The Antidote for the Writer’s Enemy – Writer’s Block

It is the wheel chock of your mind.

The mental wall, somehow instantly built, brick by devastating brick shutting out all input.

It is the hurdle you know you’ll clear by inches, and suddenly – it ensnares your ankle like the world’s most flesh-magnetic house-arrest bracelet.

Bloggers understand writer’s block all too well.

Bloggers are a special breed.  For weeks, often months at a time, we write about the seemingly obscure – life’s twists and turns, our family or workplace experiences that forge what is our blogger’s mind’s eye.  And then it happens:  The vibrant landscape that was the path your fast and furious fingers followed each morning, afternoon or night – find a white slate – the cold emptiness of “now what?”

The fall for me, since moving to Missouri from Wisconsin in 1993, has always been a strange time.  This year ushered in a November that actually had the gorgeous cowl and temperature of what is Wisconsin’s late summer.  A cool breeze, the sun-burning power (at least on the pale Irish, Wilkerson veneer) of a mid-afternoon walk or rest at an outdoor cafe while blogging-away.  It’s almost as if there is a wolf in northern Wisconsin clothing waiting for you to fall into the lull of delicious, temperate bliss.  Oh and it coaxes you – like a scrumptious Kenosha Bear Claw.  Sweet and light, with the whips of cinnamon.  And then it hits.

Monday morning at 6am arrived starkly for me.  After suffering a long cold night because of my spouse’s blanket-stealing addiction, I awoke and sprang into the shower, hoping to warm the chill of what has been one of November 2008’s coldest nights.  My mornings are usually a great time of thought.  A garden for blogging and podcasting ideas that almost instantly get collected by way of my handheld and emailed to me for later review.  But that morning – nothing.  Not a thing.  The bold yet quiet arrival of Writer’s Block was HERE!  The cold wind and strange sleep of the night before heralded what was a very strange but familiar sensation to me – the inability to put tabs on my thoughts, so as to blog about them later!  (Gasp!)  What is a man devoid of thought to do?

Instantly my eyes magically materialized outside of my head, and began circling me – as if in a twisted scene from the Matrix.  I could see myself standing in the mud room, laptopped backpack over my right shoulder, hand extended to the doorknob.  The gritty pounds of a nameless soundtrack pumping behind me, offering solace to all who would listen and watch.  As the camera continued it’s circle, light began to appear around and throb amid objects of interest:

1.) the shirt I was wearing while staining some custom cabinetry that lives under our queen-size bed, offering us new, redwood-stained atmosphere just inches underneath our backs as we dream…

2.) the yellow report receipt from the dude that cleaned our carpets the previous week,  which now shine in the morning sun behind me to the left…

3.) the $14 sunglasses, that, along with 6 other pairs, have adorned the bridge of my nose at one point or another for the last 2 years, and then been stolen by the sunglasses demon who mishandles everyone’s sunglasses, but makes extra trips to the Wilkerson house…

4.) a new picture on a self-adhesive magnet, of my 5-year-old precocious princess, who was not only the cutest child at the recent kindergarten Fall/Not-Called-Halloween-Festival/Halloween Party, but who is also the best child on planet Earth…

5.) a paper print-out of an article I wrote: “The Plight of the MMA Orphan?” for a Mixed Martial Arts magazine.

6.) It was the memory of my neighbor who had asked me about the thunderous bass and joyous screams in my basement theater last week, unable to understand the passion and “what might have been” of a once competitive high-school wrestler who is now a 38-year old man past his prime…

And suddenly, I realized that I found the ammunition to stave off the Wolf.  It was the memories of the things that were.  It was the obvious that surrounded me.  No more was my mind clouded by the pale, white blanket of nothingness that had previously stolen my vision.  Better yet, I had just discovered another potential tool for my follow bloggers to put into their bloggers idea toolbox for the day they too would need to mount up, open the hinges of laptops around St. Louis, and engage the enemy of entertainment – Writer’s Block.

Holster this new found weapon on the war against Unthought, true believers.  You will need it in the future, just as I did last week Monday.

Written by Mike Wilkerson


2 Responses to “The Antidote for the Writer’s Enemy – Writer’s Block”

  1. Yep…..just start looking around and see what you can make funny or what you think others can identify with. I’ve been surprised at times…some topics have been big flops and others have gone over like gangbusters when I never expected they would!

  2. Great post! Love the looking around vision. Wonderful how you realized each detail and story that lived right there with you.

    Now I’m ready to tackle blogging for another long stretch. if only my imagination will allow me the Matrix effect. Ha.

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