Writer’s Block is such a Buzzkill

My recent writer's block also kept me out of the garden. Now its overrun with weeds, which to me are simply flowers growing in the wrong place.

You would have never convinced my parents that I could run out of words.

I’m sure more than a few teachers would be surprised as well. But it happened. After a successful launch of this blog in January, something happened that I never dreamt — people actually read it. They also shared it, tweeted it, and talked about it. In just a couple of months, our blog had been read over 2000 times by people all over the world (thanks to my beloved’s international students). No matter how many times my dear friend Mish would claim to read it, I doubt that even she could read Despite Everything over 2000 times. After all, she does have a life.

The support we received was awesome! Friends were encouraging, strangers would recognize and greet us, and we reconnected with countless numbers of people. Each week, we found old friends knocking on our door or calling to catch up.  All because of the blog. Our most popular posts were those that had nothing to do with gardening and canning. “Conquering Mind over Matter on a Yoga Mat” was our most read post. On Valentine’s Day when I posted of “The Wink that Captured My Heart,” more than 300 people read it in a 24 hour period, showing that everybody loves a good love story. The post about how I had given up soda was shared 60 times on Facebook. I don’t know most  of the people who connected so much with that post that they shared it with their friends. But I am touched that they did.

Then it went quiet.  I couldn’t focus to write a single thing.

In the beginning I posted new articles 3-4 times a week in hopes of building an audience. Back then, I could have written a 400-word post about a dust bunny. But for the last three weeks, I couldn’t form a single sentence about the adventures at Chez Medlock. So I rolled up my sleeves and cleaned — nearly everything in our house. At least we all got clean laundry compliments of my writer’s block.

When we started the blog, I had no idea how important the photos would become. We’ve had lots of great feedback on our photos. People keep asking us who is our photographer? Once it was our son. Once it was our niece. The rest of the time, we’re staging and setting up our own photos. As I’m sure you’ve noticed, we don’t use Photoshop, so you get to see the real us, with every line, roll of fat, wrinkle, and double chin. Our kitchen has become our studio, complete with a few well-placed work lights that do double duty as strobes. I have no idea where our tripod is, so it’s always a challenge to get the camera in position. With camera precariously perched on a box or stack of books, we spend an hour or so taking pictures, looking for the perfect shot.  My beloved is naturally photogenic. I am not. That’s why it takes us so long to finally get a decent photo. I ruin most of them by asking questions while the self-timer is counting down.

The other thing that didn’t happen during my writer’s block, by the way, was that I haven’t done a thing in my garden. At this point, I’m not even sure if I’ll bother as a couple of precious kittens have made our garden their personal playground.  I am very allergic to cats, and just taking the photo for this post resulted in an allergy attack. So any cucumbers I grow will have to be done on the patio. Besides, the getting the weeds under control will take an army.

But at least now we’re back. With new posts, new pictures, and a few new ideas. We hope that you’re still interested and that you’ll be patient as we get back into the swing of things. I’ve always heard that weeds are simply flowers in the wrong place.  Maybe writer’s block is a creative weed that gets planted in the wrong place. Who knows? But I’m glad it’s over.


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