Deb Elise’s Actual Writer’s Block

Writer's BlockThis is my Writer’s Block.

I received it as a gift, when I was just starting out in TV.  I was a Writers’ Assistant on Saved by the Bell: The New Class, which meant my job was to sit in the room with all the Writers, type up their thoughts and ideas, input their changes into the scripts as they gang-rewrote them, then make sure everything was formatted properly so the PA’s could xerox a zillion copies and send them out to everyone.

99.99% of Writers’ Assistants want to be Writers.  Everyone knows this, and often it’s rewarded with freelance scripts or even shots at getting on staff, but most of the time it’s ignored in the mad flurry of assistant work that needs to get done now.

So when Christmas rolled around and Dennis Haskins, a.k.a. Mr Belding, traipsed through the office with presents for all the Writers, I didn’t expect to be included.  But there it was on my desk: a Writer’s Block, just like the ones he’d given to all the other Writers.

I’ve had it on my desk ever since.  Not just for the pun, which is always a quick way to my heart, but for that little vote of confidence.  My title didn’t matter.  The titles we hold in our daily lives still don’t matter.  If we’re passionate about writing, if we commit ourselves to making our writing better and better, and most of all if we put finger to keyboard and write and write and write… we are Writers.

Tell me… what little votes of confidence have you gotten along the way that made a difference to you in your writing career?  I’d love to hear about them!

~ Deb Elise

11 thoughts on “Deb Elise’s Actual Writer’s Block

  1. Is that a Rolodex on the desk? I love the Writer’s Block – and what a kind gesture to give you the same gift as the others. Some people just “have it” don’t they? Great story.

    • It is indeed an actual Rolodex! I specifically sought one out because I wanted all my numbers in one hard-copy place. It’s not quite as up to date as my computer address book, but it’s close enough to be incredibly helpful. I also have a bricks-and-mortar organizer: a Franklin Planner that acts as half my brain.

  2. Love that story! I often wonder if people even realize they’re giving that vote of confidence or a dose of encouragement…

    When one of my stories was selected for Hint Fiction: An Anthology in 25 Words or Fewer (W.W.norton, 2010), my husband got all “crafty” – literally! He made me a collage, using photos of the book on bookstore shelves, words from some of the reviews, etc. (http://madelinemora-summonte.blogspot.com/2010/12/gift-that-keeps-on-giving.html) I keep it in my office where it reminds me to never give up. 🙂

  3. That is SO kind.

    That reminds me of two things: Pat Conroy saying to my sweetie, “Call yourself a writer, because no one else will,” and the editor who read my horrible chick lit manuscript all the way through, telling me precisely what worked and what didn’t, which motivated me to sit down and do it ALL right so I wouldn’t waste anyone’s time.

    Yay for gracious people.

    • LOVE both those stories! It makes all the difference in the world when people go out of their way like that. It doesn’t take much, and the impact is huge.

  4. Geez, I just had a weird “surreal” moment there. I got here to the blog, and was reading this posting — without noticing that that the computer wasn’t finished loading. There was a blank box on the left side. Halfway through reading, the picture suddenly popped into the box.

    I had just thought the blank box to the left WAS the writer’s block (i.e., the “blank page”). So I was, like, totally weirded out to find out that the “block” was not just metaphorical.

    Hmmm….too much sugar today, I fear.

    Sorry.

  5. I love that writer’s block! I think I need one for my desk 🙂

    I recently got an amazing blurb from an author whose work I completely adore, and that totally made me feel legit (alas, my editor has told me to keep it quiet for now, but I’m still squealing on the inside!)

    Tawa

  6. What a perfect gift! Great story to go along with it, too. I could use one of those myself, if only to hit my head with when the words won’t come.

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