They Don’t Write Themselves

One of the sternest challenges when writing a daily blog is unearthing a narrative’s subject matter. Consequently, it’s not unusual for me to spend part of my morning staring at a blank laptop page, gracelessly slurping on a cuppa until experiencing the aforementioned topic ‘light bulb’ moment – A notion which I’ll only adopt if I feel it’ll yield a minimum of 500 words of prose.

The other morning, upon seeing me rudderlessly struggling for that days subject, a good friend suggested it maybe interesting to write about existentialised nimbolic protocons. I thought about this well-meaning, but deeply flawed, suggestion for a few fleeting seconds – However, as the trinity of words don’t exist, yours truly immediately dismissed the idiotic epiphany out of hand. ………….. I knew gifting her a book of made up words for her birthday would backfire on me one day!

made up words

Another hurdle to overcome when in search of material to chronicle is attempting to remember what I’ve previously penned in my previous blogs (in excess of 2,500).

As yours truly endeavours not to regurgitate subject matter whenever feasible, on a daily basis I strive to create freshly conceived narrative ideas. However, when you’ve written well over a million words during a six year long literary odyssey, achieving that particular goal isn’t always a cakewalk.

Nevertheless, wherever possible, it’s important for GJ Strachan to at least attempt not to repeat himself in prose too often……. Incidentally, did I mention that a friend suggested writing about existentialised nimbolic protocons? ……. I did!…… Ok, I’ll move on.

As an aside, I’ve just read that on this day in 1838 Missouri governor Lilburn Boggs issued the Extermination Order, ordering all Mormons to leave the state or be exterminated…….. Blimey, that’s a bit harsh!….. Could old Boggsy not have just’ve refused to answer the front door to them?! After all, it’s a strategy most individuals find successful when Church of Latter Day Saints disciples come a knocking?!

Additionally, today is also the anniversary of the traditional founding of the city of Amsterdam, in 1275. They say that New York is the city that never sleeps…… Well, due to its liberal approach to soft drugs, it’s reputed that Amsterdam is the city that never wakes.

Anyhow, I digress; back to the topic of writer’s block……..

On another occasion, knowing I was stuck in a particularly latent subject idea contraflow, a well-meaning friend arbitrarily suggested resolving this by waxing lyrical about my favourite sensory experiences.

After pondering what would constitute utopia for my senses, I picked my top three to be the smell and taste of a roast beef dinner, touch of fresh bed linen and sight of Margot Robbie. Bearing all this in mind, I concluded eating a roast beef dinner with Margot Robbie on fresh bedding would be just about as brio filled life could get for GJ Strachan.

The late American author Charles Bukowski said “Writing about a writer’s block is better than not writing at all.” An approach I’ve inadvertently stumbled upon which thankfully appears to be bearing fruit.

In further attempts to remedy my prevailing literary impotency, following online research I’ve just learned the following as tips for overcoming writer’s block:-

Go for a walk, remove distractions, do something to get the blood flowing (do they mean Viagra?!), brainstorm ideas in bullet points or write about existentialised nimbolic protocons!”

Embracing this strategy brought to mind a heavily distracting school history lesson in the late 1970’s.

A time when grim rain-sodden weather similar to todays played out; precipitation compounding further my ever increasing mid-teen angst. On this particular day I recall staring out of the classroom window; my view that of a janitor braving a north east England fog and heavy rainfall while idiosyncratically mowing the school’s concrete playground.

With little else of interest outside to hold my attention, I soon averted my gaze from the stark meteorological landscape outside back to the prevailing classroom scene.

Scanning the room I witnessed fellow pupils, most with heads in hand. Teenagers whose attention span I assumed (like me) veered back and forth from post-lunch states of half listening, to unwanted hormonal daydreams relating to Blue Peter presenter Lesley Judd; not to mention the fragrant Lucy Tugnuts in class 5G…… Well the lads were, anyway!

My old secondary school in Gateshead. It was here I learned that the French for radiator is radiateur ….. Oh, and a few other bits and pieces!

In this particular history lesson we were being taught of the chaos resultant when the Normans arrival in Britain. A time of terrible confrontation, injury, violence and barbaric behaviour ….. And that was just the behaviour in the class!

Seriously, though, I learned during that tutorial the Normans experience on arriving in Britain was so traumatic Messrs Hunter, Wisdom and Collier refused to ever fly Pan Am again.

Following on from the above advice relating to overcoming writer’s block, I’ve just taken a break to go shopping.

Whilst at a shopping centre, I’d the following conversation with a family member (who I shall name Dr Evil for the purpose of anonymity). A peculiar conversation which, after we left a department store, played out as follows:-

Dr Evil – “I really liked those Schumacher slippers in there. I might get them for Rachel (my daughter) for her birthday.

Me (utterly bemused) – “I didn’t see them!” …… There followed a brief pause before I inquired “Do you mean the F1 driver Michael Shumacher?

Dr Evil – “No the Shumacher in Star Wars.”

Me – “Do you mean Chewbacca?”

Dr Evil – “Yes, that’s the one”


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