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Neopia's Fill in the Blank News Source | 25th day of Awakening, Yr 22
The Neopian Times Week 56 > Articles > Achilles81 on Writer's Block

Achilles81 on Writer's Block

by tdyans

LENNY LIBRARY - Hello there, Achilles81, your friendly neighbourhood cloud Gelert here. Tired of being known as just the reader in the family while my owner Tdyans racks up all the golden quills, I've decided to take my first stab at writing an article. And, of course, I'll be recording the process here in my trusty journal for the sake of posterity. I even know just what the subject of my article will be already, since it's something that I hear Tdyans and her NT-crazy guild members complaining about quite often. Yes, the title of my article will be: "Achilles81 on Overcoming Writer's Block!" Now, if I could just figure out what to write...

Day 1: Still uncertain of just how to begin writing my article, I decided today that perhaps I should begin the process by gathering some outside opinions and advice. Thus, I headed down to the Deep Catacombs of the Art Centre, where I knew I could find some creatures skilled at coming up with ideas on a moment's notice--the Aishas around the Storytelling Competition Campfire. When I told them the topic of my article, however, I received a somewhat... mixed... reaction that went something like this:

Green Aisha: Overcoming writer's block? Oh, that's easy! Just go for a walk and let the ideas come to you from everything you see around you, man.

Rainbow Aisha: (laughing) Don't be silly! Everyone knows that the best way to get over writer's block is to read through the Neopedia and Trading Cards--

Green Aisha: No it's not!

Red Aisha: (haughtily) Of course it's not. Any writer worth her salt gets her ideas from the News Page, not those other places. That's where all the latest things that people want to read about are--

Rainbow Aisha: Bah, everybody writes about those things!

Achilles81: Excuse me, but could you guys speak a little more slowly? I'm trying to write this down--

Red Aisha: Oh, be quiet! Can't you see we're trying to have an intellectual discussion here?

Striped Aisha: (yawning) Doesn't matter either way, because the truly best way to come up with good ideas is to sleep on it. All of my best ideas come to me when I'm lying in bed about to fall asleep--

Red Aisha: (shouting) That's ridiculous; you just want an excuse to sleep more, lazybones!

The Aishas continued to argue back and forth, becoming more and more angry until finally they were all just standing in a circle hissing at each other with their hackles raised--not a Gelert's favourite sight. So, I took the opportunity to get out of there while I could, disappointed that there hadn't been one straight, easy answer, but satisfied that at least I had some possibilities to explore in overcoming my writing difficulties...

Day 2: The first method on the "list" that I'd gotten from the Campfire Aishas was taking a walk, so bright and early this morning I set out to do just that. As I walked through the warm Neopian sunshine, watching the buzzes flying about and listening to the Beekadoodles singing in the trees, I found that the green Aisha had been right! This relaxing walk and all of the different things that I was seeing, smelling, hearing, and feeling were causing all sorts of great ideas to come to me. The perfect words for my article were all flowing into my mind one by one until I had the whole thing nearly written out in my head--and let me tell you, it was an absolute masterpiece!

Unfortunately, I was so caught up in the amazing article that was coming together in my head that my attention toward my surroundings began to wane until suddenly I tripped on a snoozing stray Ganuthor and went sprawling to the pavement--head first. When the blackness cleared a few minutes, or hours, later--I'm still not sure--I found a few concerned neighbours hovering over me and all of my beautiful ideas vanished into thin air. I started back home with a headache and my writer's block, the two of which are becoming increasingly less distinguishable from each other...

Day 3: Not to be deterred after just one failure, today I returned to the list of suggestions I received, and next on the list was: browsing through Neopedia articles and Trading Cards. Despite the door-to-door sales-Skeith's insistence that it would have a lasting effect on young Moeioe and Rooruon's futures, MaxKanine and I declined the rather pricey Neopedia offer we received last month. Now that I've been informed of how useful it can be, perhaps I'll change my mind next time around. In the mean time, I was able to snatch a fairly inexpensive copy of "Know Your Collectable Cards" off the shelf of the bookstore before the Wocky with eyebrows and Nimmo in a donkey suit who were also aiming for it. Those Neopian shops have really become madhouses.

Skimming through the various trading card descriptions, one name caught my eye: Alstaf Poogle. This was it! Excitedly, I headed back down to the Deep Catacombs, keeping a wide berth between myself and the Campfire Aishas who were still tossing each other occasional dirty looks--and making my way over to the Poetry Contest area. Surely an interview with the famous Neopian poet and author of "Scorchio and Jubjubette," would make my article a success. But alas, poor Achilles--well, I'll let you read the transcription of our conversation and find out for yourself:

Achilles81: Excuse me, Mr. Poogle--

Alstaf: Not now, not now! Can't you see that I'm busy judging this week's Poetry Contest, you silly Gelert? (Staring at a sheet of paper before crumpling it up and tossing it over his shoulder with a sigh.) I do wish that people would stop rhyming "Poogle" with "poodle"...

Achilles81: I'm sorry to interrupt you, sir, but I was just wondering if I could interview you for my article--

Alstaf: No, no, I'm sorry, my dear boy, but I've got no time for any more interviews throughout Hiding and Gathering. I'm all booked up! (Chuckling.) Oh, did you hear that--all "booked" up, that's rather funny. Do you get it? My, my, I should write that one down. (Pulling out a quill and a sheet of paper.)

Achilles81: (Walking away and grumbling) Glad I could help you come up with something...

Unfortunately, Alstaf, having already forgotten about me, chose that moment to throw another rejected poem over his shoulder, and it hit me smack dab in the middle of the forehead--which wouldn't have been a problem if the poet hadn't been from Tyrannia. Man, those guys really need to learn to stop using rocks for everything. By the time I recovered, I found myself buried under a pile of crumpled up pieces of paper, through which I could hear Alstaf still muttering about poodles and laughing to himself about being "booked"...

Day 4: Today it was on to the excitement of the News Page. I consoled myself that at least this method seemed relatively safe and would not involve any pompous Poogle poets. Nothing in the news seemed to have all that much to do with writer's block unfortunately, but I thought that perhaps I could find some way to creatively incorporate these "hot topics" into my article, since they are indeed what everyone seems to want to read about nowadays. Maybe I could come up with an interesting simile or two comparing my subject and these more popular ones that would really catch my readers' attentions.

Scrolling through all of the newest things that Neopets had to offer, my eye caught on one particularly strange entry. "Sewage Surfer?" Curious, I decided to try out this new game. As strange as it seemed as I sat there helping Matt the Wocky connect the various sewer pipes, I thought that perhaps this game could provide me with the perfect simile for my article. "Writer's Block... is like a blocked pipe... in Sewage Surfer," I mentally recorded as I continued playing. "And just as frustrating," I growled. Despite my annoyance with the game itself though, I thought my simile was shaping up pretty nicely--that is until suddenly I lost the game. As I watched the slimy, disgusting green sewage fill the screen, I turned a similar shade of green and fainted on the spot. When I awoke and pulled myself up off of the floor, still feeling a bit queasy, I covered my eyes with one paw and blindly reached out with the other to turn the game off, wondering just what I'd been thinking. Who would want to compare anything to that?...

Day 5: It's past midnight here, but I've just climbed out of bed because as I was lying there staring at the ceiling and letting my thoughts wander, the perfect idea finally struck me like a lightning bolt! I know just how to write my article now--the words are all right there inside my head waiting to be written down. I really must hurry up and write them out here though before I lose them or fall back to sleep...

Day 6: Well, it's daylight here now and I just woke up to find my journal covered in drool. I guess I did fall asleep before I managed to write down my brilliant ideas. And, of course, now they're gone. You'd think that something so brilliant would stick with you through at least a few hours and a little bedhead, wouldn't you? Well, I guess not. And now I've come to the bottom of my list and still don't have anything written or have a single clue where to start on "Achilles81 on Overcoming Writer's Block." Perhaps I ought to give repeatedly banging my head against the wall a try...

Day 7: Well, today is the day that the new issue of The Neopian Times comes out and I still haven't managed to write one word. I've got a lump on my head, a new aversion to Poogles, bad mental images of a certain game that shall remain unnamed, I'm still sleepy, and my brothers are beginning to look at me as if they're considering checking me into the place where they keep that Scorchio who runs the Lab Ray, but still no article. I guess that thanks to my own writer's block the Neopian world may never get to see "Achilles81 on Overcoming Writer's Block." Oh well, perhaps I'd have more success if I aimed for "Achilles81 on Overcoming Consciousness" instead...

***

Hello there, Tdyans, your friendly neighbourhood whatever I am... here. I happened to come across Achilles81's drool-encrusted journal today, and after reading about his frustration, I helpfully pointed out to him that he had already written a perfectly good article, quite by accident. Of course, we had to slightly alter his planned title since he didn't really manage to "overcome" his writer's block, but hopefully his methods will work better for you. Good luck!

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