September 08, 2006 Features & Images » Feature Story

Clearing the blockage 

Writers offer antidotes and anecdotes on overcoming the blank screen

Page 3 of 7

Great. Scratch being worried about the progress of the book. I may be exhibiting symptoms of anxiety and depression, much bigger fish to fry. Great. I minimize that screen and am faced with the blank screen. I minimize that screen and am faced with the page on anxiety and depression and my poor lobe. I minimize. I maximize. I minimize. I maximize. Min-max-mini-max — I find myself being lulled by the Lilliputian rhythm I’ve got going on with the click of the mouse. I close both screens and shake my head.

I read recently that Druids suffered from writer's block. To cure it, they would lie in a windowless hut in a cold bath with an enormous stone on their chest. That would probably work. Reminds me of when I subjected myself to Buckley's, which I firmly believe only works because every ounce of my body screams “Okay okay you win, I'll get better. Just don't do that to me again. Jeez. Eww. Okay. Why'd you have to do THAT?”


“I have never suffered from writer’s block. In fact, most of the time my problem is putting a cork in it.”

Leslie Anthony


Alternately, Druids would sacrifice a white bull, chew on the meat and wrap themselves in rawhide and sit under a waterfall.

Okay, so Druids get points for creativity, panache and gore. I tend to do dishes, cook or exercise. This could explain why I have writer's block. Why? Because I am obviously becoming an inexplicably boring tit with nothing interesting to say, save that lemongrass-scented dish liquid defeats the purpose of cleaning food and food smells off plates.

I forge ahead with my research. One site gives a brief overview of Ayurvedic, Chinese and other natural remedies to overcome writer’s block. This site attributes writer’s block to fatigue, weakened immune system and low mental and physical stamina. Nice turns. What is my current self-prognosis, Dr. Easdon? Depression, anxiety, exhaustion, infirmity… Suggested remedies include Korean or Siberian Ginseng, cayenne pepper, yellow dock root, licorice root, garlic, bee pollen, alfalfa, seaweeds, blessed thistle, gotu kola, Fo-ti, damiana, St. John’s Wort and L-Tyrosine. I’m sure there are some out there who could come up with a few other herbs to assist with the writing process.

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