Ceiling Fans (or writer’s block really stinks)

Let me be honest. It’s been driving me crazy that I have several drafts on the WordPress servers that I can’t seem to finish. As an example of one that started out strong and then faltered, I’m sharing the following humorous one. I’ve selected this particular one only because it’s been sitting in draft status for MONTHS and MONTHS now. I’m having a rough time bridging the gap between two passages. I’ve noticed in my own writing, that once I get my momentum rolling, it’s better if I don’t stop. To my fellow writers out there, do you deal with this too? I’ll sit down to write something and just go buck wild with it and then, for whatever reason, have to stop and get back to the real world. When I come back to the same piece of writing, it’s like my well has run dry and it takes me a bit to get back into that zone I was in during my writing. When an idea hits me, I try to jot down as much as possible for later. Sometimes the initial zeal stays with me and sometimes I look at my notes later and think “what in the world was I going for here?”


Something else that I’ve noticed is this; certain ideas/writings take on a life of their own while others just fall flat. I’m unsure about this particular one. When I first started writing it, back in Sep/Oct of last year, I was amazed at my wittiness. How could readers NOT chuckle as they read along? How could they NOT think “this guy is hilarious”?

I imagine some people think it not a good idea to put this out there before it’s done, but I’d like to get it out of “draft” status. It’s not exactly my great American novel or anything, just a silly little brain fart about installing a ceiling fan in my living room. The dreaded “draft” status, at least to me, is like an uncomfortable staring contest you get to have with someone. I’m a horrible procrastinator (ask my wife, and refer to the below picture; it absolutely applies to me). As a writer, I’m sure you’ll relate to having an unfinished work staring you in the face saying “Hey! Finish me! I can’t sit here half-done forever!”

I had what I would consider a good flow going on this post, and then something tragic happened to a buddy of mine and all of a sudden I wasn’t feeling quite so witty and funny. It seemed like there should be a moratorium on my humorous stuff. I even wrote about my feelings on writing during this time. It wasn’t necessarily “writer’s block” per se, but it was more of a “why-does-it-really-matter” time period.

To further explain, I don’t always write in the “correct” order of the story. There are times (like on another draft that still is unpublished) that I will start with the LAST sentence and build from there. I will jump around in my writing too. If I think of some “brilliant” idea for my story, I will put it down into a paragraph and set it somewhere in the story. It may be smack dab in the middle, but there was something about that particular passage that I liked and I want it in the story. This silly little blurb on ceiling fan installation is an example of that. The last paragraph seemed to write itself but in between the climbing up the ladder and the actual meat-and-potatoes of the installation, I just blank out. Is it because there are certain parts to the installation that can be made humorous while other parts are dry and boring no matter how you write them? I don’t necessarily believe that, because a good writer can take the most mundane and turn it into an amazing tale. I’ve read writers before that did just that. To get a reader engaged in a subject they may not otherwise care about is a skill. I’ve tried, over the course of the last few months, to experiment with different subjects, different styles and different genres. Me personally, I’m a fan of horror and suspense. Do I want that to be the only thing I know how to write? Absolutely not. I want to write what I like to read. There is nothing wrong with sticking to a genre that you know, but I think it’s a true sign of skill to branch out into other things.

You know what? I’ve rambled on long enough. Although rambling on, in my case, unlocks my “creative juices” at times, it can be a little aggravating and lengthy to read. If you’ve made it this far, I’ll let you go and read my initial post. At the risk of showing my shortcomings as a writer, here’s the blurb I’ve been talking about.

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Do you remember seeing the above image around Facebook the last couple months or so? It’s hilarious, but even more hilarious when you can relate. I’ve never claimed to be a super home improvement guy but I’d like to think I can take care of the majority of basic home repair stuff. Granted, I’m not real good about hopping to it immediately but it WILL eventually get done.

Just a while back, I replaced one of our ceiling fans. It’s actually THE ceiling fan to end all ceiling fans. It’s a pretty sweet looking 52″ fan we put in our main living room/TV area. As far as ceiling fans go, I actually was impressed with how sharp it looks. That wife of mine has an eye for decorating for sure.

I’d love to shake hands with guys who hang ceiling fans so often they get proficient at it. Me? I’m not one of those guys. As I’m on the top of the ladder I go from arms fully extended down to T-rex mode, holding onto the entire fan assembly AND balancing myself on the ladder’s top couple of steps.

Before you begin the actual climbing of the ladder, the first part (and the most nerve-racking one) is the electrical aspect. After hanging half a dozen fans over the last several years, I finally got smart enough to buy a multimeter as proof that there was no voltage on the wires I’m freely tossing around when they drop from the ceiling. What did I do before the multimeter? Well, I’m glad you asked. I would actually turn ON a switch to something in the room, run outside and flip the desired breaker, then run back in and verify that the ON was now actually OFF. Yep, future Darwin award winner here. Lucky for you, dear reader, I’ve survived long enough to write this post.

I would imagine that I’m not the ONLY person who does housework and yardwork in less-than-safe gear as well. I’m usually climbing up on the ladder either barefoot or in sandals. You know that last step on the ladder that says “don’t use this step”? I can’t be the ONLY one who actually uses that one, can I? There have been several times that I needed just that extra four or five inches more. Once again, Darwin is watching over my shoulder isn’t he?

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Once the wiring is done and the fan feels secure, then it’s time to attach the fan blades. Honestly, the first couple aren’t all that bad because you’ve still got maneuvering room up there. Once you’re down to the last couple, you’re playing “dodge the blades” as they loosely spin around, courtesy of Mr Newton’s gravity laws. Picture, if you will, the bullet-dodging scene in the Matrix where Neo is ducking left and right while bullets fly (in slo-mo of course) past him. Now, in your mind still, take off the leather outfit and picture a man in gym shorts, sandals and a t-shirt. Remove this man from the roof and picture him on top of a 8 foot ladder. Now remove Keanu’s face and add mine. Yeah, that’s me dodging blades so as to not get decapitated.

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