Ok, so really there aren’t any.
I am into full on writer’s block, or too bored to focus, or too distracted to care, there is no surefire smack to the forehead that will get me back on task.
Wait, hang on *tries smack to the forehead*……
No, definitely nothing surefire. Ow.
Anyway, one of my frequent stopgap measures (gawd, cliche much? yes. much. now shut it) is the simple act of typing. It makes me very glad to live in the Era of Things To Type On, because if I only had the media of scribe to papyrus, papyrus to Rosetta Stone, quill to pencil ….or pencil to printing press…. or … or… thing to other thing, I would be a pretty sad writermonkey.
Typically, when I’m on deadline and there ARE NO IDEAS, what I do is take my notes, which I’ve been scrawling hither and thither and yon on paper and notebook and palm, and I type them. Usually in bullet form. Along the way I fill in words, correct spellings, tweak phrasing, look up sources. I begin to organize, and edit. I think of something that will connect part A to part C, and do a little research to come up with a part B, and that sometimes leads to part D and before you know it I’m writing like gangbusters.
Which is about the time I stop and do something super productive like check Twitter and wonder why I haven’t won the internet yet. But then, if Allie Brosch hasn’t won it yet, nobody should. And you know, I bet there are some Hyperbole And A Half archives I haven’t read yet and..
HEY. Part E ain’t just gonna find itself, sister.
Right. Part E.
So I dig back into my source material, whatever that may be (for the past 8 weeks it’s been sports clips from Madison Square Garden, and it’s been a freaking BLAST) and try to detach from any expectation that the next thing I think of will be funny or relevant. Just watching some dudes, shooting some hoops. No big deal.
"Seems kind of crabby" Did you say, Announcer Man? EUREKA. Top 10 kinds of crabs. Crabs found in Colorado. Alternate team names for the Nuggets. Stars that have played for Denver. Constellations that can be seen from the Pepsi Stadium ….
And suddenly there are ideas. There are specific moments where I at least know to "insert joke here."
This is all much, much more difficult since I’ve been putting in some temp brow sweat at my old publisher. Like…there’s less sleeping whenever I want. In fact, none sleeping whenever I want. And I’m tired at the end of the day from actually working on things, so it’s hard to just keep staying up. But! These deadlines are only as dire as I make them. And these are my last scripts, alas. So, time to give procrastination the shot in the arm it needs to begin exiting the brainstorming facility, and get back to typing.
Ah typing. Why, just typing this makes me want to go do more actual work. And not at all to go check all my friends’ blogs to see if they too have discovered the joys of typing.