by Chris Cristiano
As most writers know, some days you have the gift to produce amazing articles with little effort that sizzle with wit and prose but on other days – well, not so much. Whether you are willing to admit it or not, here are the five factors (in no particular order) that are responsible for grinding your writing to a halt and sabotaging your efforts:
The Weather Factor. If you live in a less than desirable climate (basically anywhere other than Florida, a Caribbean island or any place where one would commonly yell “surf’s up!”) chances are your writing efforts are affected by the weather. Now, I am not talking about a big wind blowing through your office and knocking out your power but rather that big yellow thing – the sun. In my world, a bright sunny day with temps above 70F is an invitation to get up, get out and get some sun! Even the best writers are known to ditch their computers and pay homage to the sun to catch a few rays. Lather on the sunscreen, enjoy the sun then get back to work.
The Kid Factor. Yeah, yeah, no one wants to admit it but a whiny child wrapped around one’s leg will certainly put an end to any creative thought floating in your head. No use trying to reason with the child, the faster you get out the Candyland game and purposely lose a few games for the sake of the child’s psyche, the faster you are back at it writing the next best seller on the New York Time Bestseller List. Play the game, kiss the kid – now get back to work!
The Refrigerator Factor. Oh, it is so hard to resist this big guy. He is a close friend of writer’s block. He sits quietly in the kitchen humming a little song that subliminally whispers “come on, open me and I will feed your tortured soul!” He senses when you are frustrated, the words are not coming forth and the only thing you can manage to create is ten new ways to spell your name. He beckons you to come closer and flaunts his wares; leftover chicken wings, chocolate cake and rich ice cream. He always wins; his will is stronger than yours. You tiptoe over to him, fling the door open and stick your head in his cavity. Hey! Quick, get out of there – he fooled you again! You won’t find the answer to writer’s block in his lair, only the answer to Jenny Craig’s prayers – another plump, frustrated writer to compete for the title of new spokesperson! Shut the refrigerator and get back to work!
The Newspaper Factor. Every writer knows and anxiously awaits the ‘thwack’ of the daily newspaper hitting the door. The thicker the paper, the louder the noise equates to more time wasted! The resounding ‘thwack’ is an open invitation to jump up, hurl the door open and greedily grab the newspaper – another perfectly timed opportunity to lure you away from your computer into the time management wasteland. Sure, you can pretend you are taking the time to educate yourself about the world around you but somehow I don’t think Dear Abby qualifies as news in the traditional sense. Put the newspaper in the recycling bin and get back to work!
The Laundry Factor. Now this is a heavy load to carry – no pun intended! You know its there, it always is, it multiples and never goes away entirely. Yes, I am talking about those darn dirty clothes! You know you should be writing but that dirty clothes hamper stops you in your tracks every time. It manages to position itself right in your path – it is darn right scary. You reason, just one load of whites but before you know it, you’re putting in the next load of darks and so forth. Before you realize it, you have done all the laundry – wash, dry and folded too. Good for you! How are you going to be the next Stephen King if you are always doing laundry? Now get out of the laundry room and get back to work!
There you have it, the five factors that will sabotage your writing efforts. Read ‘em, memorize ‘em and don’t let them mess with your head.