One of the things that Todd likes to talk about in his Novelist's Boot Camp Workshops is Writers Block. He has several drills to help properly identify what it is and what it isn't as well as drills and techniques to overcome it.
Often writers say they're 'blocked' when in reality their life events are getting in the way or weighing them down. We had such an event recently.
Todd was walking the dog Wed night at around 10:35 PM when another dog was suddenly let out of a house not too far from ours and this dog attacked ours. Now our dog Rocky is a 14 year old West Highland Terrier (all things Scottish to go with our heritage) who is in pretty good shape for his age but he's a smaller dog. The dog that attacked him was much bigger and grabbed Rocky by the neck and started shaking. We took him to the emergency vet service in our area because he had a puncture wound in the back of his neck.
Rocky is a member of our family and I know lots of folks will relate to this sentiment. So, we take good care of him, which is why the Vets often tell us he looks and acts much younger than he is. Still he's an old dog and events like being attacked take their toll on older dogs, and their owners.
We've already followed up with our regular vet and I have to take him back in a couple of days to make sure he's healing properly. So, far so good but Rocky is definitely feeling the pain. I did contact animal control and this isn't the first time they've had a problem with the dog that attacked ours.
So, life gets in the way and my plans to work on my writing projects got a bit derailed, albeit temporarily. I was also incredibly tired on Thursday after spending time in the Vet emergency room waiting for Rocky to be seen Wed night. On Thursday riding the commuter train home from where I work in Chicago I dozed off while trying to type. Again, life events got in the way. But it was interesting talking with the other folks in the emergency room even thought it was almost midnight and we were all there under traumatic circumstances.
One of the women had brought in a feral cat that had kind of adopted her but stayed outside. She had found it that day with a metal trap (you know the kind they use on wild animals) around one of it's legs. Ultimately, the cat ended up with a broken bone but what a cruel thing to do to this animal. We're not talking an area that is out in the boonies somewhere. We're taking a developed and established area that has animal control services. The woman said that she believed it was teenage males next door to her that set the trap up to see what would happen.
She described other aggresive and down right evil behaviors from these males that were definitely anit-social and even somewhat psychotic. So I said to her - "I know this might sound strange, but my husband is a mystery author and because we've had to reserach criminal behavior, what you're describing isn't healthy." She said that she knew that but that her brother told her just to ignore these males but another family member said how much she worried about her living next to people with such dangerous behaviors. I encouraged her to report the situation to at least animal control.
I also told her that while not everyone who does what these young men are doing turns out to be a serial killer, all serial killers have this type of behavior in their pasts - especially the sadistic behavior.
Writers block (if such a thing really exists) aside you never know when your research will come in handy.