I have writer’s block.
I have another script due, soon (I always have another script due soon), and I have no ideas.
My friend Rylee, who is an English major, and takes her English-majorness very seriously, has a book called “The Writer’s Block.” It is in the shape of a block, as in, it’s the same width and height and thickness. It is full of ideas and catchphrases and words and pictures that are supposed to stimulate your brain when you have writer’s block.
So far, it has not worked for me.
Today is Saturday, which means Homework Day, which means Do What is Really Important Day, which, this week, means Write a Script Day. And so, I sit in the library with my friend Kelsey and Kyle. And while they both are productive- Kyle turns a page in his textbook every 5 seconds, and Kelsey writes faster than a speeding train- I feel very left behind and depressed as I stare at the blinking cursor on my screen, followed by a bunch of nothingness. Nothing but white, a scroll bar, and a cursor. Emptiness.
So, I decided to exercise my Googling skills… and I Googled “Writer’s Block.” I came up with 1,320,000 results, the top one being a Wikipedia article on what Writer’s Block is. Thanks, I’m very aware of what it is. That’s the problem.
Further down the page, though, I encountered several articles and blogs on how to overcome it, including this one. It has lots of good ideas… but one thing in particular caught my eye.
Vacuum your lungs.
There was a link! So, of course, I clicked. Why would you NOT click a link that said “Vacuum your lungs”?
I was led to this page; step-by-step instructions on how to vacuum your lungs, complete with some really awesome illustrations.
Of course, I had to share this new, exciting knowledge with Kelsey and Kyle! I read the steps to them, and was met with wide-eyed glee; “Can we try it? Please? Right now??”
Of course we could try it!
The three of us stood, leaning towards my computer screen to see the first step.
1. Exhale completely, as if you’re blowing out the candles on a very big birthday cake.
Kelsey took this very literally; she pursed her lips, slowly blowing the air out of her lungs, and even looking forward as if she were staring down a cake neatly decorated with burning candles.
Kyle and I took a more aggressive approach; we opened our mouths widely, exhaling like we were the dragons who intended to light the entire cake on fire. Our eyes were wide, our arms were spread, and the air leaving our mouths could have created a category 1 hurricane. We held our position, waiting for Kelsey to calmly finish extinguishing all of the candles on her cake.
2. Bend over. This expels the last bits of air from your lungs. When you’re totally out of air, don’t let any air come into your throat.
We all slowly bent over, like karate students about to beat the crap out of each other. Kelsey and I both bent at the waist, stopping when our bodies formed a 90 degree angle. But Kyle kept going… and going… and going… until his mouth and his knees almost became aquainted with each other. And then he stopped.
3. Stand up. This increases lung volume, so air will want to flow into your lungs, but don’t breathe. Wait until your body needs a breath—10 seconds or so.
And then, as a group, we stood. And then stared at each other, wide-eyed. How do you know when your body NEEDS breath? Technically, you could hold your breath until you pass out, and then your body automatically starts breathing for you again. Is that the point of needing to breath? This is such a vague set of instructions, and I didn’t think about that until we were already standing, with no air in our lungs. I couldn’t ask Kyle and Kelsey their opinion on it, because I had to hold my breath… all I could do was stand there and wait.
4. Then, when you can’t take much more, breathe. Your body will have moved over from your normal, everyday breathing to unregulated, autonomic “response breathing.”
We breathed. And then breathed again. And then put our hands over our chests, and breathed again.
It was an odd feeling… I could actually feel my lungs, like there was a hole in my chest. Very, very odd.
And yet, did not feel rebooted, and no brilliant ideas came flooding into my mind. What a disappointment.
Oh well… at least my lungs are clean.