The Dreaded Block

“Doctor, please! There’s gotta be a cure!”

“I’m so sorry, Linda, but no prescription or surgical procedure exists for writer’s block. You’re on your own.” 


There is nothing more diabolical than this malicious curse that strikes the writer without even a rattlesnake’s warning. Everything’s going great: the characters are deep into the abysses we create for them; their fledgling love for each other can self-destruct with one more angry look, one more smart-mouthed response; the plot is thick, the climax is looming, and . . .


When I got stuck with a bull riding scene in Give the Lady a Ride, I popped in a PBR tape and played it in slow motion, hitting the pause and rewind until I almost wore the buttons out. I seared the images into my brain, translated them into words, and got them down on paper. When I couldn’t get into my characters, I played my Chris LeDoux CD until my cats could sing along. When my humor left me and romance was lost in a pile of laundry or dirty dishes, I’d watch movies: The Wedding Planner, How to Lose a Guy in Ten Days, It Could Happen to You. Worked every time. And, finally, when my poet muse balked at having to conceive cowboy poetry (the snob),  I turned to Dave Watkins’ CD, Easy on the Ears,  and wrote Talon’s perfect poem.

I combated writer’s block with an impressive arsenal–and won!

Now it’s time for revenge.

The ugly scourge has returned. It lurks in the back of my mind by day, shattering the precious moments of joy when I’m blissfully oblivious to it. It stalks and pounces. It distracts me from conversations; it intrudes my thoughts when I read; it invades my head when I watch TV, causing me to miss entire scenes, leaving me only with commercials. It laughs at me when I sleep–a deep, rumbling, mocking laughter that awakens me at two in the morning. Silly girl! You’re not allowed to sleep! You still don’t know how to write that scene!


C’mon, Bristol Meyers! Get moving, Janson Pharmaceuticals! Give me a cure I can apply directly to the forehead!

🙂 Whew, that was fun.

Truthfully, though, the best weapons against writer’s block are prayer and patience. I’ve got the former down pat, it’s the latter that’s killing me. Especially now, when I have a romantic scene that’s zooming in on me faster than a Doppler can register. One that can’t be too romantic; that has to be saturated with mixed emotions; that must be in place before I can insert the next scene.

Which I’ve already written. . .

. . . during my writer’s block.

Maybe I don’t have writer’s block. Maybe I have romance block.

Maybe I need a date with my husband.

Nah, that won’t work. He’s always too romantic. If there could possibly be such a thing.

But it does sound like fun . . .

About Linda W. Yezak

Author/Freelance Editor/Speaker (writing and editing topics).
This entry was posted in Writing, Writing Tips and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to The Dreaded Block

  1. Jess says:

    Really fantastic post. Why aren’t you writing nonfiction and trying to sell it? You’re really good. Try these:


    We are looking for true stories and poems about your experience with cancer–as a patient, as a relative, friend or co-worker of someone with cancer, or as a medical professional or clergy engaged in a variety of treatments. We prefer stories and poems written in the first person of no more than 1,200 words. If your story is chosen, you will be a published author and your bio will be printed in the book. You will also receive a check for $200 and 10 free copies of your book, worth more than $100. We will copyright your story in your name and you will retain the rights to resell it.
    Deadline August 31, 2008.


    Chicken Soup for the Soul is looking for stories about resolutions. What did you resolve to do? How did it work out? What did you learn? We would love to hear from you about the resolutions you have made- both your successes and those that didn’t work out. Tentative chapter topics

    Trying to lose weight

    Getting fit (The weight loss and getting fit stories
    could tie into our self-esteem, accept-who-you-are theme for girls and women)

    Getting more organized
    Making more money/Giving away money
    Restoring a relationship with someone/Making amends
    Changing one’s behavior
    Stopping bad habits such as smoking, biting fingernails
    Going green
    Eating healthy
    Serious stuff such as substance abuse withdrawal,
    seeking treatment for mental health issues

    Self acceptance – realizing the resolution wasn’t
    necessary and you are great the way you are
    Stories must be true (non-fiction), written in first person, and 1,000 words or less. Stories should make readers laugh, cry or sigh, and be positive, universal and non-controversial.
    For each story selected, a 50-word biography will be included about the contributor and a permission fee of $200 per story will be paid within 30 days upon publication. Deadline August 31, 2008.



    Click to access GDg07.pdf

    Payment from $20-$100. Tells the real stories of people who lived in the “good old days” (1935-1965). Stories must sound conversational. Accepts seasonal stories as well. Humor is always a plus.


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