that always pops into your head is about a 
writer with writer's block?  It always struck me as an absurdity.  How 
could a writer with writer's block write a story about a writer with 
writer's block?  I suppose the idea of Tippy O'Tipp the RACCCafe 
bartender with awful tips to help writers writing their stories came 
from that.

I wrote myself in the story asking Tippy how to break my writer's block. 
  And he gave me this tidbit:

"Ooh, Writer's Block!   Aye, there's e pickle for ye.  What e'd do if 'e
were ye would be to write e story about e writer 'oo has writer's block
'oo writes e story about e writer 'oo 'as writer's block."

"What the--??  How can I write a story about a guy who has writer's
block, if I have writer's block!!??  And how is the fictional character
in the story supposed to write a story if he has writer's block!!?"

"Hmm-- well 'e guess the fictional character probably 'as some keend of
magic ring that removes 'es writer's block when 'e writes stories.
Anywee, that's not really the important part o' the story.  Ye see the
important part is about this cyborg ninja biker lassie 'oo wants to kill
our writer before 'e can write the story about the gee 'oo has writer's
block.  But because 'e has amnesia 'e can't remember whee the biker
lassie wants to kill 'em.  And somewhere in the story there's this cool
scene with the biker lassie getting into 'e motorcycle chainsaw duel
with 'e talking gorilla that wears 'e cowboy het!"

So there's the trick to breaking out of your writer's block -- Find a 
magic ring that removes writer's block!

Of course for me it was simply not worrying about writing sentences that 
were crap.  Accepting that there are going to be bad sentences in 
stories and moving on.

Arthur "Simple Isn't it?" Spitzer

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