There’s lead in my pencil, but I don’t know how to use it.
It’s a very modern phenomenon and would have been unheard of 20 years ago, but it’s real and I think I am going through it at the moment. Ladies and Gentlemen, I think I have Blogger’s Block.
Writer’s Block is well known, it’s got everyone at one point or another. There are pieces of advice to beat it out there, usually written by people who don’t write for a living.
‘Work on more than one project at a time’ they say. ‘Change your routine’ they scoff. ‘Stop worrying about being original’ they bark. But my personal very unhelpful top tip has to be ‘Examine Deep-Seated Issues Behind Your Writer’s Block’ – presumably this inner-journey is concluded by a very dark episode with a pearl-handled revolver, a glass of fine single malt, a Cuban cigar, a photograph of your loved ones and your very last tear stained epic left atop of your beloved mahogany writing bureau.
Let’s not go there.
I thought I was alone until I read a tweet last night from Matt at Pro Snooker Blog who seemed to whimsically indicate that this was an annual event in the calendar for him at precisely this time of year. He even gave it a little name making it sound like something he actually didn’t mind having?? Even top scribe and snooker nut Dave Hendon wrote a piece yesterday about cues which screamed denial. Regular bloggers without whom the snooker season would not be half the fun it is seem to have gone into hibernation or temporary limbo.
In short, IT’S EVERYWHERE.
So what causes it? Well, I can only speak from personal experience and draw the non-conclusion that it could be a number of things. Is it the blogger’s equivalent of burn-out? Could be….. Is it the fact there is so much snooker on that it can sometimes feel like you are a hamster on a wheel, living Groundhog Day over and over again? Could be…. Is it the beginning of the end? Is it a realisation that you have done what you can and have nothing else left to say? Could be…. Is it the changing of the seasons or the tides of the sea? Could be…. Is it Henry the mild-mannered Janitor? Probably not.
Regular readers of this tripe will know that I frequently make reference to there being too much snooker, I do believe that in order to keep a sport interesting there needs to be some period of rest, some downtime. Like any relationship absence can make the heart grow fonder and with due respect to the potters on their way to the latest Asian PTC which starts properly tomorrow, I couldn’t really give a monkeys who wins it.
Perhaps Blogger’s Block is as Matt describes, simply an annual thing which is as regular as clockwork, perhaps I have always had it or perhaps once you get over three years of blogging in the bag it sets in. One thing I do know is that when I was on holiday with Mrs SB last week I didn’t miss blogging one bit and casting my mind back three years, I am pretty sure that I did when I was away for a week back then.
One thing I did do though is think about how to freshen the blog up a bit and I did have an idea which I think could have some mileage. The downside is that it involves me climbing into the loft at SB Mansions first to dig out a stack of old magazines (no not those type of magazines), I mean old snooker magazines and I will probably get round to doing that at the weekend and then see what develops.
This piece might also sound and probably is utterly self-indulgent and I am always mindful of something that I read which I think Chris Evans said once when talking about a time when he was acting like a complete bellend. He said ‘you stop being entertaining when you think you are the news’, or something like that. Roughly translated I think it means that once your head disappears so far up your own arse that all you can see is your intestines then you might as well pack it in as nobody is listening to you anymore.
But in writing this I am following my own piece of advice, write yourself out of it, confront it head on and beat it into the ground. That’s what I usually do when confronted with a problem and so it seems the natural way to do it and you know what? I already feel a bit better.
So all that is left is to offer my sincere apologies to those who wanted, quite understandably, to read something about snooker on a snooker blog, if that is you read this far down.
Normal service will be resumed shortly, I’m fairly sure it will anyway.