About Writing: My November Writer's Block


Yes, I actually wrote that in an email as an excuse for not working on my book or writing something for my blog yesterday. Totally embarrassing and totally true.  Lately, I have found it much easier to stumble through Jewel than come up with an original thought.

Cartoon by Marcia Liss

Cartoon by Marcia Liss

ChicagoNow Community Manager Jimmy Greenfield recently posed this question for bloggers: What’s the thing that most often gets in the way of publishing and what have you done to address it? Well, that’s not hard to answer. Life gets in the way and I personally can’t think of any way to address it.

I have started each week in November with good intentions. The plan was to write something first thing Monday morning and again Wednesday morning. At least I would feel minimally productive. Then I would continue working on my book.

But here’s the thing. I started going to OT and PT therapy for my shoulder and back. Every time I go, I get pages of home exercises to add to my already long early morning exercise routine. By the time I’m done with this ever-expanding routine and get in the shower, it’s no longer early. I’m often running late for whatever I need to do that morning. Why not do these exercises later in the day? Well, there is no later-in-the-day for me, and by the evening I am too tired to read the paper, let alone perform 20 exercises with stretchy bands.


  • I have to go back to the dentist for that annoying cracked tooth. So maybe tomorrow, right.
  • I have to pick up my granddaughter from orchestra, give her breakfast, and walk her to school. So maybe tomorrow, right.
  • I have to go to a funeral. So maybe tomorrow, right.
  • I have book club today. So maybe tomorrow, right.
  • I have a meeting at my former preschool for a committee I’m on. So maybe tomorrow, right.
  • I need to do heavy-duty maintenance: hair color and cut, followed by a manicure. So maybe tomorrow, right.
  • I have to get a cortisone injection in the bump on my big toe. So maybe tomorrow, right.
  • I have to see my personal trainer at the Senior Center. So maybe tomorrow, right.
  • I have to shop for birthday and Hanukkah gifts. So maybe tomorrow, right.

So many “have-to’s,” and not one of them mentions writing. I have lost my rhythm this month. Perhaps it was the much-needed vacation my husband and I took in New York. Perhaps the task of putting the pieces of my book together feels too huge. Perhaps new ideas for my blog are just not flowing these days.

So how will I address my November writer’s block? There is only one way. I will just keep writing. But first, I just really need groceries.


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