Take a Cue from the Boy Scouts and Be Prepared

News reports about Swine Flu in Mexico now spreading throughout North America have many nerves on edge.  There is talk of an impending pandemic. Fatalities have occurred in Mexico City but elsewhere the strain is apparently much milder. Still, bulletins are being circulated about how to minimize the risk of contagion and what to do if symptoms appear.


I was reading one of clinical psychologist Dr. Steven Hendlin’s articles about writer’s block as the television news droned on in the background and for whatever reason my mind began to see comparisons between the two afflictions.


I find Dr. Hendlin’s comments enlightening. I’ve always been a little skeptical about the existence of writer’s block but for him there is no question that it is a reality. He calls it a clinical syndrome and suggests many creative people other than writers experience similar blockages that prevent them from performing. Not everyone is immobilized; some work their way through milder bouts; others are never attacked at all.


I don’t mean to make light of the seriousness of the Flu outbreak. But one thing Swine Flu and Writer’s Block have in common is the need to be prepared. Acknowledge that it’s out there and take precautions to minimize it should you be affected.


“Any author laboring for months or years to write a book learns that passion and dispassion, like waves in the ocean, come and go in phases. You learn to discipline yourself to hang in there and keep writing even when your wave of passion has receded and your emotional surf is flat.


Seems like good advice to me.



Published by Carol

A freelance writer of fiction and non-fiction living on the West Coast of Canada.

4 thoughts on “Take a Cue from the Boy Scouts and Be Prepared

  1. Hi Careann- I went through ‘writer’s block’ not long ago. As posted a few weeks ago on my blog, it passed, & I’ve been on a tear ever since, but like you, I’m a bit skeptical. Reflecting on that period of ‘down time’, I’m convinced that my creativity was dulled by pressures & changes. I’ll skip a description of the pressures but one of the changes was moving my writing space to a new location. I also began using a new computer once I relocated. In retrospect, I probably should have eased into that change instead of abandoning what was familiar all at one time.

    I could do without the flu – I dealt with ‘a flu’ that hung on for 5 solid weeks. Naturally, the timing couldn’t have been worse. It started the same week that my book came out. Stay healthy up there. DE

  2. Dave – That ol’ guy Murphy sure makes things happen at the worst possible time. Talk about a book launch spoiler! I haven’t had flu in years and will certainly be doing my best to avoid this latest one.

    Glad to hear your writing is going well these days. Any estimate yet as to when this sequel is going to hit the shelves?

  3. Hi Careann- Hopefully this summer. In the first book I have a coupla bumbling bad guys – TWINS no less – named Willie & Billy. I’ve had so many readers write to me in recent weeks saying they want to see W&B again. I’m reworking some stuff trying to work a plot angle so W&B can ‘participate’ in the Reckless Endeavor adventure. 2 readers actually want a whole book based on those chuckleheads (1 being an adult who happens to be a writer). It’s flattering & funny at the same time. I was debating giving Willie & Billy love interests this time around – maybe some not so smart twin sisters named Iris & Virus (redneck version of a nickname for Elvira?). I’m having lots of fun & when the kids mention specific parts – scary or funny – it makes you feel like you’ve accomplished something really cool (& without including profanity, adult situations or inappropriate behavior). Wish I could have started this writing journey earlier – Dave

  4. Iris and Virus might be a bit of a stretch (or not) but it does sound like you’re having fun with it. There’s gotta be a lot of satisfaction in creating something that is so well received by your readers, young and old. Glad you’re enjoying the journey. 🙂

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