Do you ever get writers’ block?

By Daniel Bloch, Executive Director, Cape SAJBD

By definition, writers’ block is the condition of being unable to think of what to write or how to proceed with writing. 

I am not a writer by trade however right now I may be suffering from writer’s Bloch and not writers’ block! On occasion I try to throw in a good joke or a pun which is a play on words. I hope you had a good chuckle.

Usually when I write my articles, a few ideas come to mind and suddenly the words and sentences flow. This month, I seemed to hit a brick wall as some of my ideas seemed to bore me so I am almost certain they would bore you. That got me thinking. What do you do if you experience writers block or mental block, when it comes to work or even in your personal life? I am referring more to not being able to think of creative ideas in the workplace or even something as simple as buying a birthday gift. By the way, buying birthday gifts, especially for your better half, is by no means an easy task!

In the past, when I’ve had a mental block, I’ve found that remaining calm and not stressing is important. In my February column I may have touched on remaining calm when having to make important decisions. The same rationale should apply to coming up with ideas or solutions. 

The other day, I had an interesting discussion with colleagues about what they do to get the creative juices flowing. Some people take a 15-minute walk around the block, others swim a few laps in the pool, some go to gym for half an hour, have a game on the PlayStation (one is never too old to play video games), read a few pages of their favourite book or listen to music. We all seem to share a common source of inspiration though — watching something on Netflix. What do these all have in common? They allow the mind to detach from the real world, disconnect from the phone and email for a moment, and to clear one’s mind. It doesn’t always work, so sometimes you simply need to call a friend for advice. 

When trying to think of subject matter for this article, I considered the time of the month, what interesting things have happened since I wrote my last column and what will be coming up. Most of which you will read about soon enough as a stand-alone article either in the Cape Jewish Chronicle, on Facebook or within our Board’s Eye View (monthly newsletter). Hence my decision to rather write about something different that you can all possibly relate to. As opposed to simply giving a report back on the work the Board has done recently.

Looking forward to the month ahead, it will certainly be a busy period. Pesach arrives beginning of April, so you’d better order plenty of strawberry jam before it sells out, and start deciding now what part you will play in Chad Gadya — the last song in the Haggadah. We can all look forward to plenty of public holidays with Good Friday, Family Day and Freedom Day — allowing a respite from work and an opportunity to recharge our batteries. 

Wishing everyone a Chag Sameach and may you all enjoy the Seders with your families. Take it easy on the matzah and wine and encourage your children to sing loud and proud!

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• Published in the April 2023 Edition – Click here to start reading.

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