Breaking Up With Writers’ Block


It’s time for me to break up with Writer’s Block.

If Writer’s Block was a person, he would be five feet eight. He is in his 40s but he looks much older. He has a greasy blond comb over on his freckled bald head. His face is sallow. His jowls are flabby and droopy. He admittedly never looks in a mirror. He has stray gray hairs that come out of his chin. I don’t know why there isn’t more evidence of a beard. Maybe that’s the most dramatic his beard gets. He has a dull stud in one ear, which has hairs and wax coming out of them. He’s wearing a faded light blue t-shirt. It’s torn around the neck and there are little rips in the crew neck. It’s an inconsistent color. Faded, bleach stained.  Heavy perspiration stains in the arm pits and back. Writer’s Block has boobs that sit on his expansive belly. There are tears and stains on the belly of the shirt that he doesn’t even see.

I brought him to a local diner so he wouldn’t cause a scene.

Breaking Up With Writer's Block
Breaking Up With Writer’s Block

The waitress approached our table with his order. Apparently, he’s a regular here and she can smell him coming.

His meal is a huge triple cheeseburger. The bun glistened with grease. It looks good on the plate, but the moment he picks it up with his fat fingers, it loses all of its attraction for me. He squeezed it in such a way that the mayo and the ketchup squeezed out the bottom. The patty slid out the bottom, splatting ketchup and mustard on the table. 

Writer’s Block took a huge bite. He squinted his eyes shut. He chomped with his mouth open. He chewed and snorted and wheezed and smacked. Writer’s Block is so disgusting. I have to look away. 

 The waitress asked me what I wanted.

I wanted to order something with the intention of shaming Writer’s Block. I wanted to say, in my most smug, self righteous voice. “I’ll  just have a Cobb salad.”  Writer’s Block won’t look me in the eye.

But I stare hard. I’m turning my date with Writer’s Block into a passive aggressive food fight.

Breaking Up With Writer's Block
Wanna bite?
Before I even get the order out of my mouth and WB mumbled with his mouth stuffed, “What’s Cobb Salad?” At least that’s what I think he said. He may have said, “I want one too!” or “I’m having a heart attack.” His mouth was full and I didn’t feel like asking him to repeat it, twenty minutes later, when he finally swallowed.

The waitress tapped the pen on the pad and said, “So, he’s paying?”

“YES!” I made sure that the waitress heard that clearly. 

I don’t wait for him to respond to me. “Look,” I say, “I think you are a fake. ”

He stops chewing enough to look at me directly.

 I continue. “I don’t believe in you.” He’s not nearly as intimidating as I thought he was.  “You’re a fraud. There really isn’t anything to you that a free write won’t expose. You are like many of the past pests in my life: empty and threatening.”
“I thought we had something special?” He mumbled.
“No. I’ve never been happy with you.”
He offered me another bite of his burger. I refused.
Breaking Up With Writer's Block
“I’ve learned a few things. I’ve learned that putting my butt in the chair and getting my fingers on the keyboard is half the battle. I’ve learned that just writing a few starter sentences about anything  can get the creative juices flowing. I’ve found a community of writers who are could about prompting me.”
“We can do all that too.” He wiped his face and fingers on his shirt.
“No. We can’t. All you tell me is that I’m stuck. You tell me I need to hold out for the perfect million-dollar idea. That if I write I’ll make too many mistakes. You tell me that it’s better to watch a lot of bad television than it is to write. You tell me that I’m not good enough to achieve my dreams. You tell me that there will be time tomorrow. And you know, I now have a goal in 2015 to write 1000 words a day. Everybody is watching me, Blocky. You don’t want me to fail, do you?”
“But . . . ” he looked like he was hurting himself. “We’ve had some good times!”
“No. We haven’t. When I’m with you, I just feel sorry for myself. I doubt my own talent. I feel flabby and lazy. I grow more fearful that I’ll never succeed. I really don’t want those feelings anymore.”
He sniffed a big snotty sniff. He looked like he was thinking about my words. “Dancing With the Stars is on tonight.”
“Oh, who cares?” I don’t have to be nice to him anymore. “When was the last time you showered?”

He chewed and looked up to one side, as if he was thinking. That’s another thing I hate about Writer’s Block. He acts like he is thinking. He’s never had an original thought. He never says much of anything. 

Breaking Up With Writer's Block


I lost it. “Writer’s Block, you disgust me.” I raised my voice. “But you are ugly. I really don’t like being seen with you in public. You need a shower. Since you aren’t a person, I don’t have to worry about offending you. I want to tell you how much I loathe your very presence.”

He shrugged and took another bite of that greasy burger.

“I’m leaving you forever.”  I stood up to leave. I had lost my taste for the Cobb Salad. “Go find another writer to torment.”


Katharine Grubb is an author, poet, homeschooling mother, camping enthusiast, bread-baker, and believer in working in small increments of time. She leads 10 Minute Novelists, an international Facebook group of time-crunched writers. She lives with her family in Massachusetts.