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How Long A Bad Case Of Writer's Block Can Last

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Paul Taylor
Paul Taylor

These days everyone is a writer of sorts, from us small yet stable stable of bloggers to twits on twitter to status updaters on Facebook to the once highly regarded journos and novelists. Nowadays we communicate mainly through writing.

For those of you few out there, you may have noticed I have been on a sort of hiatus for a couple of months. No, I didn't get hit by a car but wish I had because then I'd have something to write about. No, I didn't travel again but wish I had for the same reason as mentioned above.

I've been suffering a type of writer's block. I know what you think, writer's block doesn't exist and is an excuse used only by hacks who think they're writers. I think it does exist and I think I know the cause, well, for me anyway.

If you've ever read my previous pieces then you'd see that I can get pretty pissed off about a lot of things, mainly a perceived case of reverse sexism or ingesting a bad dose of feminism, and then I don my misogynist hat, have a few drinks, a few laughs and then read a couple of angry comments a few days later.

Julia Gillard became Australia's first female PM a couple of weeks back. I remember specifically because I woke up hungover like you wouldn't believe, to the news she was now PM. I questioned how long I had been asleep for and then wondered why Mum didn't take me to the hospital because quite clearly, I had been in a coma for a few years. This sort of event, I thought, would have got me straight onto the laptop spewing forth the sort of stuff I like to spew, but it didn't. She had red hair, I thought. Not good enough. She'll ruin the country because she'll be late to every engagement she had teed up. Not good enough. Every month she'll do something stupid and lash out at the nearest man, blaming him for her PMS mistakes. Ok, but still not good enough.

I then realised why I can't find the energy to write about anything. I'm happy. It's sick, I know, but in one small way or another, I'm a bit happy, in life, in general. And this in itself is making me unhappy thus sparking this renaissance in my writing.

I know a lot of people who want to write a novel and go about seeing how it'll fare at the soon to be marginalised publishing houses, and I too want to. But in this time I haven't written a word. I do a bit of column stuff here and there, a bit of music journo stuff here and there, music is in my blood, and even the thought of writing about my passion doesn't get me motivated. Working a day job that takes up all my time and energy might have something to do with it as well as being easily distracted at the moment.

Writing is sitting in front of a blank piece of paper waiting for the words to come. If they don't you can cut open as many veins as you like, you can mess up your head with as many substances as you can manage, read and watch a heap of stuff that gets you angry or inspired, but if after doing all that you still can't put pen to paper then you're in strife. Then it comes down to life, happiness, depression, stress and all of that.

Having said that, now realising I'm happy which is making me unhappy and depressed, I now have something to cling onto. Maybe writer's block does exist and the only way to get through it is to quickly realise why you're blocked and quickly move on. Man, Julia Gillard really needs to pose for a lad's mag, imagine the sales from curiosity and fetish alone. I'm back. 

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