Facing Writer's Block? Look for the Ordinary.

It's rare for me to sit down at my computer without knowing what I want to write.  In my two years of blogging, writer's block hasn't interfered much.  If anything, my greatest hindrance has been remembering where I placed the scrap of paper on which I scribbled the list of future post ideas or the snippets of half-formed sentences that I wanted to share.

Then I hit this week.

I'm stymied with the notion that everything I write this week should be significant.  After all, I have a book being released on Saturday.   Don't real authors have significant things to say?

I don't.  At least not today.  Because what I'd like to to tell you is that this week, in all respects, is an ordinary one.  This week, one of my most pressing thoughts revolves around the fact that my youngest daughter seems to be convinced that she's a puppy.  This week, I've considered writing about what happens when you accidentally run glitter through your washing machine and dryer.  (We're going to sparkle for a while.)

I've also wanted to tell you that this week is bulk trash collection week in my town.  My husband and I unearthed the junk from our garage, piled it on the side of the road, and watched as pick-up trucks trolled up and down our street, circling like birds of prey over roadkill, and loaded up their flatbeds with our broken hose reel, a half sheet of drywall, and some warped plywood as if we were living in an American Pickers episode.

Plus, this week I've been wondering if the photographers who take school pictures of elementary school students ever think about the fact that they're forever commemorating toothlessness and bad haircuts.  Or, I might tell you about the late night when everything in my life seemed so out-of-sorts that I spent a half hour organizing the clothes in my closet according the color and sleeve-length and found it to be exceptionally therapeutic. 

Perhaps I could share about the drawer in our kitchen that holds a sizable collection of holiday-themed No. 2 pencils that my kids have been given at school, church, and birthday parties, but add that none of these pencils are sharpened because we don't own a pencil sharpener that actually sharpens pencils.  However, we do own two pencil sharpeners that mangle pencils into unusable, dull nubs.

Or, I might confess that sometimes I look at our kitchen table after a meal and want to burn it instead of going through the daily process of wiping it down.  I could also tell you that my husband bought Halloween candy too early this year.  Seven mini Butterfinger bars later, my stance that we should wait to buy the candy until the last minute was solidified.  (And Butterfingers just keep on giving, don't they?  Half of the candy bar is stuck in your teeth even after you eat it.)

This week I've been thinking about all of these insignificant things, knowing that they're teeming with ordinariness, and do you know what?  They fit just right.  While this blog is arranged around the theme of motherhood, one remarkably unremarkable feature is that it's also arranged around ordinary moments.  The stuff of life.  That's what I like to share.

So, can I tell you something I've been thinking about?  You know my youngest daughter?  This week, she seems to be convinced that she's a puppy.

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  1. I'm so glad you posted this.  Those little things ARE life.  We'd miss a lot of it looking for bigger things which are "worth posting about" if we got cozy with the block.  Looking forward to your book - and hoping it's also made of things like this. =)

  2. Shana ScottOctober 17, 2012

    This was wonderful! That is what life is all about! I think we should spend more time focused on that then "perfection." It is what makes us happy!


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