POST CARDS FROM THE MUSE
By Nandy Ekle
In Leviticus 17:10-11, of the Old Testament of the bible, we are told:
10 And whatsoever man there be of the house of Israel, or of the strangers that sojourn among you, that eateth any manner of blood; I will even set my face against that soul that eateth blood, and will cut him off from among his people.
11 For the life of the flesh is in the blood: and I have given it to you upon the altar to make an atonement for your souls: for it is the blood that maketh an atonement for the soul.
This tells us that we live because we have blood in our veins. And we know that blood is made up of tiny little cells that float in plasma. If we get a cut in our skin, the blood can escape, which can lead to blood loss, and too much blood loss causes death. And death happens because life is in the blood.
So one of the defenses God built into the living blood in our bodies is the ability to clot when there is a break in the vessel. The clotting factors gather around the opening and this causes the blood cells to stick together and dry out, which builds a makeshift dam over the opening, which keeps the blood from escaping out of the body, which keeps the body alive.
And as fabulous as this natural defense is, it can go wrong. For some reason the blood can spontaneously clot for no good reason. When that happens, the clot can cause tremendous problems to the living body because it keeps oxygen from getting where it needs to be to keep the body living. These harmful clots are called embolisms. And this is my metaphor.
I’ve often referred to the writing part of my brain as a long hallway with many doors, or a laboratory/hospital full of beds with partial patients, or even a pot of stew on a campfire. But a new picture has come to my mind.
Writing is also like a circulatory system. We have the brain which pumps the words through the body. We have the arteries/veins which conduct the words from the brain to the page. And, yes, we also have the rogue clots which plug up the system and cause major problems to the manuscript. This is Writer’s Block, and I do believe it is a real thing.
So, what can cause a writing clot? Well, I believe there are as many causes as there are people who experience this. There’s laziness, depression, not enough time, too many distractions, no inspiration, illness, stress . . . The list goes on and on and on and on and…
In researching how to beat these word clots, I’ve heard many different ways to beat it, but of everything I’ve read, they all seem to agree with one exercise. And that is WRITE. You don’t have to have a specific plan, or theme, or outline, just put words on paper. You can write about your day. You can write about your decision to write. You can write about having nothing to write about. You can write a detailed description of the room where you are sitting. You can write a synopsis of a story you would like to write. You can write a book review.
Whatever words you write down, just write them. Just get them written and they will clean the clots out of your word veins, which will allow all your words to fly out of your pen.
Congratulations. You have just received a post card from the muse.