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Jun 10, 2007
Wow! I have been suffering from a major case of writer's block today. It's been downright ridiculous. It's kind of been one thing after the next today that's kept me a little bit off the edge.
I went to sleep a little late, I woke up a little too early.
I was catching up on the bills after being on vacation, I got stuck on hold for 35 minutes with Bank of America when they could not get their own representatives to answer a phone call on an inter-department transfer.
It was really kind of sad, I was talking to one person from Bank of America, and they were trying to call the right department talk to a person in that department to get an answer. That department was supposed to be working today, but they couldn't get them on the phone.
So they called another person and their own department to see if they could call the department that wouldn't answer the phone, and surprise surprise, they couldn't get them on the phone either.
Hold-time can definitely kick off writers block.
Then it was just little things, lots of little things kept popping up to give me an excuse not to write. Don't get me wrong I wrote her for articles today but they were all mediocre at best. All these little things kept happening to pull me away from a computer, or distract me. Things like eating breakfast and eating lunch and then eating dinner.
Adventures in Mowing
Mowing the grass and teaching my son how to mow the grass, that was actually rather touching in an odd fatherly sort of way. I even took a short little video of it, as he was pushing a lawnmower.
This was his second attempt at mowing the grass and he still can't quite keep a lot more going straight in a line. He was doing better and he didn't break the lawnmower this time like he did last time. Last time, he accidentally ran over a steel wheel that was laying in the grass of my neighbors yard. He was swerving really bad that time and swerved into my neighbors yard and ran over this object laying in the grass that he couldn't see. So all things considered he did pretty good today.
To make matters worse I was listening to a new book, actually I was about halfway done with the book and I was trying to finish it just to get it out of the way. When I'm reading a book it's sometimes difficult to write.
Writing as much in volume as I read
The weird thing is, I sometimes feel like I can only write as many words as I've read. I don't mean that I'm plagiarizing or copying words, I mean there's some sort of strange digestion of knowledge or information or stories, I chew up words and then I'm able to re-create my own words. But if I'm running low on thoughts or ideas, my own imagination sometimes stalls out. Sometimes the books that I read don't even have anything to do with the topics that I'm writing about. In fact they're usually just the opposite.
If I'm reading something really dole or dry like international tax law, or ancient Roman trust law, or a Dutch variation on trust law, then I'll probably take a break and write something really creative that has absolutely nothing to do with Dutch Roman trust law. If I'm reading something funny, then I'm probably going to write some rather dry and serious words.
Head Game Writing
So tonight it's about a quarter till two in the morning, and I don't feel like I've accomplished much writing today. I kicked ass yesterday, and I kicked major ass the day before that. I really wanted to kick ass again today, but things just kind of conspired against me, in my own head at least. That's the thing about writing is truly a head game. You're going toe to toe with your own brain and sometimes your brain wins and other times your brain wins.
Left Side v Right Side - Battle of the Brain
Today my brain won, the problem is my brain apparently didn't want to win at writing a whole bunch. I visualized it I was in the zone to do it, my brain seemed to be in gear, but I kept slipping the clutch.
I tried a number of great tricks that normally help me beat writers block. It took a break, I ate some food, I watched a movie, I jogged 2 miles, I walked the dogs a mile, I mowed the grass, I've played with the kids, I read a book, I cook some food, I watch the daily show, I paid some bills and the list goes on. All those things to fight writers block ended up blocking a lot of writing.
Now, I'm doing something else to break writers block, I'm writing. As you can probably tell by now this is just a free flow dialogue. There is no purpose, I'm just rambling about the day about my thoughts and about writers block.
I did several other things today, I worked on organizing some new missions for the link below Army, I did write several comments on a number of different blogs which kind of falls into marketing when you're a blogger. The thing is, when I write a lot comments I start to feel guilty that I'm not writing on my own blog.
Then there's the damn forums. I do enjoy talking to people and forums, but I find that when I do this it rapidly leads to writers block. I need the interaction, it's good for my thoughts and it's good for keeping in touch with people and stay on top of trends and a dozen other things. It's also very distracting when you're supposed to be writing.
Fighting Forum Spam
Then I went into my own forums on the LinkyLoveArmy, and I cleaned out the spam. The spam on that forum is driving me nuts. What I'm not being bombarded with ads for drugs, people are posting porn on the forum. I'm about ready to shut the form down and move all the content somewhere else.
Chef Boyardee Trolls
I did come up with an idea for a nice little short story or possibly a children's book. My four-year-old daughter tends to inspire some great little books and ideas. When she asks me a question about anything under the sun, I always try to give her a good answer. Sometimes I get a little silly and make up a crazy story as an answer. Then later I tell her the right answer shortly after she's learned that daddy was just being silly.
Today I came up with the idea of the Chef Boyardee ravioli troll. Not too many people realize that there's trolls living in the bottom of Chef Boyardee cans. You'll be a little on my short story on Amazon.com very soon. I'll send you the details and maybe I'll have my daughter created an illustration for the book cover.
Dragon Tune Up
After a couple weeks of writing with Dragon NaturallySpeaking, I typically have to give it a tune up. I don't know why but the accuracy starts to decrease instead of increase. I'm making corrections and adding to the vocabulary all the time, but eventually I need to go in and do a dragon sanctioned training session.
These sessions take about 30 minutes and they're not a whole lot of fun. Worse yet I'm basically dictating someone else's writing so that my computer can learn what it is that I'm saying. The problem with this scenario is that I'm not writing, and my writer's block therefore gets worse.
This time I think I'm going to run the screen recorder during my training session to show people interested in Dragon NaturallySpeaking with these training sessions look like. It's not going to be terribly entertaining, but it will give them a good idea and I doubt anyone will watch the whole thing all the way through.
Behind on my pictures
When I was on vacation last week I forgot to take the battery charger for my camera. For no good reason, that meant that I didn't upload the pictures from my camera to my computer. There is no good reason for not uploading the pictures. I don't need a battery charger to upload pictures. My laptop has a built-in flash card reader.
Apparently I had photographers block or some stupid thing and I just kept taking pictures until the battery went dead but I didn't do anything with them. For me this is bad, because I tend to take a lot of pictures. And if I don't do something with them right away, then I'll have a lot of work to do once I finally start to clean out my camera.
That's a big pain, but I do have some good and important pictures.
Packing for the Move
I need to get cracking on a number of House projects, that were put on hold when we went on vacation last week. Any delay about 125 ft.² of tile and I have to paint some rooms. I have a number of other things to do as well.
My wife started packing a little bit today, she started with pictures and then she moved into some of the desks. She got extremely pissed off at me when she found copies of receipts to the Morton public Library in Illinois. We lived in Morton in 1996, and I still went to the library until 2000. Regardless that was at least seven years ago.
Book Receipts from the Library from 1999
I kept all of the receipts for the books that I checked out, because I read too many books and I can't always remember which ones I've read. Back then I'd keep the receipts until I had a chance to enter the titles and authors of the books into my PDA. But I developed a backlog of receipts and my PDA died and so I just kept the receipts.
These days I'm a blogger and one of my blogs is about the books I read. So it's my intention to go back and write book reviews on all those books that I read based on the receipts. The thing is I remember the stories I remember the details, I just need help remembering the authors and the titles of the books.
I live the stories in my mind as I listen or read them. I don't forget those details, but I only look at the covers a couple of times. So I don't always remember the author's names nor the oddball titles of the book.
My wife thinks I'm a pack rat. I am a packrat. But there is a reason why in keeping those receipts and as soon as I've done something useful with them, and all burn them in the fireplace and they will be transformed into mulch in the backyard.