A Writer’s Free Day

writers blockAt last! A day free of any commitments. Free from doctor’s appointments, veterinary check-ups, shopping, cleaning, teaching and errand running. Free of students, lesson plans, and check out chicks. Free of driving, being somewhere and forever checking my iPhone calendar for the things I forgot I had forgotten. A free day.

So, of course, I chose to spend my wonderfully event-free day, writing. But of course, Sod’s Law took over immediately after breakfast.

Some call it writer’s block, but I prefer to call it a total brain freeze and mental whiteout. Not a single idea worth wasting a verb upon. No satirically black idea worth a double negative. Not even a skerrick of a notion worthy of an introductory adverbial phrase. An odd eh and um discourse marker being the closest to a rational thought.

So I gave up and had more coffee thinking it would help. It didn’t. Walk the dog, more coffee, sit and ponder. Procrastinate about pondering. Ponder then about procrastination. Worry. Have I lost it completely? Did I have it in the first place?

Lunchtime gave me some respite as I pushed the limits of spacial time and made it last until afternoon tea. Which then became my first rational thought for the day. Why is it called afternoon tea? I always drink coffee. I don’t like tea at all. So, I renamed it afternoon coffee. At last, something productive. Rolling this new phrase around in my head took me to dinner time, and by then, I was quite hungry after such a long day.

Oh, being a writer is such a great life. As I sit now, late in the evening, with my umteenth glass of red wine, and reflect on my day, I can be proud of my achievement. Two whole words.

Afternoon Coffee.

Now I just need to find a place to use this brilliant new piece of collocated language.

24 thoughts on “A Writer’s Free Day”

  1. Elizabeth Rose Murray

    Ha ha – brilliant! I must admit, Ive been a bit devoid of good writing lately too. Lots of editing and factual writing but short on anything other than ideas and snippets. I'm writing these down, in hope they will improve when my brain works again!

  2. J. Kevin Tumlinson

    Hey, don't be hard on yourself. You're forgetting about those sweet lines of poetry you were laying on us via Twitter. Hip, brother. Real hip.

  3. Antony Gloster

    Brill cartoon. And A Tale of two words can always lead to Great Expectations in your Bleak House of Hard Times.
    Or something!

  4. Quirina Roode-Gutzmer

    For having writer's block, your blog post was pretty brilliant. And appropriately matched with a wonderful cartoon. It seems umteen glasses of red wine does the trick. And now we wait for the classic novel a la Oliver (or) Twist to materialise. Er, I mean After (noon) Coffee by Derek Haines.

  5. It always starts with two words, doesn't it? Funny post. Glad I saw it in the stream today.

  6. Jeff Bennington

    I think you had a very productive day. That was funny and an accurate assesment of the writer’s life.

  7. Oh my goodness, you’ve just described the last few weeks for me. I just love being a writer…ugh. At least I’m not alone battling what I call the ‘Procrastination Demon.’ Great post!

  8. Derek, you are a naturally funny man in a self-deprecating sort of way! I would never have expected the recounting of events of a writer’s, well, UNeventful day, would make me laugh; but it did. Set my day on the right track, with a light heart amidst all this economic and political gloom! A valuable skill indeed, Sir. Thank you.

    1. It is always when you plan to write that the ideas dry up. It’s a curse on writers that the best ideas come when there is neither a pencil nor notepad (or keyboard) within reach. Ideas usually pop into my head while having both hands full of shopping bags, or when under the shower. :)

      1. What we need is a voice activated recorder strapped to our face/mouth/ear or something like that…

  9. Writing can be the best way I can do whenever I am bored…Anyway, thanks for sharing this post…

  10. Dianna Zaragoza

    Love, love, love for that cartoon…and all the empathy in the world for that situation.

    I almost prefer having short blocks of time to write instead of long spaces without any obligations. That way, if the short block gets lost, I don’t anguish over it like the loooooong blocks where nothing gets done.

    Great post, Derek.

    1. You’re right Dianna. Come to think of it, when I set aside big chunks of time to write, I normally end up being completely unimaginative and tend to write mechanically. Which is just a fancy word for writing rubbish I suppose :)

  11. I really like reading your blog.. A short but very entertaining blog.. Make the best out of your free day.. thanks for sharing this to us!

  12. LIKE LIKE LIKE LIKE the catoon..two thumbs for you..like it very much!..very interesting site..This is just too funny that I’m reading this now. I wasn’t tilting my head at the right angle- it’s all making sense now!

  13. Noraiza Braun

    Funny and brilliant post and it matches with the cartoon. I like reading it. I would like to read more from you. Thank you!

  14. Krysthal Wilson

    A very informative and well written post.. It is so nice hoe you discuss the benefits of the writing business.. thanks for sharing it to us..

  15. At this time it appears like BlogEngine is the best blogging platform out there right now. (from what I’ve read) Is that what you are using on your blog?

  16. Adam Lowe (@adambeyoncelowe)

    I find you have to write your way through the crap to get to the good stuff ;) x

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