The Completely Unfactual Facts About Writer's Block

Did you know...?
  • The amount of beverage you consume while writing is inversely proportionate to how unmotivated you are. A writer experiencing serious writer's block can consume up to three two-liter bottles of soda, 24 12-ounce-containers of beverage, or the entire contents of the Hoover Dam (non-drought-season) in the quest to avoid actually typing or thinking. Severe writer's block has been known to lead to kidney damage, incontinence, and regional flash-flooding.
  • Typical writer's block has been known to skew programming choices and even Nielsen ratings. A university study of 100 bloggers with severe writer's block demonstrated that a 24-hour Full House marathon suddenly contained the riveting power of actual, quality programming for 97% of study participants. This is believed to explain the ABC Family Fall lineup. It is also believed that the entire CSI family of television shows was a result of writer's block, based on the premise, "I hear Miami's nice this time of year" and "I like New York in June."
  • More houses in America are cleaned each week as a result of writer's block than sticking to the floor, or any other reason. This includes impending visits from mother-in-laws, holidays, and spontaneous pet explosions.
  • (1) Guilt and large, (2) angry bill collectors named Rocco are rated the two highest motivators to get over writer's block. This is followed by (3) rabid writing fans waiting nearby with hobbling tools.
  • While it's believed Samuel Taylor Coleridge's Kubla Khan was left unfinished due to writer's block, this is untrue. He'd actually tried out several alternate endings, one eventually setting the entire plot in space where Khan seeks to destroy his enemies with deadly technology and eventually is blown up on his ship, Xanadu. Tentatively titled The Wrath of Kubla Khan, at the last minute Coleridge determined the premise was absurd, that the dialog for Khan's nemesis was stilted and over-dramatic, and nixed it.
  • A hot shower is the single most effective cure for writer's block. It is believed an osmotic process takes place as a counter-balance to the beverages cycle as discussed in point one.
  • St. Francis de Sales is the patron saint of writers... While, St. Francis de Mist-Dedlyne is the patron saint of writer's block. He can be identified in illuminated manuscripts and statuary holding the symbol of the nibless quill, empty inkwell and the hugging sloth.
  • Words may hurt, but 15% of Stephen King characters are actually murdered as related to writer's block. Also possession by evil spirits, adherence to poignant horror genre cliches, and John Turturro.
  • Many people don't realize Descartes' famous philosophical proverb, "I think, therefore I am" was actually an unfinished sentence. He'd tried out "I think, therefore I am sleepy," "I think, therefore I am due for a holiday," and "I think, therefore I am needing an aspirin as this headache is frikkin' killing me." Yet none of them quite had the feel he was going for. Eventually he abandoned it, which became the insightful philosophy we know today.
Do you have a completely unfactual fact about writer's block to contribute? Add it here! Or don't. Have a sandwich and bath instead. And a sixth cup of coffee. You know you wanna.


DeadRooster said...

I want to write a comment here, but it's just killing me to come up with something to say. Hmm, maybe I'll think of something later. :)

Jenn Thorson said...

Rooster- Well, I'd love to respond too, but I really need to tidy my desk. Maybe I'll catch you later.... HEY, maybe we could have virtual coffee or some other beverage!!

Beer Drinker said...

I'm pretty much thinking that you've just got the beverage wrong. Try a few beers and that writer's block will go away. You might, however, want to keep your writing after a few to your draft box, just in case.

Jenn Thorson said...

Beer Drinker- Heh, I tried not to be TOO specific about the beverage of choice. And you're quite right about that "draft" mode. Though, I guess it never hurt Hemingway. :)

MzHartz said...

Another temporary cure is lying in a horizontal position, particularly if it's nighttime and you must sleep because you have to get up early for something really important the next morning. The problem is, the writer's block returns as soon as you are vertical, especially in front of a keyboard or with pen and paper in hand.

Jenn Thorson said...

MzHartz- You're quite right-- I've used the ol' Horizontal Technique many a time to cure this issue. Sometimes, however, I end up vertical at about 2am, wide-awake and questioning how it has come to this.

Deray said...

Writer's block increases the amount of exercise of the blocked writer. At least in my case, as soon as I seat in front of the computer to write my thesis proposal I get this insane need to go outside and walk for a while, jajajaja.

Jenn Thorson said...

Deray- Sort of makes you wonder whether then the written word shouldn't be looked at in terms of miles. :)

Leeuna said...

Often a little more fiber in the diet helps unblock the writer. (depending on what he/she writes)

Love what you did with Decartes' quote. Funny stuff. :)

Floormodel said...

I think therefore I am liking this entry!

Claire said...

It is a proven non fact that forum abuse and use, not only demotivates, but also sucks out the will to live. Therefore it is the number one reason for writers block!

Prune juice is the number 7 most popular way of unblocking what is blocked.

Jenn Thorson said...

Leeuna- Ah, but that could backfire, and the writer ends up spending less time actually sitting at the computer. :)

Floormodel- I appreciate that, therefore I, um.... (oops, writer's block again)

Claire- Yes, you may have something there on the forum abuse.

And you keep your prune juice, Missy! :)

Shieldmaiden96 said...

Each time someone tells you how funny you are and you should write a book, writer's block intensifies by a factor of 2.43%.

Melanie said...

I'd love to leave a comment, but I've got to go find another can of dr. pepper.

nonamedufus said...

Hmmm... a hot shower. Now there's an idea. After 7 days I was thinking about house cleaning, but maybe it's me.

PS - I loved your last paragraph. In my case it's "I stink, therefore I am..."

Knucklehead said...

You know, I've always suspected that about Descartes. "I think, therefore I am now going to have a beer."

Speaking of that, my favorite (and possibly only) Descartes joke . . .

Rene Descartes walks into a bar. He knocks down a couple brews. The bartender comes by and says, "Can I get you another beer, sir?"

Descartes replies, "I think not."

And he disappeared.

Berowne said...

It was Robert Benchley -- who remembers Robert Benchley today? -- who wrote:

"You can do any type of work, and any amount of work, as long as it's not the work you're supposed to be doing."

Anonymous said...

Just stumbled across your amusing blog. Here's another story I recently found that I think you'll like.

babs said...

Okay, I remember Robert Benchley, but I love Dorothy Parker.

This might be why I'm looking at blogs instead of writing comments on students' papers. Oh, and cleaning out my asu email. Haven't check it in 2.5 years. And there were only 2 semi-important emails. All the rest were Borders, Village Voice, NPR,etc.

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