Evil Gal Productions

Mere Smith
is a recovering Southerner,
longtime TV writer,
author and blogger.
August 10th, 2011 by Mere Smith

The Muses’ Plague

Hi! (exhilarated sigh)  Oh my god, I can’t believe I’m up here!  Man, this thing is–  everyone says the trophy is heavy, but you always think they’re exaggerating and– oh jeez, fifteen seconds left, I’d better hurry.

Anyway, I’d like to thank…

…the goddamn fucking Muses for that huge case of Writer’s Block they picked up and smashed in my teeth with yesterday.

I don’t know about you, but that’s what it feels like to me — as if Writer’s Block were some medieval mace the Muses swing at your head from time to time (why?  Why even ask?  They’re goddamn fucking Muses, they don’t have to explain shit to you).  The impact crunches the bones surrounding your confidence and sends you reeling, dizzy, and wondering only whether you’re going to fall on the ground unconscious — or simply vomit up everything you’ve eaten since 1993 — and THEN fall on the ground unconscious.

Not to mention that the Muses’ mace gives you the Plague.

Everyone talks about Writer’s Block as if it’s some temporary inconvenience, like, oops!  Couldn’t make it to work today?  A little under the weather?  Got a case of that Writer’s Block going around? Here, I have some Tylenol Cold and Flu…

But for me, having Writer’s Block is the same as having the Plague.

You feel ashamed.  Shunned.  Unclean, and, oh, by the way, there is a 50% chance you will die from it.  During which there will be writhing, shrieking, bleeding, loss of bowel control, bursting pustules… in a few words: so not lovely.

And one of the worst symptoms of Writer’s Block Plague is the sheer panic.  Anyone who doesn’t write for a living might think this panic could be conducive to writing — that you might be so scared you’ll never be able to write again, you’ll just start writing anything at all to assure yourself you haven’t forgotten the alphabet: random Tweets, emails to your third cousins, grocery lists, Post-Its, Cosmo questionnaires, hell, worse coming to worst, even thank you notes.

However, this isn’t the case.

Writer’s Block panic isn’t (shout-out to my teenage hair dye) a manic panic, driving you to do crazy things (thank you notes, like with a pen, for god’s sake?).  No.  It’s a slow, constricting panic that swallows you from the head down, like a python.  Your skull gets squeezed ’til your brain implodes.  It crushes your chest and your heart implodes.  Reaches your gut and your intestines implode (again, so not lovely), until there’s nothing left of you but skin, bone chips, and goo.

This is a panic that renders you silent, immobile, and utterly useless.  You might as well be a Plague victim, already wrapped in sheets and bound for the bonfire.  Though sometimes that bonfire seems like sweet relief.  You think, At least if I’m dead, I won’t be expected to write.

Such was my yesterday, battling the Muses’ Plague.

Goddamn fucking Muses.

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