Story Over a Cup: When faced with writer’s block

Published 8:12 pm Saturday, February 23, 2019

By Michael Cole


Sometimes you just have no clue what to write.

For example, for the last couple of days, I had no clue what to write about. Usually, I sit in front of the keyboard and I have a topic that has been percolating around in my mind for the last couple of days.

My fingers fly over the keyboard, and I crank out either a winner or something that I automatically send to my rewrite bin to be dusted off sometime in the future when I have more clarity.

I was having no such luck this week.

Writer’s block is not a common ailment of mine. Usually, I have more ideas than I have time.

I think at this moment, I have a dozen novels in various levels of completion. A few articles for clients, and I think a couple of letters stashed somewhere in a drive somewhere.

But not today.

Today I find myself staring at a blank word document.

No inspiration.

So, I thought I would look up what others do in a slump. See what other writers do.

Hmmm, Stephen King.

“I call upon the evil spirits of Derry, Maine, and find my fingers posed and flying across the keyboard at breakneck speeds.”

Yeah, I’ll pass. Maybe J.K. Rowling?

“I cast my Expecto Patronum, and the Dementors causing my writer’s block to flee, leaving me cleansed to write.”

Expecto what? Not for me

Perhaps, Tom Clancy wrote something about writer’s block?

“Well, I call upon my Black Ops group, Rainbow Six. They parachute behind enemy lines and rescue my topic in a hail of bullets and glory. They then extract it and I am good to go.”

Maybe something a little less violent. Let’s go with Nicholas Sparks.

“Look at her there, my writing muse. All I need to do is stare into her eyes and I know that she is the one. We were meant to be together. I long to grab her and hold her close to me. To caress her.”

Uh, I think I will go with something a little less freaky. What does Stephanie Meyer do?

“About three things I am sure of when I have writer’s block. First, it goes away. Second, there is a part of my writing talent – and I didn’t know how potent that part might be- that thirsted for my blood. And finally, that I was unconditionally and irrevocably in love with writing.”

Check, please!

Okay, let’s try a classical writer. An American icon. Frank Baum. Yes, someone who wrote an American classic. The Wizard of Oz is good.

“HAHAHAHAHA! I unleash my flying monkey’s on the keyboard! Fly my pretties! FLY!”

Yeah, that is no help.

I guess I will just have to come up with my own ritual to solve my writer’s block problem. Séance? Maybe contact the writing spirits? Light a candle? Maybe the fragrance will inspire me.  

It then came to me, where all my ideas come from. I am doing something else that I have put off. Let me dust the house.

What do you know, my writer’s block is gone.

Until later, enjoy that coffee, and stay happy, my friends.


Michael Cole is a syndicated columnist that when he is not writing, he is plotting global domination. You can follow him at