Sometimes I think writer’s block is literally a block, wedged into the spout that carries ideas through your brain to your fingers. Sometimes a few thoughts will trickle past it, but you can tell there’s more where that came from if you could just get that confounded brick out of the spout. The only way to jiggle writer’s block loose is to wait for a while without thinking about it, let the ideas fill up behind it for a while until the pressure is too much and they all come bursting through in an exuberantly jumbled flood.
There are also days when writer’s block is more like the Tingler. It sits on your spine, and instead of feeding on your fear it feeds on your ideas. It grows bigger and bigger and scarier and scarier as it devours every drop of inspiration that comes your way, and eventually you just have to scream or it’s going to kill you and proceed to terrorize the patrons of a nearby movie theater.
Of course, sometimes you get the milder brand of writer’s block, like a middle school bully. Nobody likes him, so he decides he’s going to take it out on you one day and threaten you and take your lunch money and push you around. Sometimes he sticks your head in a toilet, too, but only when he’s feeling particularly bold. Fortunately, even though he’s annoying, all you have to do is stop taking his guff and stand up to him or push him down a hill or something and he’ll take his guff elsewhere.
On the worst days, it seems like writer’s block is like Superman or the Death Star: a mighty, unstoppable force out to crush Nazis or the Rebel Alliance depending on which simile you want to run with. Either way, writer’s block has one weakness, a serious design flaw that apparently no one thought to address. No matter how many times the two of you meet in battle, you know that the solution will always be the same. For Superman, it’s Kryptonite. For the Death Star, it’s explosives in vital system components. For writer’s block, the most reliable plan of attack is to write, and the best part is, you never truly have nothing to write about, because even if writer’s block shuts everything else out, you can write about writer’s block itself. In the immortal words of Han Solo, “Let’s blow this thing and go home.”
Take that, Super Deathman Star!
Kryptonite torpedoes away!