Attacked by the dreaded writers block

 Today’s blogging prompt was to write about how you might do things differently than expected. I wondered how the way that I write a blog post might be different than how someone else might write a blog post. I walked to the medical office for my appointment with the nurse practitioner and I kept wondering. How do I approach a blog post in a way that might seem differently. The nurse practitioner pronounced me purrfectly healthy, and she cleared me to do physical exercise. 

I was still clueless. Healthy but clueless. 

“I am the best nurse practitioner.
A quick sniff of your shoes
gives me good information.
Biting the top of your
head is also a valuable
medical tool.”


Hours later, I thought about talking about changing the topic. How do I handle writer’s block? Is it like physical exercise? When I do a workout, I have to start by stretching. So, when I write, maybe I should try stretching my brain. I’ve done this before with timed writing exercises. 

I looked online for a website that provides a random first line generator. Once again, it’s the internet to the rescue. A few days ago, I used the internet as a cookbook, and that worked out really well.

In fact, I am going to do a rerun on the rhubarb-apple crisp since there is currently plenty of rhubarb available at the farm!

But I digress. It’s back to the random first line generator. I’m going to press a box with a red outline and these words: “generate a first line.” With this phrase, I have gotten past the biggest stumbling block to writing: how to start. That stumbling block has caused me to stare at a blank screen for hours, wondering if maybe I should just give in and wash the dishes. Or clean a closet. Doesn’t that sound like total desperation? 

And now, it’s time for the writing prompt. I clicked onto the words, “generate a first line.” I will then write nonstop for five minutes. If I were writing by hand, instead of on a computer, I would write nonstop for ten minutes, just because handwriting is much more time consuming than typing.

the random first line that I got was…

“She wasn’t happy about it, but she’d been recalled to life for a reason…”

I will now set my phone timer at five minutes and will then write nonstop.

…She thought that she was done. The life that she just lived was frustrating and annoying. She ate food that she didn’t like but she had to smile and tell people that it was delicious. She had to get dressed in the proper clothes, which always felt like coffin or a prison or something negative and tight and not given to permitting her to run and do the things that she really wanted to do. She wasn’t supposed to run and do all of those things because she was in her 80s and old ladies are supposed to sit and be proper. But she didn’t want to be a proper old lady because that was boring.

The thing that led to her sad demise was the day when she decided to climb a tree. After she fell out of the tree and landed on her head, people asked if she could have been suffering from some bizarre form of dementia that caused its sufferers to take strange risks without being aware of it.

And now, she had to return to that world. Apparently, her mission was not complete. This time, though, she had to restart her life as a baby. Rewind. Again and again. It wasn’t enough that she had already reached the status of old lady. Okay, odd tree climbing old lady. Now she had to be a baby that couldn’t hold up its head or roll over or do any of the baby skills that can only be learned by doing the same thing over and over and over…

Maybe that’s what she needed to learn. Maybe that’s why she had to return to human form, instead of being part of the cosmic consciousness. She had to learn how to practice. How to get good at something before she tried something extreme. Which included climbing trees as an old lady. 

Well, that’s the exercise. You’re probably now wondering what the purpose is. It is to turn off that pesky internal editor that stops us from telling any sort of story at all. It’s that pesky internal editor that feeds our self doubts. It is not our friend. Let it go for now. 

After creating that first draft, feel free to let the internal editor loose. It’s not a great writer, but it’s a great editor and re-writer, and those are special gifts. Your internal editor, when turned on at the right time, will make your writing shine. Turned on at the wrong time, you will feel blocked and frustrated. 

My challenge to you is to use my prompt or to go to the website and generate a different prompt. (here is the link). 

4 thoughts on “Attacked by the dreaded writers block”

  1. Jeri Moore Brunton

    I like rehashing previous stories. Not all can editors. Someone has to do the creating. Thank you for your words n

  2. Very interesting and I've hit the dreaded block at time. I checked the website and this is what came up. "They found his diary under his bed"….That just may be an upcoming blog for me soon!

  3. Alice, reading your posts is one way for me to take any writer's block I face; and I do run into it a few times so I am thankful for the inspiration you provide each day..
    And loved that story.. 🙂

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