Saturday, April 6, 2013

Writer's Block

There has never been a period in my life when I have suffered from "writer's block" . . . but this week, I have been experiencing "writer's rest".

It's been years.  But I took a full five days off.

This week in Chicago for my wife's birthday, I agreed that I would leave all writing assignments and deadlines behind.  (My one and only writing-related concession being that I stowed away a daily supply of love poems that I doled out to Becky like prescription pills.  These were real doozies that ought to be published under the title: Romance Poetry for Old Ladies Who Love to Shop.)

Those five days in the Windy City have now placed me in a pen, however (note the pun!).  Taking five days off from meeting deadlines has totally messed up my mathematically-calculated annual writing output (MCAWO) and created a new scenario where, in order to meet demand, I'm going to have to rise even earlier, and write faster-smarter-and-crisper in the months ahead.

In fact, in the days leading up to this break, I fielded so many calls from editors that my plate is beyond brimming and I may have to write on two keyboards simultaneously in order to fulfill the demand.

But hey, I'm not complaining.  In fact, I returned from Chicago with a wallet full of napkin notations, hotel stationery outlines, and toilet paper quotations that I now must translate into actual essays, chapters and reviews.  Let the fun begin.

And I did get to introduce myself once in Chicago to a gentleman who, like me, was standing in the foyer of some fancy-pants women's clothier waiting on his wife to pick out a one-size-fits-all girdle.  He wanted to know, "So . . . what do you do, pal?"

"I'm a writer," I told him.  (Reactions, believe me, vary from New York to Chicago to small town Indiana.)

This guy didn't flinch.  "Interesting work," he said dryly with no follow-up.


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