February 28th, 2008

Beyond this place, there be dragons...

For Christmas, my younger son gave me a two-headed red dragon. It takes up about 8 square inches of my desk, mostly because of its outspread wings, its long tail, and the jet of flame from one of its mouths. I have decided that this is my personal cure for writer’s block.

I’m not exactly sure that writer’s block exists. I believe in the terror of the blank page (or screen, as the case may be). I believe in the fear of expressing what’s in my head. But I think real writer’s block is a rare thing.

Of course, calling my laziness or fear or procrastination writer’s block sounds perhaps rather better. It sounds like something that has landed on me, hard, and has incapacitated me: it is not my fault that I have not yet finished my story, or my project, or whatever! If only this giant block were not sitting on my chest!

This is where the dragon comes in handy. He reminds me that there are scarier things than blank pages.

And if I get really annoyed with him for his reminders, I can always write a story in which he gets killed by a falling block.