I figured out why I couldn’t write. It was because of all the goddamn laundry strewn across my computer.
I used to have a fantasy about this, actually. I had this awesome writer’s fantasy that I would string up a clothesline in a room, and clip pieces of my novel to it, and move them around in a cool and artistic way, and that other people would come into my room and be all impressed by it. I’d stand there in between the clotheslines, looking contemplative, moving one section to another part of the clothesline, and sip a glass of whiskey looking wise and put-upon, grumbling how no one understands artists. It was a good dream. Very Warhol-esqure of me.
The execution turned out to be a little bit sloppier and a hell of a lot less productive. Also, it did not involve me looking wise and contemplative, and there was no whiskey to be seen. It was a raging failure. I am never going to get to be Hemingway this way, people. Seriously.
I have personal issues. I am not going to talk about them here, because come on, y’all come for the funny and the occasional misuse of the word ‘mojo’ (are there any wrong uses for that word, really? I think not). Let us just say these were personal issues worthy of being called dirty laundry. In fact, they might even be worthy of being called dirty underwear. Oh, yes. That kind.
I didn’t realize it, but these issues were aggravating my writer’s block. I had the giant writer’s block (which, if you’ve never seen it, actually looks like one of those wooden child’s blocks with an A and a T and a duck and a 6 and a flower and a 4 on its various sides, except that it weighs a ton and every half an hour or so, a little jester-type creature pings out of the top of it and bitch-slaps you). On top of the giant writer’s block, I had laundry. You would think that the laundry would merely be a minor annoyance, but you would have underestimated the jester. The jester used the laundry for cover. He would hide beneath it and stealth bitch-slap me before I ever saw him coming, and then he would duck behind a pair of jeans and use a wayward thong to block my return blow, all the while saying unkind and unfounded things about my relationship with sheep.
Now, I made an error. My thought was if I could beat the writer’s block, then I would have time to deal with the laundry. This was stupid of me. The writer’s block, you see, looks like a more daunting task, but the laundry nags and nags at you until you can’t focus on getting rid of the writer’s block. Dealing with writer’s block when you have dirty laundry is something like trying to meditate on an anthill. It can be done, I’m sure, but it’s dumb when you could just move your butt on over to a hill with no ants in it.
So I took the weekend off. I neglected the blog (my apologies, all). I stopped beating my head against my web copy. I went out, talked to the people I needed to talk to, resolved some issues, and wandered out toward Sunday evening feeling pretty damn good about life. I scrubbed all my laundry up, y’all. No skid marks on my skivvies. Bleach and fabric softener and those useless little dryer sheets (what do those even DO, besides stick to your sheets and scare the bejeezus out of you when you slide into your freshly made bed?). Everything was shiny and clean and hung up and smelling faintly of lavender.
Then I went to tackle the writer’s block. Without any laundry to hide behind, that jester didn’t have a chance. I snatched his grinning little face out of the air the second he appeared, and then I ate him.
Yes. I ate him. What? He deserved it. Sheep, my left pinkie toe.
Now the writer’s block is no more, and my laundry is done, and I am here to tell you that unresolved issues make your writing suck.
Also, that jesters evidently taste like chicken. Or chicken tastes of jesters. Whichever.
Subscribe. I’ll make a vegetarian of you yet.