Photo by Vicky Lorencen
Every creative person is plagued by angsty imaginings from time to time. In the spirit of Halloween, allow me to ramp up the frequency with these truly haunting thoughts.
- Kanye is named Poet Laureate for 2019.
- Use of the Oxford Comma becomes law.
- Your characters continue to talk to you, but they sound like Anthony Scaramucci.
- Recommended word count for a picture book manuscript drops to 24 words. Short words.
- Writing causes eyeball arthritis (and crows feet (around your nose).)
- Editors insist on the return to printed and mailed manuscripts. Slush Mountain!
- You fall in love with your first draft and refuse to revise it.
By Vicky Lorencen
- You lose your taste for chocolate, Red Vines and grown-up beverages.
- Before you nod off, you tell Alexa your unparalleled idea of a lifetime for safekeeping. She thought you were talking to someone else.
- The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention develop a vaccine to prevent writer’s block. The shots are administered by Nurse Ratched‘s less sweet cousin with a raging case of poison ivy, Nurse Annie Wilkes (from Stephen King’s Misery, remember?)
You say you’re not scared enough yet? Read more haunting thoughts. If you dare!
Read 10 Truly Haunting Thoughts
Read 10 Truly Haunting Thoughts, Part II
Eddie discovered one of his childhood’s great truths. Grownups are the real monsters, he thought. ~ It
Photo and vignette by Vicky Lorencen
In the spirit of this spooky season, I bring you ten more frightening thoughts for writers . . .
What if . . .
- Your face turned bright green and you sprouted purple horns whenever you experienced writer’s block.
- All editors expected you to pitch new projects using interpretive dance or mime.
- Chocolate was only available by prescription.
- Rejection letters were delivered by scrolling message at the bottom of the TV screen during “The Voice.”
- You must do a school visit dressed in nothing but a beige body suit and a giant cowboy hat.
- Your cat writes a bestseller with a main character who looks/sounds/acts exactly like you–down to the last cat-observed detail.
- Your cat sells movie rights to this very revealing bestseller.
- The first movie is a blockbuster and there is immediate demand for a sequel.
- Your cat locks you out of the house. Reporters are on your front lawn.
- You’re experiencing writer’s block that day. (See number 1.)
Halloween shadows played upon the walls of the houses. In the sky the Halloween moon raced in and out of the clouds. The Halloween wind was blowing, not a blasting of wind but a right-sized swelling, falling, and gushing of wind. It was a lovely and exciting night, exactly the kind of night Halloween should be. ~ Eleanor Estes, The Witch Family
Recently a writing friend reminded me of something I wrote long ago: “Looking at it physiologically, perhaps writer’s block is more akin to constipation–things get all backed up in your semi colon.”
Yep, I know a few delusional mugwumps believe writer’s block is a myth, but let’s “pretend” it does exist. Why not apply constipation remedies to get your semi colon unstuck?
Strive for a balanced diet. Read and write in equal proportion.
Increase your fiber intake. Read outside your genre-of-choice to challenge yourself.
Drink plenty of water. By which I mean, drink plenty of water. Dehydrated writers produce dry writing.
Elevate physical activity. Maybe you’ve been practicing Anne Lamott’s dictum too much. It’s time to get arse out of chair and move. Walking is a time-honored way for writers to get the creative wheels whirling.
Get into a routine. For the love of prunes, if we can train your bowels, can’t we train our brains too? Establishing a writing pattern–whatever that looks like for you–helps your noggin’ to shift gears and be productive more quickly.
Heed the call. If your body says you need to, you know, “go,” then go. If your brain gifts you with a cool story idea or a solution to a knotty plot issue, jot it down, text it to yourself or tell a friend, don’t assume you’ll remember later.
Try applying these tips for two weeks, and you too could become a Smooth Operator. (Thanks, Sade.)
I wish that being famous helped prevent me from being constipated. ~ Marvin Gaye