No matter how much you love to write, there is a disease prone to writers that can bring you to a halting stop just as much as a broken wrist. It isn’t pneumonia…nor is it whooping cough or measles. The dreaded disease that writers are susceptible to is called Writingmeningitis-rheuma-icky. Most people know this dreaded 27 letter disease better as WRITER’S BLOCK.
The disease attacks subtly at first. Symptoms might look like this: You pull out your laptop to write the next J.K. Rowlings type masterpiece that will make you millions, and you type:
“Once upon a time there was a boy named Larry Hotter…”
And that stupid pause where the ellipsis leaves off is when the disease kicks in and whacks you where it counts—the brain! Writer’s Block attacks your creative juices and basically sucks them dry (kind of like a vampire going after blood). You sit there trying to decide what to do with Larry Hotter…and all you can think is…Durrrh!
Taking cough syrup or pumping yourself up with Advil won’t help. Trust me! I’ve come up against this vicious disease many times. When Writer’s Block takes over, your brain becomes mush. Nothing helps. I’ve hit my head to try to jar the creativity to the surface; I’ve shook my pen…I’ve even started hitting random keys on the computer hoping to get my imagination past that BLOCK, but durrrh…I just get sicker and sicker. When a writer gets a case of WRITER’S BLOCK…woe to him or her…or it (I don’t want to leave out aliens like E.T.).
But just like Don Quixote learned to fight his windmills, I’ve discovered a way to defeat WRITER’S BLOCK. The all-powerful weapon is……Drumroll, please!
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .ZOMBIES!!!
Now don’t laugh! I’m dead serious (and might eat your brains if you don’t believe me). My husband clued me into this awesome weapon. I was in the middle of writing my first novel and kept leaving it open on the computer to go make dinner, use the restroom or other silly things like that, and would come back to find him smirking. I knew from his look that he’d dared touch my writing, so I poured over my pages looking for ‘unwanted additions,’ and quickly found them. They stuck out like a whale in a kiddie pool. In my romantic story, suddenly the hero would turn into a zombie and eat the girl he loved (something CLEVER like that).
The Zombie theme became something of a game between us. I found myself trying to work the word ZOMBIE into my story naturally, just for kicks (to beat him to the punch). Try doing that! How it enhanced my writing skills. One day I came in to discover a new story my husband had left for me, entitled “A Tale of Two Zombies.” It went something like this:
“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness…it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, it was the age of brain eating zombies….
“There were a king with a large jaw and a queen with a plain face, on the throne of England; there were a king with a large jaw and a queen with a fair face, on the throne of France. In both countries it was clearer than crystal to the lords of the State…that things in general were settled for ever, that is until the dead began rising from the dead and eating brains.”
I decided to try them and was astounded by the result. As my imagination was cut off by the dreaded BLOCK, I just wrote the word ZOMBIE onto the page and BAM! Imagination soared again.
Zombies are the immunization against Writer’s Block. Use all the other lessons we’ve gone over so far to freewrite and use image and get rid of word weeds…but never forget this lesson! It might just be the most important thing you ever learn as a writer. Brain eating zombies do more than just consume brains, they devour WRITER’S BLOCK…and that makes the world a better place for us writers!
Long live Zombies!