Posted: February 5, 2011 in Writing
Tags: , , ,

I recently upbraided a family member for emitting a noxious odour, and Hubba Hubby was quick to pounce on my choice of verb.

‘Light is emitted,’ he informed me. ‘Gas is expelled.’

Oh. Now I accept that this falls within his area of expertise, but I’m a bit of a verb nerd myself and I’m not used to being corrected in my specialty area, so I pressed him for more details.

‘What about food? Can’t that be expelled too?’

Apparently not, according to the expert in the family. It is disgorged.

But wait, there’s more, if your delicate sensibilities can stand it. Urine and kidney stones are passed, faeces evacuated, pus discharged and suppurative wounds drained.

I found this clinically specific use of verbs oddly interesting, coinciding as it did, with one of the most prolonged periods of blogstipation and generalised creative blockage that I have experienced in years.

What verb, I wondered, could dispel this depressing circumstance?

For much of the summer I had tried rationalising it away as a function of school holidays, visitors, floods, loss of a treasured publisher, and pressure of work, family and other commitments.

That just seemed to make it worse. So I tried ignoring, denying, and finally, airing and venting.  None of that seemed to help either, so I lay awake at night, ruminating on a cure.

‘I’m blogspitated,’ I finally told my husband’s back in the blackest part of the night.

‘Try exercising and eating more fruit,’ he mumbled, rolling onto his back and snoring some more.

Good advice, as it turns out. I’m now on a daily diet of plump and juicy words from brilliant writers and poets. I am flexing my atrophied writing muscles, straightening out stiff sentences, oiling up creaking clauses, massaging meaning into disheartened prose.

And the blockage is dissipating.

In the immortal words of writing mentor Dr Kim Wilkins: I might be writing crap, but at least I’m writing.

  1. chrisbongers says:

    Thanks, Jo. Hope that memoir is on the home straight! 🙂

  2. Little Hat says:

    “Writing crap” sure fits with the rest of your verbal explorations Chris. Does one dissapate the crap or save it and flush it? You sound as if you’re on a diet which will allow you to engorge yourself.

  3. chrisbongers says:

    I think the secret is to stay regular, Steve. Tapping on the apple mac each day keeps the doctor away!

  4. Mike says:

    Andrew is at his funniest when not trying! Good to see the words are rolling out again.

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