I Have Writer’s Block. Time to Take Bad Photos.

Writer's Block

There is one thing that comes to writers as surely as bald spots to UK royalty: writer’s block.

It’s the worst. It’s not that you don’t have thoughts — you just can’t move them forward. You’re literally blocked.

“Writer’s wall” is better alliteration, but it implies you can get over or around it.

Not with a block. A block is immoveable. Unrepentant and unrelenting. It’s like an old woman herding cattle crossing your path and you just want to to take a damn blowtorch to the whole lot. Swimming through it is impossible, drowning will follow. You must go around.

When this happens — when I hit a creative block — I think one thing:

Time to manage my personal brand!

I love the Ellen brand. I had a *bit* of trouble with it, when I first started being famous but that’s behind me. (And at this point, it should be obvious that I have no brand, just a compulsion to have one – which I feel makes me almost practically famous.)

I read somewhere it’s something I feel I should be doing, as a writer. Thinking about it, talking about it, annoying the piss out of my husband by asking him for ideas (then rejecting them: not Ellen-y enough!).

I carry my brand around like a lapdog, and like a lapdog it’s useless, stunted, and overrated.

I need to be professional. Roll it around on my tongue: p r o f e s s i o n a l. And clever. Whimsical. Warm. Inviting. Thoughtful. NOT IN ANY WAY embarrassing… right. Let’s brand


. (This is me thinking.)



Mmmmhhpphhffffmmmmmm. (I’ve stopped thinking. Eating.)


. (Thinking.)


Hey, I wonder if I could use toast in my brand… 

. Mmmmhhpphhffffmmmmmm. Toast.



. Hey, I could put off writing by just writing about writing? Oh, wait, I did that a few posts ago. 


. Mmmmhhpphhffffmmmmmm. (I love toast.)



Oh I know!  I’ll get photos taken! 

Photos for my brand! Yes, YES! Love this idea!

I found a local photographer. The photographer was great. I warned her I look horrible in photos and have a nose problem, a smile problem, a cheek problem. A general posing problem. 

She assured me not to worry, and then she reflected on my self-esteem problem. But to herself, because she was British.

She came over. She was as cute as a button, but I have to admit that when I saw her, my heart sank.

She was not an obnoxiously confident gay man. I mean, I knew she wasn’t, but I just couldn’t help hoping she’d show up as one anyway. Or have one in tow.

Nothing against straight, female photographers, but as a straight woman, you need a gay man. They are confident sergeant majors who tell you what to do, make you look good, whilst simultaneously not hitting on you nor making you feel insecure about your masculinity.

I had a gay hairdresser at my wedding. I have a few gorgeous, large-chested friends. One of them was complaining about “not fitting,” and he just shot his little gay hand in her dress and adjusted her ample chest. It was glorious.

Behind every beautiful woman there is a gay man, adjusting her boobs.

Nevertheless, this photographer was fantastic. The kind of girl I’d want to be friends with. But I couldn’t tell her to adjust my boobs. I mean, I could… no, I’m not going to do that.


Why am I being so ridiculous? I know. She’s taking my photo, not delivering my baby.

There are two things that make me cringe.

1) Unnecessary physical proximity in public spaces.

2) Posing for photos. (Dealing with writer’s block is a completely normal occurrence).

Strip me naked, put me on an epileptic donkey and sign me up for Good Morning America. Just don’t take my picture. Also don’t stand so close to me.

I’m scared of cameras. Roll your eyes, sure. Because who doesn’t say this: I am not photogenic. Tee-hee!

Fuck off. I mean it. I’m attractive enough in person, on video. But when the concept of moving is introduced, the camera runs away screaming bloody murder.

I have Jim Carrey face.

My face is made of rubber. It is expressive. Pliable. I employ cheeks, nose, eyebrows, and ears — even the weird, errant white hair in my eyebrow that looks like it got taken off Ian McKellen and glued on me – all in my expressions.

This makes me goofy. Cute. Lively. AND UTTERLY RIDICULOUS. Great while moving. Horrible still camera subject.
Sure, I casually dump good-looking photos on the web; suggesting that I look like that all the time. No. Those photos are the BEST PHOTOS I’VE EVER TAKEN.

About 99% of people who say they are not photogenic are, and they ruin it for those of us who really are.

I’m not going to tell you what happened; words fail me. Because I have writer’s block. 

I’m employing my writer’s block and not finishing my post. Not in words, anyway.

It needs to be said: my photographer was professional, capable, kind, creative, and talented. I’d hire her again or recommend her in a second. Check her out here.

The subject (me) was not any of these things. 

Writer's Block
I stopped caring when you said you went to public school.


Writer's Block
The noise from my kidneys as they process the alcohol I drank last night is more interesting than what you are telling me.
Writer's Block
My left eye cares that your dog died. My right eye doesn’t give a shit.
Writer's Block
If I had testicles – which I don’t – I imagine this is how I’d look if someone punched them.


Writer's Block
This one doesn’t . . .  not . . . work . . .
Stick around, you can learn a thing or two: How to take bad photos without even trying. How not to build a brand. How to be “Ellen-y.”

In the end, I found a brand. it’s so simple I can’t believe no one else has used it.

Purple. Yep. Just purple the color. It says it all. Now I just have to trademark it. And tell everyone else to stop using it.  That should keep me busy for another week or so.

Sigh. Remember the time when writers just wrote? Me neither.



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