How My Son and his Juicy Juice Helped Me Beat Writer’s Block
by Steve Gamel
So there I was trying to crank out an article when I realized how little I had accomplished.
Four hours later – just me and a blank computer screen. Oh the joy of writer’s block.
Writer’s block happens to me, oh, almost every day. It’s the bane of my existence, and the havoc it creates knows no limits. Writer’s block can strip you of your creative juices, turn your brain into mush – and honestly, make you feel like a horrible writer.
I was in pretty deep. But just as I was about to turn my eyelids inside out, my 5-year-old son, Jackson, quietly walked up to my desk and climbed up on my lap.
“Are we going to work on something, Daddy?”
“No buddy,” I said sadly. “Not now, anyway.”
“Well, let’s draw a rainbow fish for my teacher.”
I’m not the drawing type, but how could I say no to that cute face?
Before we could start, though, Jackson knocked over his cup of Juicy Juice on my desk. There wasn’t a lot of juice to spill, but he quickly ran to get a towel and came back so we could clean everything up.
In that instant, as we sat cleaning the last remnants of his juice, my thoughts came alive.
“Oooh, Jackson!” I said, “Sit here while Daddy writes down a few quick thoughts!”
Writer’s block be darned, I was going to write everything down as quick as I could before they disappeared into nothingness.
I lived to write another day! And Jackson’s teacher got a rainbow fish out of the deal.
I shared this story with you today to show that while writer’s block can be a royal pain in the you-know-what, we all have more control over it than we think we do.
Sometimes all it takes is to step away and draw a rainbow fish.
Here are some more tips I’ve learned over the years:
- Find your sweet spot. What’s the best time of day for you to write?
- Give yourself time.
- Stay calm. Getting upset never helped anyone.
- Change the scenery (coffee shop, library, your outdoor patio).
- Play with your kids.
- Brainstorm ideas with a coworker or friend.
- Eliminate distractions.
- Fold laundry (can’t believe I just wrote that, but occasionally it has helped me).
- Just keep writing. Even if it means working on a slightly easier project.
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