Cure for writer’s block: get a haircut* and get a real job.


Last week a friend of mine, who is the assistant manager at the convenience store down the road, visited me, begging me to go to work for her. Two nights a week, the overnight shift. Apparently they’re pretty desperate for employees who aren’t afraid of mops and don’t think “free” cigarettes are a benefit of punching the timeclock. Since free coffee–on and off the clock–is a benefit, along with a discount on heating oil next winter, I said, “Sure, sign me up.”

This is the second smartest thing I’ve ever done. An unadvertised benefit of working graveyard shift at a small town convenience store: an unending supply of fodder for fiction. Not to make light of misery, but drunk, stoned, lonely people will say and do pretty much anything, and between the hours 11pm-1am (the hour at which Mainers can no longer buy Allen’s Coffee Brandy), the store is full of them. And once my cleaning and stocking is done, I have about 4 hours of nothing-to-do. Since my muse is most active in the middle of the night, and with no internet to distract me, I’ve been getting lots of writing done on book number four.

Inspiration or exploitation? You tell me.

*haircut optional

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About R.J. Keller

R. J. Keller is the author of Waiting For Spring. An avid independent movie enthusiast, she was Managing Editor of The Movie Fanatic website and created episodes of the writer-centric YouTube series, Inside The Writers' Studio, with author Kristen Tsetsi. She co-hosted Book Chatter with Stacey Cochran from 2011-2014. She lives in Central Maine with her family, where she enjoys gardening, collecting geeky memorabilia, and watching other people cook. View all posts by R.J. Keller

3 responses to “Cure for writer’s block: get a haircut* and get a real job.

  • Gloria, Writer Reading

    Haircut works for me, especially with streaks of a new color.

  • R.J. Keller

    New color. Ah…it’s making me re-think the whole “I’m going to go grey naturally” kick I’ve been on lately.

  • Jaden @ Screenwriting for Hollywood

    Great post. Your writing style always gives me a good kick. I relate so much to what you write, even though you are across the country living a totally different life than I am.

    To save money, I cut my own hair about three times a year. Agree: when the brain well turns to mud, there is nothing like taking a random job or even just getting out in the world for inspiration.

    I look forward to reading your experiences at the new job!

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