Writer's Block (by Darah)

Many people ask me from where I get my ideas and how I choose my topics. Frankly, I haven’t the luxury of time or serene lifestyle that enables me to simply inhale deeply, face my computer, and “begin the creative process.” The reality is that as I go about my hectic days, thoughts will suddenly “pop” into my head. I’ll imagine converting a stressful moment or funny situation into a blog article.

First Scenario
I’m driving in the car with several of the children and something they say or do is the impetus for an article idea. “What a great piece that would make —so darn funny and everyone can relate.” I mumble to myself psychotically, cracking up all alone.

Problem is that despite being a writer, I never have a writing utensil or a pad of paper within reach. Yes, I purchase much of such supplies, yet at some point throughout the course of the day, little thieves ransack my desk, kitchen drawers, backpack, and clean me out.

Nonetheless, my “creative process” begins with “the search” for with what and where to write.

Frantic and fearful of forgetting one of my rapid-firing manic thoughts, my trembling fingers begin reaching under the driver’s seat, digging into the glove compartment, door side nook and purse. Nothing.

Suddenly, I remember the drive-thru from Wednesday and the napkins the kids (thankfully) never used. “Pass me that napkin, Sweetheart!” I order my two year-old after she’s already rolled it up into a little ball.

“This one, Mommy? It’s all muddy.” She alerts, confused.

“Yes, that’s okay.” I smile nonchalantly.

Good. Now I have to find with what to write. I pull over at a gas station and stop the truck.

“Mommy, where are we going? Why are you crawling under the seat like a worm, Mommy? Mommy?” Laughter. “You so silly, Mommy!”

“Just give me a sec, just..gotta..uhh…get to this broken crayon.” I reply positioning my body like a contortionist, twisting my arms into the small crevices under the third row, inside the tracks.

Moments later I emerge victorious and we’re back on the road. Happy Mommy. While stopped at the traffic light, I begin scribbling madly upon the wrinkled mud-stained napkin. I couldn’t be more pleased as I purge my mind one thought at a time. What a relief! Now I can switch “mental gears” and once again, focus on the children and their relentless pleas for assistance.

Oh no, wait. What are the chances? A runny nose! And the only paper-good available is my “notecard” napkin…

Second Scenario
I’m at the gym and mid-workout, become inspired to write. With endorphins flooding and adrenaline pumping, I grasp for my phone and attempt to text myself a message. (Sorry, Mi Amor, I still cannot remember how to use the “notes” function on my dinosaur-of-a-phone.)

The first attempt results in the phone falling from my sweaty palms, crash-landing on the floor and separating into three independent pieces—the battery, the cover, and the main entity. After I reassemble, and subsequently restart the unit, I text myself an incoherent message in an effort to capture the gist of my idea—all while exercising.

Seconds later, my phone beeps notifying me of my recent incoming text, (my own) and instinctively, I open it.

So I read it. And then unwittingly, I delete it—-momentarily forgetting it’s from me and I’ll need to refer to it again later.

Getting inspired is easy. Recording and retaining the information is the constant challenge, and a real block for a writer! 


Written by Darah Zeledon. Mother of five, freelance writer, small business owner, and fitness freak, Darah has just returned to the US after living 9 years with her large brood in South America.  Through an angle of humor, Darah´s uniquely optimistic perspective of raising children in today’s unstable world has been strongly influenced by her experiences running a household and various businesses in several foreign lands.  You can read more of her here.