ZYTARUK: The bogeyman’s got nothing on writer’s block

Few things are scarier, at least for me, during this time of Halloween shadows and things that go bump in the night, than writer’s block.

Forget Jason

So let it be written…

Few things are scarier, at least for me, during this time of Halloween shadows and things that go bump in the night, than writer’s block.

If only you could take a little blue pill. There would be quite a market for it.

If you care to google “writer’s block,” you’ll find 1,410,000 results. You’d think it were a pandemic. And at the top of those results, a definition: Writer’s Block – “The condition of being unable to think of what to write or how to proceed with writing.”

This condition can last for minutes, for months, or longer yet.

I asked my fellow writers here at the Now about their personal experience with writer’s block and felt a collective shudder.

It was like we were children left, hand in trembling hand, to confront the troll beneath the bridge.

Ironically, books have been written about it (and at least one column as well). There are also some very good movies that broach the subject. Secret Window, Barton Fink, Adaptation, and Throw Mama from the Train are several. And there are at least two films out there called Writer’s Block.

Jack Torrance, that  crazy redruM dad in The Shining, probably had the worst case of writer’s block I can think of.

Who can forget his wife Wendy’s horrified face as she speed-flips though his War and Peace-sized manuscript to find “All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy” typed, oh, a bazillion times, page after page?

Stephen King, who of course wrote The Shining, opined that “The scariest moment is always just before you start.”

I disagree. It’s all scary, beginning and middle, with no end in sight.

This is what Ernest Hemingway had to say on the subject: “The best way is always to stop when you are going good and when you know what will happen next. If you do that every day…you will never be stuck. Always stop while you are going good and don’t think about it or worry about it until you start to write the next day. That way your subconscious will work on it all the time. But if you think about it consciously or worry about it you will kill it and your brain will be tired before you start.”

Sound wisdom, except that when you write for a newspaper, you can’t just stop.

Fortunately in Surrey there is plenty to write about.

This time around, let’s set the “true crime” aside. Over the years we’ve brought you stories about UFO sightings in Newton, North Delta and Whalley, crop circles in Cloverdale, haunted houses in Port Kells, street ghosts in Panorama Ridge, creepy rituals deep inside sodden forests, and interviews with renowned scholars of vampire literature. Stories with real teeth.

But for this Halloween, I thought I’d bring you a true tale of terror.

So this is my best Halloween tale for you this week. Writer’s block. There’s nothing scarier.

Nothing.

(Trick or treat).

So let it be done.

Email Tom at tom.zytaruk@thenownewspaper.com

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Staff member at Surrey long-term care facility diagnosed with COVID-19

Fraser Health said a rapid response team is on site

White Rock’s namesake spray-painted black

Vandalism occurred sometime between Friday and Saturday

South Surrey resident blames city after house floods

Marilyn Molter said debris from city-planted maple trees easily clogs street drains

Surrey’s Johnston Heights reporting COVID-19 exposure

Fraser Health has created a new webpage listing COVID-19 cases in schools

Senior White Rock election worker not concerned about safety at the polls

‘Casting your vote will be like getting a take out coffee,’ says Elections BC CEO

QUIZ: Do you know what’s on TV?

Fall is normally the time when new television shows are released

Canadian ski resorts wrestle with pandemic-vs.-profit dilemma as COVID-19 persists

Few are actually restricting the total number of skiers they allow on the hill

Victoria-area RCMP locate high-risk sex offender thanks to help of taxi cab driver

Scott Jones wanted on a Canada-wide warrant, ‘a risk to women and girls,’ police say

A (virtual) walk around the world by 88-year-old B.C. man

George Doi says it’s simple: ‘I like walking’

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

End of CERB means uncertainty for some, new system for others

As of a week ago, the CERB had paid out $79.3 billion to 8.8 million people

Horgan, Wilkinson trade barbs over MSP premiums, health care at campaign stops

Horgan called a snap election for Oct. 24 earlier this week

VIDEO: COVID won’t dampen Lower Mainland woman’s Halloween spirit

Langley’s Tanya Reid posted video offering suggestions of how trick-or-treating might look for her

Most Read