Writer’s constipation becomes artistic diarrhea


Writer’s block is crippling. It’s one of those things that strikes when you least expect it. Part of the reason why I might be inflicted with this issue is due to the fact life has been happening at such a fast rate, I’m for once managing to not only keep up with it but enjoy it at the same time. However, that doesn’t help for managing to find time to sit and write when you’re busy making life happen.

I’m also going to blame my writers block on my Jungian personality type that can switch and swing one of two ways, ENFJ and ENTJ. Lately I’ve been working on a rotating art project in which you exchange your piece every week with someone and add to what they’ve made. Needless to say, my brain is in visual or “feeling” mode rather than “thinking” mode which might explain the difficulty in verbally expressing or writing my stories here of late on this blog. We are only a week in with this project but still I can’t switch my brain off from thinking of interesting or funny visuals to draw and paint. When this happens, my brain switches over from having verbal abilities and can’t seem to spit anything out; unfortunately for my art partners the only thing my brain spits out is artistic diarrhea.

Because of the recent brain switch over, I’ve been mulling over visual ideas with my coworkers who are doing this project and I’m fairly certain they are getting tired of my strange excitement over being able to flex the muscles on the other side of my brain for once.

Just to give you an example of what has been going through my mind for ideas, I will in my best way verbally describe to you the images I envisioned.

The first idea I had was to have someone eating a plate of spaghetti with the spaghetti being formed into words saying, “You are what you eat.”

I know what you’re thinking; this idea isn’t so bad. No, this idea wasn’t, it was the idea that came after it.

The second idea I had was to have a pirate with an apple on his hook saying, “You ARRR what you eat!” At this point for those of you out there who are still with me and reading this, you might say, ” This isn’t the worst of ideas and I can see how this idea stemmed from the first one.” I would agree with you whole heartedly. It’s the third idea I came up with that would cause you to question the health of my mental state altogether.

You see this project we are working on has to be about food. All of us working on this rotating art project work in an all natural grocery store. Once our team has worked on all four paintings, then we are going to auction them off to raise money for a family in need at Christmas time. So to represent us, and what we promote in our everyday lives, we have to make the subject matter in some form about food.

The third and worst idea came to me while I was working in the frozen section near the dried fruit. It was the idea of where raisins actually come from. Suddenly I remembered when I was a kid going to visit my aunt and my cousin and remembered this was one of the first instances I helped my aunt change my newborn cousin’s diaper. Bear in mind I didn’t have any brothers or sisters despite the fact I begged my parents for one; so I was kind of clueless about babies in general. When I went to help change the diaper and saw my cousin’s belly I couldn’t help but gasp; there was a raisin where her belly button should be. At the time I was highly puzzled by this and my aunt giggled jokingly calling this shriveled dark spot my cousin’s raisin. Then it was explained to me later on this is just the part of the umbilical cord that hasn’t naturally fallen off yet.

When I remembered this story, it made me laugh, and suddenly I had a funny image of drawing cartoon babies lined up in a nursery, with each one having a real raisin glued to the canvas where their belly button should be. I was thinking of giving them a nursery sign labeled, “Raisin Farm” but then I realized people wouldn’t know the back story. Then the fleeting image passed through my mind of my coworkers questioning my mental sanity and placing a phone call to men holding white jackets with buckles on them, convincing me what they were holding was the latest thing in fashion and ushering me into a professionally driven vehicle with no windows in it to the nearest facility for evaluation.

In the end I wound up settling on the idea of “Mac & Cheese” two best friends in a cartoon polaroid taken on a road trip through Missouri. It wasn’t the best idea, but at least it wouldn’t be an idea that would land me in an asylum with missed days of work and would spare me the scared looks on my coworkers’ faces.

What crazy ideas have you had for a project that you’ve censored yourself on? Did you censor yourself because you were afraid of what people might think or because you knew it wouldn’t make sense to anyone else?


4 thoughts on “Writer’s constipation becomes artistic diarrhea

  1. I can say, with all honesty, that censoring myself is a rare occurrence, and when I do censor myself, it’s usually in the form of burying the unpleasantness in absurd metaphor or under an alias or something of that type. But the Mac and Cheese Polaroid idea is a good idea! If that’s your “not my best idea” then your great ideas must be epic!!!

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