something about everything

How to Overcome Writer’s Block

My advice for writers who hit that brick wall is to stop writing and go out for a couple of hours.  Go to a few stores, come home and write about what you encounter.

Here’s one that worked for me:

Two days ago, after failing to write anything, I went out to do some food shopping at Shoprite.  When I was checking out, the cashier asked me if I wanted plastic or paper?  She was an older woman who seemed unsure of even the rudiments of her job.  The story developing in my head was that she had taken a job that she never wanted but was forced to because her husband was disabled and unable to work.

For a moment, I thought I was in Whole Foods. I was gratified that ShopRite had adopted a new environmental consciousness, a Whole Foods-like sensitivity to our environment and the environmental consequences of the oil-based plastic bag.

But then the cashier opened a yellow plastic bag that was hanging from this mechanism, sort of Shoprite’s version of a Lazy Susan that spun the bags to the customer, and put the paper bag I had requested in the plastic bag.

I wanted to tell her this: Do you know, THAT plastic bag will still be around long after the Third World War started by Iran was over and it was safe for people to live above ground again – about 400 years from now.

But the story in my head stopped me from saying anything, so I paid my bill and left.

The point is… this is how to overcome writer’s block.


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