Tuesday, October 1, 2013


Cassy Van Dreese of Algoma, Wisconsin writes…

“Dear James,

Is Writer’s Block contagious?  During a recent critique group I shared a slice of strawberry cheesecake with a writer who has been stuck on the same scene for six weeks.  The cheesecake was delicious but now I’m totally freaked out.  Will I wake up one morning and suddenly be unable to write?

Yours truly,
Cassy(cheesecake is my weakness) Van Dreese

The Reply:

Dear Cassy,

Don’t worry.  Writer’s Block is not contagious.  You made the right move going after the cheesecake.  Back in 2003, there was a six month panic when it was widely believed that Writer’s Block could indeed spread from author to author.  This explains the popularity of hazmat suits worn by writers at book signings at that time. 

The fear was so acute a vaccine for Writer’s Block was developed by scientists at MIT.  Writers were inoculated before SCBWI local chapter meetings.  However, many writers complained of bizarre side effects.  Writers of non-fantasy suddenly started putting dwarves in their stories.  J.K. Rowling seriously considered giving Harry Potter a sex change operation.  Dystopian authors were tempted to make their novels non-violent.  The vaccine was immediately taken off the market.  Macmillan filed a five billion dollar lawsuit against MIT which is still in litigation.  The bottom line is, all the fear turned out to be unfounded.  Writer’s Block is not contagious.  Don’t worry, Cassy.  You’re safe!

Yours truly,
James Mihaley


  1. I like the new "agony uncle" gig, James. Glad I was never inoculated!

  2. Oh my gosh, this is hilarious. I was stuck for two weeks on 12 picture book words. It was AWFUL. Thankfully, the contagion didn't spread.


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