If writing slumps were like urban fantasy-style quests, the Slump would be an unusual type of dragon, perhaps with a penchant for wrapping itself around buildings with its many tentacles. Something that leached the color and life out of everything around it. It would decide to nest on/around your house, covering the doors and windows so you couldn’t get out. You’d still try, of course. You’d shove at the shutters and the doorways and push the beast’s legs away, but then the wing would shift and you’d be just as trapped as before. Your neighbors (writing ideas, perhaps) would love to help, but that’s a dragon on your house. They’d be scared. Not enough would help to get you out. You’d have to help yourself.
If a writing slump were an urban-fantasy quest, you’d have to dig through what was already in your house to find something to fight the Slump. The experiences and ideas you’d already had, the half-coherent sentences you’d written at 3 am about swordfighting, you’d have to dig through it all to find something useful.
Perhaps you’d find something there large enough to knock a hole in the wall, a hole large enough that the Slump would have to really move to cover it all up, and you’d run out before it did.
When you got out, the Slump’s dozens of eyes, covering every tentacle, would be looking down at you, and you’d look at it, and suddenly whatever you’d used to get out of the house would seem pathetically small. You’d run–a tactical retreat rather than a surrender, of course, but still you’d run.
You’d run through your neighborhood of ideas, kicking doors down and looking for an idea with some merit to it, but ideas are difficult to work with in any case. With a Slump on the loose, they’d only shoo you away.
So you’d go for a walk.
Out of the neighborhood, away from every well-trod path, into unfamiliar territory. Behind you, the Slump would get bored, and an idea would scream, making you pick up the pace.
You’d find a wasteland of gray cement and dull, worn buildings. Not a place for thoughts to flourish, but perhaps there would be something hiding there that would surprise you. You’d dig a bit of chalk out of your pocket and mark the alleyways you’d already traveled. Despite that precaution, you’d get lost. Eventually, exhausted, with no end to the buildings in sight, you’d lean against a wall and scowl. Then you’d think to look inside the buildings.
If overcoming writing slumps was like urban fantasy quests, you’d have to dig through the deepest recesses of your mind, through the basements and the sewers and who knows what else to find a way to rid yourself of the creature. If writing slumps were dragons, the dragon would know that, and put its eggs in the top of an office building.
You’d find them eventually anyways. They’d be a pretty, delicate shade of green. One of the eggs would have cracks forming in its shell already.
If you are anything like me, you’d not be excited to kill babies, even pest babies, but it’s that or let them overrun you. You’d steel yourself, lift up a desk, and drop it on the eggs. The original Slump would screech in the distance. The wind would change with the flapping of its wings.
Dripping in embryonic fluid and trying not to look at the crushed baby dragon skulls, you’d gather up the broken bits of eggshells. The corners would be sharp, cutting into your hands. As the Slump made its heavy way towards you, limbs streaming like banners behind it, you’d throw the eggshells, catching it in one of its eyes. You’d throw some more, until the Slump lifted up over the building and out of sight. It would still scream nearby.
If killing the Slump was an urban fantasy quest, you’d spot something knocked off the desk when you picked it up to crush the eggs. A letter opener, at first glance, but when you lifted it up it would increase in size and sharpness.
It’s a requirement to fight a dragon with a sword. I don’t know why.
You’d climb up to the roof, sword in hand, with the dragon directly overhead. You’d fight. You might win.
It would be a far more interesting story than the one of sitting at the desk for hours, staring at a blinking cursor, taking a walk, staring at the cursor again, and not typing a word that you don’t immediately delete again.
Not that that’s ever
happened to me. Nope.