Tag: writing

Ryan’s Tips for Dealing with Writer’s Block

Writer's block

Photo by Rennett Stowe

Let’s be honest: writing is like passing a gallstone.

Better yet, writing is like trying to politely kick out that lonely bachelor who’s always the last to leave after a party.

No… no, wait… actually, writing is like watching a Hayden Christensen movie, where 45 minutes in you begin to think, “On my list of stimulating activities, this ranks just below describing my stool to a doctor.”

Well, at any rate, writing is just like something else that humorously illustrates something you don’t look forward to doing. There. Happy?

And yet, writing is necessary. Especially if one hopes to be a writer. Oh sure, you could try being a writer without actually writing. But then you’d have to find readers who don’t actually read. And that’s a very difficult arrangement to find, much less make money at. Unless, of course, you’re a Hollywood screenwriter. In which case you’re all set, so why are you wasting my time?

What is it about writing that makes it so difficult? Is it the act of typing? No, typing is easy. Type type type. Click click click. Chocolate stupid fart pillow. See? No problem at all.

Perhaps it’s having to put your thoughts down on paper that’s difficult. That’s certainly harder than just typing, but it’s still not a real issue. In fact, I’ll write what I’m thinking right now:

Hurray for white people!

There, that wasn’t so bad.

In reality, I think writer’s block is born from the knowledge that someone is actually going to read what you write. Will they like my writing? Will they find it intresting? Will they notice I just misspelled “interesting”? And what the hell have I got to say, anyway? The only good ideas I have are the ones I should probably keep to myself — like how Schindler’s List is actually improved by syncing it to the first Jonas Brothers album.

So, in a way, it’s not really your fault that you have writer’s block. It’s your readers’ fault. How dare they read your work! Let’s face it: once you start caring about what your readers think, it’s all downhill from there. Next thing you know, you’ll be rewriting… which is worse than Communism and the Oakland Raiders combined.

But I digress. I seem to recall promising you some “tips” or something like that, right? Okay, so here you go — some helpful tips on how to work through your writer’s block…

  • Trying breaking the rules! Perhaps the reason you’re blocked is because you’ve allowed your writing to become stagnant and formulaic. If so, try writing something out of the ordinary. Like writing naked on a commuter train. Or replacing all your verbs with the word pork. Or write in human blood. The possibilities are endless!
  • Commit a felony! I know some writers like If I Did It author O.J. Simpson swear by this method. It may seem obvious, but committing a federal crime is a great way to obtain compelling subject matter as well as generate public interest in your work. Just ask Martha Stewart.
  • Write a meandering, half-assed, how-to article on tips for dealing with writer’s block! I haven’t tried this one myself yet, but it seems like something that could work.
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Angry Blog Comments: A Literal Response

Angry commenter

Photo by Flavinsky Photography

One of the pitfalls of writing comedy, apart from attracting copious numbers of women whose hearts must be toyed with to keep them at bay, is that occasionally I’ll get readers who simply don’t understand irony.

A case in point: a piece I wrote entitled “Abortion: The Green-Friendly Option.” The basic premise was to satirize two political ideas (global warming and abortion) so that one “justified” the other, thereby highlighting the stupidity of both. And hilarity, a la “A Modest Proposal” ensued. Or so I thought.

Since then, the article has received several nasty comments from pro-life readers. I certainly don’t expect everyone to enjoy my humor, but these people took the article at face value and believed I was actually promoting the idea of offing one’s offspring to save the planet. Irony was lost on these people.

So it occurred to me: since these people do not recognize irony, it’s logical to assume that their comments were intended to be read without irony. Therefore, I’d like to present a sample of these comments, followed by my strict, literal interpretation of them. Because I’m sure they would have wanted it that way…

From “prolife”:

“this website is riduculous. it is absolutely horrible that you think abortions are ‘helping the planet’. You people are so crazy. that’s like me going and killing all the people i don’t like because it’s helping the planet…”

Wait a minute… you’re killing all the people that you don’t like?? Since you didn’t say “if I were to kill,” I can only conclude that you are, in fact, murdering people! For the love of God, sir, please, DON’T KILL AGAIN!!! How many have you killed? Never mind! I don’t want to know! To an experienced killer like yourself, abortion might seem like a horrible way of helping the planet, but your way is no better! Killing people you don’t like is wrong, despite your stated belief that “it’s helping the planet.”

“…i hope you die!! now!!! suck my balls asshole!”

Oh God! Now he’s coming after me! What’s worse, his statement suggests he wants me to give him oral pleasure AFTER I’m dead! Please, somebody stop this murderous necrophiliac! Before he kills and fucks again!

From “rowan”:

“this is sick. if your all so worried about the environment why not kill all the jews or blacks…”

So you recommend killing Jews and blacks? I wasn’t aware they were harmful to the environment. Then again, my view of environmentalism is limited. I’m only familiar with Walden, not Mein Kampf.

“…even better why not commit suicide…”

Well, that’s just silly. If you committed suicide, who would kill the Jews and blacks?

“or mabey just grow up a little bit and dont get yourself up the duff in the 1st place that would be the the mature and ‘green’ thing to do.”

I can assure you, sir, that I have never gotten myself up my own duff — a task that would require serious gymnastics. Unless, of course, you meant actress/singer Hilary Duff, in which case similar gymnastics would be required.

“..also think off the hosptital waste due to all the abortions”

I’m afraid I’m still thinking of Hilary Duff. Check back in five minutes.

From “former embryo”:

“…show me hard scientific evidence that an embryo isnt alive and i’ll laugh at your retarded out look on life…”

Although I don’t believe hard scientific evidence exists, I’m intrigued that you would laugh at such evidence if presented to you. Are you in the habit of laughing at science? If so, perhaps I should write up some good “science comedy” in the future. Please check back again for upcoming posts you’ll no doubt find hilarious, like “Gravity? I’m Not ‘Down’ with That!” and “Enough with the Cancer Research Already!”

“…better then that,i’ll fuck every guy behind this sick shit with out a condom and then abort the evidence…”

Request accepted. Anyone out there with scientific proof that an embryo isn’t alive, please send your findings to:

Gang Bang The Pro-Lifer
P.O. Box 5583
Scottsdale, AZ 85000

Please note that hypotheses are only worth a handjob, and theories are worth a tossed salad with an optional rusty trombone.

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A Week of Writer’s Block (Working Title)

Writer's block screensaverSunday, August 3

Sat down to write a new humor piece for the web site and came up empty. Absolutely nothing is funny to me. Things like terrorism and the decline of Western civilization just aren’t the giggle-getters they used to be. Need to do something to get the creative juices flowing…

Monday, August 4

Today I treid writting drunk.. Thoght maybe it will hlep. Hey it worked for Tenesseee Willams and William Falkner right? I am so wasted. Ijksssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssss

Tuesday, August 5

I had finally hit upon an idea and started writing when I was interrupted by someone knocking on my front door. It was Angelina Jolie.

“Ryan, I need you to have sex with me,” she said. “Brad is off shooting a movie in Milan and I’ve gone two whole weeks without being pregnant.”

“Alright,” I sighed. “But this is the last time. I think Brad is starting to get wise.”

We looked at each other for a brief moment and then burst into laughter.

Seventy-three seconds later we finished having sex. Angelina got dressed and left, and I returned to my writing. Unfortunately I had now lost interest in the topic I was writing about (“10 Romantic Things to Say to Your Lover After Sex”) so I gave up.

Thursday, August 7

I searched the internet for hours for a news story that I could exploit for humor when I was interrupted by a phone call from Senator John Edwards.

“Ryan, I don’t know what to do. This National Inquirer story is biting my ass. Do you think I should come clean about my affair with Rielle Hunter?”

“Sure, whatever,” I said. “Look, I can’t talk now. I’m trying to come up with something interesting to write about.” I hung up.

What to write, what to write…

Saturday, August 9

This morning I was so consumed with brainstorming ideas that I absent-mindedly stuck a shrimp fork into an electrical outlet and killed myself. Soon afterward I arrived in Heaven and met with God.

“Hello Ryan,” said God. “What are you doing here?”

“Hoo boy, this is embarrassing. I was struggling with writer’s block and I appear to have accidentally killed myself.”

“Ah, yes,” said God. “That’s how Hemingway bought it. You know, Ryan, I think you’re just trying too hard. All you need to do is look to your everyday life for material. Find something interesting and write about it. Surely there must be something interesting that has happened to you this week…”

“Hmm… no, not really,” I said. “Just the usual boring routine.”

God shook His head. “Nonsense. I know, why don’t you write about–” and suddenly I was pulled back through a long tunnel and I awoke in a hospital emergency room.

“He’s alive! It’s a miracle!” yelled the doctors. “Ryan, we’ve brought you back. You were dead for 27 minutes!”

Great, I thought. And you couldn’t wait another two fucking minutes before bringing me back? Now I’ll never know what God’s suggestion was.

Writing sucks.

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