How Writer’s Block and the Jabberwocky Can Help You Live A Better Life

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It’s a nightmare. The blank page in my notebook, the too white screen on the computer – taunting me. I’ve lost all focus and now I’m falling. I’m tumbling through the proverbial darkness, odd glimpses of no consequence from within the bright flashes of dimly lit corridors.I am searching for that blasted Rabbit, hoping and praying that I’m not the one who’s late to the party this time. I’m hoping the creature hasn’t gotten to him as well.

Landing shakily, I spy not the fabled potion that touts “DRINK ME,” but sheaves of blank paper; above them the words dilate in spots, as if I’ve stared too long into the sun, “JUST WRITE.” But alas, there is not writing instrument anywhere. Constantly pursuing that ultimate idea, the one that captures your interest, that captivates me as author and you as my reader. It’s right here, just beyond my grasp …writer’s block.

How can I hope to move forward if all the wondrous ideas have abandoned my waking consciousness. Perhaps I should be penning things at 3:00 am, when the words come rushing through my mind uncontrolled. Pages and tomes fill my mind – ideas so clever that disintegrate with the click of the alarm or the slow, pale light that comes with each new morning. I had a great vision for this post. It sparkled with wit, great humor and depth. Now all I can see is white rabbits in waistcoats and freakish nightmare creatures. Perhaps I should be writing about Wonderland. After all, for creative writing there can be no better place for fodder. Talking flowers and cards, tea parties and over sized Weebles. Yes, Weebles (they wobble but they don’t fall down). My mind is a jumble of trivial information. But back to Wonderland. For as long as I can remember, this has been my favorite classic tale. My mother read it to me pages at a time until I was old enough to consume the delectable words on my own. I was terrified of that looking glass. Of the monster within- the Jabberwocky.

Known in literary circles for his nonsensical verse and terrifying habits, the Jabberwocky actually maintains a balance between the real world and the dream world. On the surface of the mirror, I see myself. The same one you see when you pass me in the street or at the market. A mere reflection of my ambitions, fears, dreams and desires. Perhaps that odd, scary creature lives not only through the looking glass, but within us all. We all live with what frightens us the most. Perhaps the Jabberwocky is the epitome of all our fears. It is the summation of all the nonsensical, whimsical thoughts, as in the original poem’s verse, which drives us to success or keeps us terrified, rooted to the present dilemmas we find ourselves in.

“It seems very pretty,” she said when she had finished it, “but it’s rather hard to understand!” (You see she didn’t like to confess even to herself, that she couldn’t make it out at all.) “Somehow it seems to fill my head with ideas–only I don’t exactly know what they are! ” – Lewis Carroll, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass.

Now that I’ve seemingly penned this post, I must give credit to my nightmarish friend. The original poem has an underlying theme that shows anyone (everyone) can do incredible and amazing things. It’s about being brave, like the boy who eventually slays the creature. It is about making things better. In Alice in Wonderland, the White Queen tells Alice that she cannot live her life to always please others because when she faces the creature, the Jabberwocky, she will step out alone. We all step out alone. To live a better life, I am going to follow the Queen’s advice. No longer shall I cave to the dreams and demands of others, I shall follow my own path. Unlike Wonderland and it’s curiosities, there is nothing wrong with the mundane daily existence that we live. The secret is to own it, (it being everything), tell the truth, even if it makes you cry – or even better, laugh. Alice has to wander Wonderland to find her reality. We are already real.

So hello Jabberwocky! I see you. I’m still scared of you, but I am braver now. I shall beat you bit by bit and live my life the way I need to live. It will be a better life. I’ll see you tomorrow morning…in the looking glass.

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