Monday, January 28, 2008


And insomnia,
That will miraculously inspire you to great heights of creativity in your work,
And unblock your faculties.
This post will be the post to end all posts,
To stop for once
And for all
All whining, malingering, and spinning
Of wheels.
After this, all tasks will seem easy
And the muses of academia
Will whisper you such sweet nothings
As have never before been recorded on a tenure file.
Your reason for being will suddenly become clear.
After reading this post,
Writer’s block will only mean
The display stand for your trophies
And your laurels,
And ideas shall appear faster
Than spam in your inbox,
Your prose flow more prolifically
Than a porn site updating its RSS feed.
As soon as you read
It you will work unceasingly,
Never again counting the minutes till lunchtime
Or hitting the check new mail button
Nor will you ever agonize
Over a forgotten synonym
Or behold, after a day of work,
An empty word file,
And a spotless floor.
The birds outside will go unstared at
And the mailman ungreeted.
This post will make the machinery of your brain
And this marvelous post will say:


Sisyphus said...

This was inspired by Earnest English's post titled Monday Morning Pre-writing Existential Attack. Hat tip and all that.

medieval woman said...

Fabulous post, Sis! You da bomb...

Flavia said...

It will, will it??

I'll read this first thing tomorrow in the hope that what you promise will come true (today being the day I teach until 9 p.m.; Friday being essay deadline day).

Will keep you posted...

Dr. Brainiac said...

It will say, "Stop trying to overthink it and just write. Something. Anything. Throw it up against the wall and edit later."

Your committee will not tell you how to write your dissertation, only what you've done wrong when you turn something in. Take THAT information and run with it to give them what they want but couldn't be bothered to tell you ahead of time. That's how I finished.

Go. Write. Anything.

Horace said...

OK. I get the hint. I shall now stop reading blogs, and go grade quizzes. Thanks.

zombieswan said...

When I was writing my dissertation, I heard this NPR interview (Terri Gross) with some guy (a journalist, I don't remember who it was) where he recounted having writer's block when he was young and having some other famous person I can't remember (maybe Kissinger, maybe Kennedy?) say "Who are you to think you're so important to have writers's block?" And this guy went home and just wrote. It broke this feeling of having to make everything perfect.

I've recounted that story to others and they've found it horrifying-- what a mean thing to say. And I saw it not that way... writer's block is because you're expecting it to work every time. You're expecting perfection. It's not going to be perfect. It's not supposed to be.

And, as Dr. Brainiac said, they're going to reject at least half of what you write anyway (I'm paraprasing, based on my own experiences). So write approximately what you can.

But. That said. I hated writing my dissertation sometimes, I hated the overwhelming guilt when I did something else, when I wasn't smart. I took FOREVER to finish it.

But I think most people who Just Finish It, and do it fast, just figure they're not going to write perfection the first time and they just write whatever crap comes out. They're not important enough for a block.

But then, I have the "I'm nobody" poem on my blog. So clearly, non-somebody-ness is a big thing for me right now. :)

Dr. Virago said...

I can imagine how anyone so clever and funny can have writer's block!

Belle said...

Sis, you are great! Thanks!

Dr. Virago said...

OK, I just notice that I left out the 't in can't in my comment. I *can't* imagine how someone so clever and funny could have writer's block!