Writer’s Block












by Brule Eagan

3 AM. The alarm clock sounds. Hit the light, stand up, clean up, get dressed, force-feed, and get ready for another planetary revolution.

I’m afraid I, like so many millions, am under the sway of technology and social media as much as the clock, so I checked my smartphone for any overnight messages. Usually, there aren’t any, but this morning, there was one.

Central Standard Time needed a fresh essay.

I wasn’t surprised by the request. I anticipated it for several days, and had been thinking about topics of interest. Now, it’s time to commit words to paper. But where do I start?

I know where not to start. I am sick to death of politics. I just returned from ten days’ vacation in a world where no one seemed to be aware of any political activity (and if they were, they didn’t show it). They were leading their lives. Going to work, getting the week’s groceries, tending a garden, listening to music, laughing with friends, dining out; being human.

Besides, politics is a dumb topic to write about; at least for me. You’re preaching to your own choir anymore. Even if you have a politically diverse audience, why would you make half of it angry? So, politics is out.

Religion’s an even dumber topic. Especially since I don’t have any. So, that’s out.

Music? That’s about as subjective as anything else. If you like, for instance, jazz, nothing I could say could make you any more passionate about it, or any less. If you don’t like it, you’re not going to read about it anyway, so why bother?

Sports? I could write about the Cubs, but Cub fans might think I was trying to jinx their heroes, and the Sox fans wouldn’t bother to read it anyway. Hockey? Too soon. Basketball? Ditto. Football? Well, I could talk about the Bears, but after seeing Cutler get hammered by the Texans in Game One, I’m thinking a lot of folks are going to have their Sundays free this fall.

So, there’s my dilemma. I’m simply stumped.

Like so many other aspects of modern life, trying to find something unique to say about something or other has become a damned if you do, damned it you don’t proposition. Please don’t hold my current inability to be articulate, let alone interesting, against me.

Perhaps I’ll feel a sudden burst of inspiration the next time I find a message from our proprietor on my smartphone, although what I’ll come up with then will certainly be a mystery.

That’s it! A mystery! Everybody loves those! I’m all over this.


It was a dark and stormy night…