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Category Archives: Why I Cant Write a Post

A Pain in the Blog

Oh dear. I am having a dreadful case of What Haven’t I Written About? If I was in front of my computer (um, clearly I am NOW, but when I wrote this, I was sitting at a desk scribbling in a spiral notebook), I could easily go back and check. Wait and do it later? But we have plans for the evening. I want to type in a short, previously written essay and hit “Publish.” Is that too much to ask of my brain? Apparently it is.

In my defense, I have a dreadfully upset stomach. You know all body part are connected. Again I say, oh dear. I just flashed on this scene from a TV show I saw back in the 70s or 80s. It may have been Trapper John, MD. They were running the Boston Marathon. This short oriental guy (I think he used to play Arnold on Happy Days) fell and hurt his leg. A doctor who was also running the marathon (he was the series regular) (no, I don’t remember his name; I’m not even sure of the series, it was just a flash, after all) expected the guy to stop running, which he did not.

“The pain in my leg, not my head,” he said, jogging happily away.

So there’s my inner critic, sniping, “The pain is in your stomach, not your head.” Oh, shut up.

I suppose most pain and nausea pass eventually (“But stupid is forever,” mocks the inner critic, who does not shut up just because I tell him to). In the meantime, I see now that I am partway though Yet Another Post About Why I Can’t Write a Post. But can I think of anything new to say about that?

Well, I could not at the time. The above is all I wrote this morning. When I logged onto WordPress to type it in and attempt to finish it, I was greeted with Congratulations from WordPress, it is my anniversary as a blogger. Three years I have been at this. I forgot that date was approaching. I think it is pretty darn hilarious that as I mark three years, all I can come up with is a silly post like this. Then again, it is Non-Sequitur Thursday. Thank you for participating.

A Post in the Blog is Worth Two in the Notebook

It is turning out to be a Wuss-out Wednesday. I see no reason to apologize for this, as I seem to get more likes for posts about Why I Can’t Write a Post than I get for what I continue to think of as “real” posts.

It did not start out to be Wuss-Out Wednesday. Early in the day I wrote an entire post about an authentic Mohawk Valley adventure I had. Then I went to work. While I worked, I thought of something else to write a blog post about. I even started writing it in my head. When the buzzer for the nine o’clock break rang, I grabbed my notebook and wrote frantically.

Well, what can I say? Things happen.

What happened, you may quite reasonably ask. Oh, never mind. Explanations are so tiresome and I do enough complaining as it is. I did, however, end up writing a good deal more of the second post I started.

So two posts in the notebook, and crap on the computer. What’s that all about, you may ask, another quite reasonable inquiry. The answer is, I don’t think either one is quite good enough to share with you, my beloved readers (ooh, here’s a Freudian typo: I started to type “freaders” Could that be a combination of “freaks” and “readers”) (not meaning to imply anything and no offense meant).

Without exactly complaining, I will just MENTION that I’ve had a headache all day. It is one thing to write frantically. I am just not up to editing.

So out I wuss. Happy Wednesday, everybody.

Sometimes Ya Gotta Clean

Sometimes that little writing voice in your head says, “I don’t want to write this now.” Then you have a choice to make. You listen or you don’t. Today I decided to listen.

Actually I decided to listen the third or fourth time the voice said it. That is why there are two more paragraphs on an unpublished draft I started to write earlier this week. Are they any good? I can’t tell that till later. So anybody who was about to start huffing about how you just have to Not Give In to Writer’s Block, just go huff at somebody else. This is my story and I’m sticking to it.

I truly did not want to have a Wrist to Forehead Saturday. I didn’t even want to do a post about Why I Can’t Write a Post (as usual, the irony is not lost on me). I considered doing a post about cleaning my house, which is mostly what I did today. I was going to include the line, “Step one: Invite people over.” I got a little bogged down in subsequent steps, and that was when I was still writing in my head.

This morning I took a walk to the post office with my schnoodle, Tabby. I tried to pay close attention to things, so I could write about that. Running commentary was out of the question, because I needed my energy to clean. Well, unless these walks are really noteworthy, I need to write about them right away for the post to be any good. I was certainly willing to do that, but… dirty living room called.

I’m sensing a pattern here. As with my diet, so with my writing: there is always an excuse not to do the right thing. Oh, with my running, too. Damn. So today I call myself out on my excuses. But I don’t feel too bad about myself. Because you know what, I didn’t run, but I walked. I haven’t eaten anything too fattening yet, because I was too busy cleaning. And earlier, when I needed a break from cleaning, I did a little work on my novel.

So what I’m saying is, I don’t suck.

And who’s to say that cleaning my house was not the right thing to do?

Murder on the Blog Post

Is anybody keeping score as to how many posts I write about Why I Can’t Write a Post? I hope not. In fact, why should I flatter myself that people are paying that much attention to me in the first place? At least I was working on something different this time. I was trying to kill someone.

I just said that to be dramatic. I was writing a murder mystery. You see, a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away… oh wait, that’s something else. It was in the North Country, as that area of northern New York State likes to call itself. And it was the 1990s, so, you know, not yesterday. My husband and I and some friends used to have a company called Murder For Hire. We put on interactive murder mystery dinner theatre.

I used to write most of them, and I like to think I was pretty good at it. We never made a lot of money, but we had a lot of fun. I really miss doing them. When I get a real intense bout of writer’s blank, sometimes I start one, just to get my creative juices flowing.

Regular readers may recall my saying that my novel is at a standstill. I keep thinking about it while at work (a good time for working out plot points), but nothing much is coming. So I started to think about something else. I thought about a possible venue for a murder mystery. I thought of an organization that might like to do one as a fundraiser. Then I thought about what kind of murder mystery they would like. Then next thing I knew, I was making notes.

I started that yesterday after I had written the day’s post, so I’ve been at it for two days now. I am enjoying it quite a bit. Will I feel confident enough to actually approach the organization I thought might like it? We shall see. And probably write a blog post about it.

I Feel Confident to Hit Publish

I’m afraid this is going to be a Monday Middle-aged Musing. I tried to write a “real” post (I put it in quotes, because what is this, an optical illusion?), but I am having a failure of confidence. Then I thought, there’s a ripe topic to muse about: confidence.

OK, I just started twice to write a sentence about needing confidence, but erased it because, you guessed it, I had no confidence in it. This happens to writers sometimes. We start to write something and think, “Oh, that’s dumb, nobody wants to read that.” Or, more nicely, “That isn’t quite what we want to say, is it?”

A trick I often employ is to grit my teeth, write it anyways, and don’t show it to anybody (including myself) till later. At that point, sometimes I look at it and say, “What was my problem? This is fine, send it out!” Sometimes I immediately see ways to revise it into something not contemptible. Or a judicious mix of those two responses. And yes, there is the case where I say, “Yikes! What was I thinking? Burn that!” (Of course I don’t actually burn it; safety first.) Surprisingly, that does not happen very often.

With a blog, however, especially a daily blog such as I aspire to, I’m on a constant deadline. Oh, I know, I know, write ahead, then I won’t have that problem. I’m working on it.

For some reason, I write something silly like this, and I don’t mind giving it a quick proof, sometimes reading it to my husband, and sending it out into the world. Why should this be? Ah, that calls for some half-baked philosophy, more suitable for Lame Post Friday (which seems a discouragingly long ways away, incidentally). For now, I simply observe the fact and hit “Publish.”

And I saved the draft of the post I started. I hope to share that with you later in the week.

That Damn Book

This is going to be another Tired Tuesday post, because I fulfill both criteria. I feared that would be the case, since my husband Steven and I planned on doing laundry after I got off work. Therefore, I went to work determined to write something while at work. Something not too long.

I guess no words at all is not too long.

Well, let me explain how the fates conspired against me. You may say I did myself in by succumbing to my own addiction. Potato, po-tah-to. A friend at work had told me about a book she had read that she thought I might like. It is a novel based on a local murder case which happened many years ago.

“Oh, I’d love to borrow it,” I told her.

Who knew she would be so prompt? The book was by my work station when I got to work this morning. How very kind of her. I would begin reading it at the first opportunity. First I had a blog post to write. I did, in fact, look at the blank page with a pen in my hand for, oh, a good three or four minutes before I thought I could read just a little bit…

I get to work a half hour to forty minutes early so that I have time to write and sometimes socialize a little. I did neither this morning. Oh dear. Well, there was still the nine o’clock break. And lunch. And the 2 p.m. break. And sometimes two or three minutes at the end of the day while I’m waiting to punch out.

I don’t really need to tell you I read during all of those, do I? Determined to make up for my profligacy, I left the book in the SUV at the laundromat and brought my notebook in with me.

And wrote one paragraph, which I immediately despised.

“It’s no use,” I told Steven. “I’m going to read that book and just write something off the cuff when we get home.”

And, I’m afraid this is it. On the brighter side, the book is about a murder that took place in the Mohawk Valley. Perhaps when I finish it I could write a book report for that day’s blog post.

For Your Approval

We interrupt posts about Cindy and Tracy’s Saturday adventures to bring you our regularly scheduled Wuss-out Wednesday. Oh come now, you did not think I was going to make it a whole week without a ridiculous post, did you? Well, sorry, folks. Personally, I thought I would make it at least until Thursday (Non-Sequitur Thursday, that is) if not Friday (Lame Post Friday, of course). But, alas, it is not to be.

I opened my notebook and thought about writing my post while at work today (actually not on a break, but before my shift began). Then I thought I would like to consult some notes I made in a different notebook. And I thought I had picked up at least one flier that might be helpful. So I waited till I got home.

First I had to take my dog for a walk. And start supper (peppers, onions and sausage)(yum). And then I tried, I really tried. Only I had to research a couple of things online. And, oh, I want to find out more about that one. And I am getting more and more tired. And I have to check the sizzling peppers. And I haven’t showered yet. And Steven is due home any minute now.

So you see.

Too late I realize I could have written a short but acceptable post about a stop I made on the way home. But now I see I am over 200 words. And Steven is home, so I can read him what I’ve got so far. I hope he approves. I hope my readers do, too.

To Write Another Day

Goodness gracious, look at the time. I haven’t made my blog post yet, I haven’t even written it. Oh dear, whatever will I do? Sit down at the computer, I suppose, and see what I can come up with.

OK, I typed that much in and just sat here. Swell. You know, sometimes it happens, sometimes it doesn’t. My philosophy is, you have to be philosophical about it (I stole that expression from Donald Westlake) (one of my favorite writers).

I don’t suppose I can still use the excuse of being tired out from my fabulous weekend. Then again, why can’t I? I’m not a young woman. Oh heck, even when I was young I was not particularly resilient. I don’t think. Of course, I don’t remember things very well any more.

I think (stand by for a middle-aged musing) that the older we get, the more ready we are to cut ourselves a break. At least I am. And why not? Why should we not treat ourselves as kindly and gently as we would treat a friend? Or do you not treat your friends kindly and gently? If not, shame on you! Be nice to your friends!

As always, I had hoped not to write yet another post about Why I Can’t Write a Post. But I remind myself, writing about not writing is still writing. I’m sure I’ll live to write another day.

Wine a Little?

Yes, it’s Wuss-out Wednesday. Ooh, wouldn’t that be terrible if that was my whole post? No such luck for those of you who like really, really short blog posts. Not to worry though, this one will not be long.

But it will be about Why I Can’t Write a Post Today.

In short, I am demoralized. I am less demoralized than I was earlier, but not yet moralized enough to write a decent post. Waaait a minute. Moralized is not the word I want here. What I mean is I do not have sufficient morale for the required literary effort. I believe one should avoid moralizing. If it means what I think it does (did anybody just flash on The Princess Bride: you keep using that word. I don’t think it means what you think it means”?) (I may have that quote wrong; sorry, purists).

I am afraid if I go into specifics about why I feel so demoralized, I will be imparting more of my life than it is polite to share (no, it will NOT be TMI, you know I HATE that expression!). And, anyways, who wants to hear somebody whine about their woes? It is Wuss-Out Wednesday, not Whine About Your Woes Wednesday (although I’m sure that’s been done).

Here’s a Freudian slip to leave you with (one of my friend Rachel’s favorite sayings is “Your Freudian slip is showing): when I typed “Whine About Your Woes,” I first made a typo and put “Wine.” And that made me think of my upcoming wine tasting tour. My morale is improving already.

Oh, Who Wants to Get Anything Done Anyways?

I need a new approach. I spend all week not getting a lot done and thinking, “I MUST do a lot on the weekend.” Then on the weekend, I don’t get anything done. I spend most of the day Sunday REALLY not wanting to get anything done, least of all a blog post. Eventually I manage to write a Wrist to Forehead Sunday post. Then I go on to Monday and start the whole cycle again.

Then again, it is nice to have a routine.

I did not spend Saturday having Mohawk Valley adventures, as I would have liked to have done. Not many adventures offered themselves to begin with, and I got a muscle spasm, also known as a crick in my neck. I had already managed a rather nice walk with Tabby, so I didn’t feel too guilty about my dog. I took some ibuprofen and made the best of things.

Local readers may be thinking, “BUT weren’t you supposed to register for the Boilermaker?” Indeed, registration was Saturday, and the 15K race filled up in something like three hours. I was not one of the 14,000 ambitious runners. Sorry to disappoint any regular readers (if anybody was paying attention in the first place). I just couldn’t count on my back allowing me to train properly. In my defense, I have run the Boilermaker three times and I will continue to run, perhaps participating in other local runs which will make perfectly acceptable blog posts.

I probably could have written an entire post apologizing for not registering for the Boilermaker, but that might have smacked of slimy self-justification and weaselly rationalization. Well, only people who are ACTUALLY RUNNING THE BOILERMAKER THIS YEAR have any right to shake their fingers or their heads at me (you can shake your groove thing at any time).

Well, here I am over 300 words. More than respectable for a Wrist to Forehead Sunday. I must confess, I enjoyed writing this one. I hope somebody has enjoyed reading it.