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Adrian Louis Chandler Headshot

Writer's Funk and You Can, Too

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Got Writer's Block? Ha! Pansy. I wish I had that. Those who wail and complain that they cannot think of what to jot down are easily missing one of the most fundamental points of writing -- the edit. It is an old technique to dissolve the wall that a writer hits from time to time. Just start writing and edit later. That simple. Okay, so maybe not. But still there are many other tools, tips and tricks that pervade the digital airspace of the world wide inter-webs of which any writer can plop down and open a user-friendly search engine in order to find a method that best quells their personal Writer's Block. But not for me.

No, I have been stricken with something much more excruciatingly foul and unpleasant. I have Writer's Funk. A far less discussed ailment of the writer, one so taboo that there is little to no other literature on the subject. Okay, that could be a blatant lie. But when you are in a Writer's Funk you don't really care to check your sources, so as far as I care to check it might as well be true. You see, I have plenty of ideas about what to write. I even have pages of work I am writing, accompanied with notes and research. Blocked I am not; I am in a funk. I just don't have the drive to sustain any interest in sitting down and putting the now metaphysical pixelated ink to the computerized droning paper-esque screen.

You see, I have recently started my writing career, which should be reason enough to still be rocketing down the proverbial train tracks at a thousand miles an hour cracked out of my skull from snorting the dreams of success and hallucinating about a world that reads books or cares about issues beyond which celebrity had the shortest lasting marriage (just so you don't go Google it now: Zsa Zsa Gabor and Felipe DeAlba, less than 24 hours), but I am not. Not even a slight contact high from the printer ink. I have an academic book that I am getting edited in the hopes of finding an agent and then publication; I just opened a personal webpage where I can share my artistic endeavors; I am getting freelance copywriting and freelance writing through internet job search sites and Yahoo. In short, I have everything set up to go except the motivation to grapple with words rushing from my head to my hands and wordsmithing them into pleasant comforting readable text. But make no mistake -- I am a hypocrite. I love writing more than any other escape from a real profession in the world. I tingle with anticipation when I am preparing thoughts to share with others, I feel the emotion of a protagonist I have invented an entire world for, and I enjoy enlightening others on topics they may not yet know exist or fully comprehend. However, right now, I don't want to or care to write.

Writer's Funk, as I see it, is a deranged, perpetually hungry, and esoteric brute that feeds on the joys of a scribe by slowly suckling the soul through their fingertips, lapping the passion and drive from under their fingernails. But mainly just leaving the afflicted writer rabid with self-loathing, self-doubt and other self-inflicted psychobabble problems that keep therapists in business. Writers first write in their heads and then release those thoughts to the page. As if to pull the stainless steel handles on our porcelain heads in order to start preparing for another dump. However, with Writer's Funk, no one cares to flush. I am backed up with ideas left to sit festering and un-dealt-with.

Yes, Writer's Block advocate, it is just as easy to say, "Well, take a page from your own book, Jonny. The simple response to fix Writer's Funk is, to quote you, 'Just start writing.'" Blah, blah, blah. Or whatever you might say in a self-important tone while sipping your Gentlemen Jack. I already stated above I was a hypocrite, so your argument is less intelligent and more ignorantly naive. That is the beast I have been warning you of. The problem is the solution. To destroy a Writer's Funk, to slay the beast and end its feeding frenzy, you need to do the one thing it tells you is insignificant or uninteresting. Some use liquid courage to dispel this beast, others have faithful friends they treat as man servants who encourage them to work. I, on the other hand, did not wish to do either, but rather to face the tyrant of a leech head on, to fight the good fight and prevail, a sober loner (because chicks dig loners and I need to wake up early tomorrow). I was locked in a vice grip with the snarling warrior for a week and a half in unrelenting battle. At first it had the better of me as all I could do was read, watch documentaries about subjects I wanted to write on, and play the new Call of Duty. Curses on the beast! Then suddenly, I sat down at the computer. I broke free of its clamped jaws and wrote this which you now read. "How?" you ask. "Tell us so we may one day too break free from the jagged toothed behemoth and be a writer once more." And I say to you, "Nay. This is a battle a writer must endure alone." I will add, though, you should stop complaining and just sit down and write, stupid.