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Monday, June 18, 2007

Quashing Word Burn

Writer’s block rarely hits me, but I often fall prey to word burn. Has anyone heard of it? Maybe I just made it up, who knows. With all the fingers typing on the planet at any given moment, it’s more likely that many people thought about it, spoke it, or typed it, even though I’d like to think I coined it.

Word burn strikes when I overuse the same words as if I’m stuck on a basic vocabulary, boring myself through my writing, slumping over my desk. It comes when my balance topples under the weight of various negative influences, from overdoses of chocolate and ice cream (leaving me pudgy and sluggish) to too many To Do’s alongside my monthly happy hours of hormones (Oh, Goddess of Menopause, please find me early!).

I realize that word burn highlights the times I lack humor in my life, yet various things can quash it, such as neologisms. One of my favorites, from J.K. Rowling, is “muggle.” But I try to make my own. Sometimes I create them in frustration rather than creativity. Instead of calling our latest house a fixer-upper, I call it our “infixinity,” as it’s in a constant state of fix, all the way to infinity, and we’ll surely die long before it’s properly finished!

Luckily I don’t have to rely on my mind to create new words in desperate times. Many websites already exist with myriad possibilities for new words, although many are outdated. Some of the more recently updated ones I’ve found include Wit Words. It’s a fictionary of words! If you have a word you’d like to submit, it’s easy to do. Just click and type. You can check out another site at Word Spy. Maybe you can create the best of the bunch, who knows? Do you have kids? There’s a place for them to submit their latest word coinage at Word Central. Just click on “Build Your Own Dictionary.” I really love the word they have there called “gloopers”; it’s one of the reason my kids take lunches.

For some unknown reason, my brain restarts after checking out new words, much like a computer restarting after a glitch. Of course, this may not make sense, but it doesn’t have to, as long as I can get out of word burn. I’m one of those strange people who use both sides of my brain equally; I’m neither dominant left-brained or right-brained, and where does that leave me? I’m an “ambibrain” just as I’m ambidextrous. Too bad there’s no money in it! Depending on the day or my mood, it could just mean that I’m doubly confused!

How do you break out of tough writing times and what new words do you have for us? Let us know…;-)

1 comment:

  1. What a fun post, Sue!

    My hubby and I have words we use all the time, but I can't remember where they came from.

    Here's one we use:

    You know when you're watching a movie or TV show and you actually get embarrassed for the character? Well, we call it "the Oskoes", as in "I can't watch this anymore, it's giving me the oskoes!" (like heebee jeebbees)


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