Around the (Writer’s) Block a Time or Two

I’ve been having a bit of writer’s block lately. You see, most of my content comes from sitting in a bar with a guest check and a pen and a handful of pints. At the best of times, the ideas flow like water. Or more appropriately, beer. They’re not all good ideas but there’s usually one or two that’ll help tide me over for a few days. Lately, I’ve had nothing. Either the ideas don’t “pop”, in the parlance of annoying marketing people; or there isn’t enough to flesh out an entry; or I find out that someone else has already done it. Then I realized that I’d been sitting on an idea the whole time- why not make a list of films featuring writer’s block? And awaaaaaay we go:

The Shining
Nobody has put a face to writer’s block quite like Jack Nicholson as the seething, volatile, batshit-crazy Jack Torrance. Then again, after being stuck in a gigantic snowbound hotel with a 50 pound wife and a snot-nosed psychic brat riding around on his Big Wheel bike uttering “redrum” in the most jacked-up voice imaginable… well, I can’t say I blame him. That’s enough to make anyone go all “HEEEEEEERE’S JOHNNY!” with an ax.


Speaking of murderers and crazy hotels…

Barton Fink
Barton finds himself with an annoying hotel guest neighbor; wallpaper that constantly peels; intense deadlines to create a crappy wrestling b-movie; and a mentor who’s dead drunk most of the time and didn’t actually write most of what he’s alleged to write. Oh, and he may or may not be in hell. The result? A whole lot of empty paper, a typewriter that collects dust, and meltdowns like these:

The Lost Weekend
Don Birnam is trying to write a novel titled The Bottle about the horrors of drinking exploits and alcoholism. There’s only one problem- his drinking prevents him from finishing his drinking novel. I wonder if those bar tabs were tax deductible, marked as a work expense filed under “Research”? Judging by the bat and the full-scale delirium tremens-induced freakout, I’d say he’s researched too much. Or possibly not nearly enough. You decide:

Um… Damn it! I had more of these but I can’t think of them now.


Filed under Movies

6 responses to “Around the (Writer’s) Block a Time or Two

  1. I feel ya – in trying to post every single day last year, there were many a night where I got to 12:30 a.m. and the ideas just weren’t coming! For my money, in times like those I tend to do a hardcore session of reading other people’s blogs in the hopes of inspiration.

    That or holler over to my wife “What should I write about?”

    PS – One writer’s block movie you missed is ADAPTATION

    • I’m going on vacation next week and I’m starting to think I might just use the down time. It’s only 4 or 5 days, which would be great to re-charge the batteries and get some ideas. The last time I did that, I pre-scheduled entries to post while I was gone.

  2. Kelly

    I was also going to say Adaptation. Some of my other favorites are Wonder Boys, Stranger Than Fiction, and Duplex.

  3. rtm

    Hope you’re getting some good R&R there John. Man, even during your ‘writer’s block’ you still manage to get good content! And yes on Adaptation on Stranger than Fiction (the latter one I really like).

    • Thanks Ruth! I just got back and I had several things ready to auto-post while I was gone. Maybe I need to take more vacations to force me to come up with content.

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