Thanksgiving Phobias: 5 Signs You Have “Turkey Block”

by Jenny Hansen

Photo by Lynn Kelley Author ~ WANA Commons

Photo by Lynn Kelley Author ~ WANA Commons


It’s less than two weeks till Thanksgiving and I have a confession…

I am afraid to make a turkey.

Seriously, it’s like writer’s block…only instead of a fear of the page, it’s a fear of the bird.

My brother talks about his Thanksgiving Bird like it’s his holiday love muffin: rubbing it with butter, seasoning it…BRINING it, for Pete’s sake. There’s a whole freaking wall at Williams Sonoma right now, dedicated to the bird. It’s more than a little scary.

I can’t take the responsibility of being in charge of the main event, I just can’t. So I pawned it off on Hubby. I even got him a “brining kit,” although I’m not exactly sure what it is.

I saw a post with the five main symptoms of writer’s block and I have ALL FIVE, only with The Turkey. I’ll put them below so you can see what I mean, and heap sympathy upon me in my time of need.

Symptom #1: No Ideas

If you are stuck and have no ideas, it is probably because you started in writing, prepping your bird, without doing the ground work of brainstorming and planning.

Note: This is why Hubby is tasked with The Bird and I have everything else! I’d rather make sweet potatoes, green bean casserole, cranberry fluff, mashed potatoes, stuffing and three pies than do ONE turkey.

[I told you…I’ve got Turkey Block.]

Symptom #2: Boredom

Either you have chosen a topic turkey you are not particularly interested in, or you’ve been assigned a topic bird you just don’t care much about. Either way, you are stuck because you are bored with your topic turkey.

Remedy: Give the job to your spouse.

Symptom #3: Lack of Confidence

If you feel you aren’t qualified to do the writing turkey, you will be stuck from the onset. You may worry that your grammar gobbler technique isn’t good enough or you have poor spelling basting skills. You may be hearing criticisms in your head from previous attempts at writing turkey-making.

Remedy: Give the job to your spouse.

Symptom #4: Anxiety

When you are full of anxiety about something, you feel agitated, fidgety, jittery. Your mind goes in every possible direction except to the task at hand.


Remedy: Sit or lie comfortably in a quiet, dimly lit space. Close your eyes and settle your breathing. Then picture yourself doing the required writing turkey. Don’t think about the content bird that needs to be written conquered, only see yourself writing conquering said gobbler. Notice details surrounding you and the turkey…Then notice how you feel about the image and how the person you see feels. Sit with this image for as long as you can.

[I’m pretty much calling crapola on that “remedy.”]

Symptom #5: Stress

When stress has its grip, you can’t think straight. You can’t even begin to sit still and do some writing turkey-wrestling.

Remedy: Have a pre-writing pre-bird ritual that helps you to slow down and relax. Know in advance where you plan to write cook and prepare your space. Make it free of clutter and get out your supplies and materials. Then do some physical activity to relax your muscles and clear your mind. Take several deep breaths and do some long, slow stretches.

[So really, they’re saying: “Have some sex instead of worrying about your turkey.”]

Addendum: Nope. Not working. I’m still imagining having to look my guests in the eye and apologize for my dry-a$$ pitiful turkey.

How about you? Have you conquered the Turkey Frontier? What are your secrets? Continue the discussion at the #SocialIn hashtag on Twitter or SocialInDC on Facebook!

~ Jenny


About Jenny Hansen

By day, Jenny provides training and social media marketing for an accounting firm. By night she writes humor, memoir, women’s fiction and short stories. After 15 years as a corporate software trainer, she’s delighted to sit down while she works.

When she’s not at her personal blog, More Cowbell, Jenny can be found on Twitter at JennyHansenCA or at Writers In The Storm. Jenny also writes the Risky Baby Business posts at More Cowbell, a series that focuses on babies, new parents and high-risk pregnancy.

© 2013 Jenny Hansen. All content on this page is protected by copyright. If you would like to use any part of this, please contact me at the above links to request permission.

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