Amazing and totally legit prompts for blasting writer’s block

I think it’s time to admit it– I have writer’s block.

I was wondering when it would happen. It had to come eventually– there was no way I was going to make it through this project without encountering it at least once. As soon as I found myself writing an entire post about jeggings, I sensed its arrival, a big squat animal blocking the entrance to my creative portal and regaling me with stories about this one time it thought it saw Steven Tyler at the airport, but it just turned out to be a bag lady.

But not to worry– I’ve been here before, and I have a number of tried and true prompts for overcoming writer’s block, and because I’m a generous kind of gal, I figured I’d pass them on to you, in case you ever found yourself in the same spot.

Imagine elaborate scenarios in which I am wronged, but persevere anyway, and everyone feels really badly about it. In most of these creative exercises, I find myself hospitalized for some reason, usually due to an illness that I tried to warn people about, but no one believed me. Well, they believe me now, but now it’s too late. And when I get out of the hospital, I find piles of flowers on my doorstep, left by guilty well-wishers, but I just step over them, ready to go inside and begin a montage of myself weight-lifting and becoming stronger and nigh invulnerable. And when I finally re-emerge, everyone is like, OMG she is so strong for overcoming this disease that she totally warned us she had but we didn’t believe her and made her clean the bathroom anyway even though she said she was dying, and now she’s also super hot from all the weight lifting. She has Michelle Obama arms, and we are not worthy.

Celebrity road trip! Oh, no! Your favorite celebrity’s car inexplicably broke down in front of your house, because for some reason they were in the area and really wanted a scenic tour of The Septic Systems of Geauga County. It’s up to you to get them back to Hollywood! And also convince them that you are a glittering star that burns too brightly for this world! You will probably do this through the power of song, so you have to have the perfect playlist ready at all times. It must include both Dolly Parton’s “Jolene” and House of Pain’s “Jump Around,” but the rest is up to you. Go!

What is Britney Spears doing right now? Is she pooping? My first assumption is always that she’s pooping for some reason. But after the pooping, then what?

What do we get when we die? For some reason, I assume that death comes with a parting gift? Because it seems kind of shitty to make you leave all your cool stuff behind and show up to heaven without even a portable CD player or anything. My personal belief is that when we die, we will be handed a book that reveals every secret detail of our lives– the names of every person who ever secretly had a crush on us, but we didn’t know it, or everyone who just couldn’t stand us, or every time you nearly died but then didn’t, like if you stepped off a curb at the exact right moment to avoid being hit by a bus, or left the one e. coli tainted lettuce leaf lying at the bottom of your burrito bowl at Chipotle because lettuce is stupid. I, for one, am dying to get a copy of this book. No pun intended, although that would have been a pretty sweet pun, had I intended it.

Elton John fan fiction! Daniel, Honky Cat and Rocket Man meet in line to buy cartoon balloons in town. Hijinx ensue.

(Okay, full disclosure. I’ve never actually done that last one. But now I’m weirdly intrigued?)

Any one of those prompts should be enough to jumpstart even the most blocked brain, but feel free to combine them for some added oomph. What if your celebrity road trip ends in a car accident sending both you and Britney Spears to the hospital, where you have a near-death experience and get to read only the introduction to your Death Book (“Introduction: So, You’re Dead!”) before being dragged back to the present, only to be greeted by three bobbing Get Well balloons that appear to have been purchased from Levon?

The possibilities are endless! As is Britney Spears’ pooping, apparently.

In praise of jeggings

Like most women, I have faced a number of existential crises surrounding pants.

I feel like things must have been so much simpler back when women stuck strictly to dresses. Dresses are a woman’s secret weapon—if you buy the right one, you look fancy as fuck, but you feel like you’re wearing pajamas. “This old thing?” you say, coquettishly swishing the flared skirt of your beautiful cotton dress. “I am literally as comfortable as if I were wearing my old Plucky Duck Tiny Toons t-shirt from sixth grade that I still sleep in sometimes, but thanks! Also, don’t judge me for owning and wearing a Plucky Duck t-shirt.”

But dresses require shaved legs, and sometimes that just seems like an insurmountable task. And on those days, I must turn to my old nemesis: pants.

More specifically, jeans. Jeans are just such dicks about everything. One day, they’re loose and elephantine, making your butt look saggy and partially detached. The next day, those exact same jeans might inexplicably attempt to sever you in half. Jeans have no idea what they’re doing, and they are terrible at keeping you fully corralled in place. You might adjust a muffin top only to find several minutes later that three inches of your crack are exposed.

I much prefer leggings, with their forgiving elastic waistbands and butt-lifting technology, but I’m fairly positive that Obama made an amendment to the constitution banning women over the age of 35 from wearing leggings as pants, so I mostly limit my legging time to around the house or to the grocery store, where I already feel judged about the contents of my cart, so why not just go all-in?

I can’t wear leggings to work, but my jeans have gone feral and are attempting to constrict me to death so they can slowly digest me. I know there’s no shame in buying a bigger pants size (although this doesn’t really comfort me when I’m simultaneously crying and jamming cookies into my mouth three at a time), so I head to Old Navy, determined to find a pair of jeans that doesn’t want to murder me. And suddenly, I have found them:


The respectability of jeans, with the comfort of leggings. I put them on in the dressing room and it’s like wearing your favorite pair of lounge pants, except when you look down, you’re wearing jeans and not pink polyester fabric covered in monkey faces. I feel like I could do the splits in these pants and not be restricted at all, which is amazing, because I can’t come anywhere close to doing the splits, but THAT’S HOW INSPIRING THESE JEGGINGS ARE.

They only had one pair in my size, so of course I bought it, and I’m wearing my jeggings right now. I didn’t even pretend to anyone at work today that they were real jeans—I spent a good chunk of the morning approaching women I barely even knew and forcing them to watch me pull the elastic waist of the jeggings away from my body, yelling THEY’RE JEGGINGS!

I think people were impressed.

Between the jeggings, leggings and dresses, I now essentially have the wardrobe of a five-year-old, but I am not ashamed. You might be laughing at my buttonless, zipperless existence, but with my elastic waistband, I’ll have more breathing room to laugh even harder as your jeans attempt to kill you.

Plus, I’ll be able to eat more cookies. So I think that’s a win.