Writer's Blog

When it strikes, it strikes without warning; sapping the creative spirit and rendering the most prolific among us, idle. Writer's block robs us of our inspiration, bringing even the greatest writers to their knees.
Henry Roth wrote his first novel, Call It Sleep, in 1934, and it was instantly hailed as an American classic. Roth's readers couldn't wait for a follow-up, but it took sixty years for Henry Roth to release his second novel. Some accused the man of being lazy; some accused him of being a very slow typist. We now know that Henry Roth suffered from a chronic case of the 'block'.
Celebrated American author, Philip Roth, seems obsessed with the topic. In his critically acclaimed novel, The Anatomy Lesson, main character Nathan Zuckerman is an author felled by writer's block. Philip Roth himself is suspected of having it, when his book, Operation Shylock, seems to finish with no discernible ending.
But it's not just American novelists with the last name Roth who are obsessed with this issue.
On his website, popular songwriter and gigolo, David Lee Roth suggests: "I never have writer's block." This may or may not be a good thing. Either way, the lyrics to his song 'Jump', make me think otherwise: "Aaah ohhh. Hey you, who said that? Baby, how you been?"
My great-uncle, Theodore "Ace" Roth, was one of the first Canadian skywriter pilots. Ace would fly his open-cockpit biplane in wild patterns across the sky, composing smoky messages between the clouds. A sudden case of writer's block brought Uncle Ace's career, and his life, to a crashing halt.
Writer's block can kill you. It can also make you a surly person, and a terrible pen pal. And since this problem clearly runs in my family, I have sought out counsel on how to avoid it: Some say it is important to write something on the guitar each day, no matter how good or bad it is. I have tried this, but I just end up with ink all over my guitar. Some say that when you are without ideas, it is helpful to imagine yourself in someone else's shoes. This can work, unless you imagine yourself in the shoes of someone who has writer's block. Many people suggest that when you don't know what to write about, write about the dangers of having writer's block. I would never stoop to such a level.
I end this week's Blog with another interesting musical fact:

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