What’s Up, Doc?

“Why, if it isn’t my favorite patient,” said Dr. R. U. Forereel, a not unsubtle note of sarcasm in her voice, when I entered her office last week for my monthly psychiatric session. “Have a seat, Neil. Which of your numerous problems would you like to discuss today?”

“Well, if you don’t mind, I want to talk about my recent difficulties with writing,” I said as I sat myself down in the patient chair. “I’m sure you remember that I’ve been turning out articles since 2015 for my website Yeah, Another Blogger.”

Dr. Forereel made no attempt to turn her head away from me as she rolled her eyes. “Are you kidding me? Of course I know about Yeah, Another Blogger. How could I not know, considering that you mention it every damn time I see you? Okay, tell me what’s on your mind.”

“Doctor, it’s never been a snap for me to come up with story ideas and develop them into written pieces. But the last couple of weeks have been terrible. I mean, I’ve been stuck in traffic, going nowhere, paddling against the current . . . ”

Dr. Forereel cut me off. “Enough with the clichés already. I get it! You have writer’s block, right?”

“Bingo,” I said.

Dr. Forereel paused for a long moment, playing with the several chin hairs that she’d have done well to dispose of at home. Then she began to talk again.

“Neil, I’m in the process of writing my memoirs, as you know. I have you to thank for that, needless to say. I’ve plugged away at the book religiously every night after work for the last seven months, and on weekends too, with remarkable results. No writer’s block for me. Last night I completed the section about my life at age four, the age at which it became apparent to one and all, including me, that I was not a people person. That personality trait has continued to this day, by the way.”

What?” I yelled. “After hundreds and hundreds of hours of work you’re only up to age four? At this rate you won’t finish the book for another 25 years! And if you’re not a people person, then why in the world did you pursue psychiatry?”

“Neil, the world will welcome my autobiography no matter when it is published. Of that I’m certain. And, to answer your question, a central message of the book, one that millions of people will take heart from, will be this: It’s absolutely fine to be ill-suited for one’s profession. Why waste time trying out different occupations, hoping and praying that one of them will prove to be a wonderful fit? Just grab indiscriminately at something, put your nose to the grindstone and get on with it. Whatever that it might be. Don’t you agree?”

I was dumbfounded. Which didn’t stop me from cobbling together a response. “You’ve just proven to me that you’re a remarkable theorist, doctor,” I said. “What’s more, a bad match though you might be for psychiatry, you are a wonder-worker too. Where would I, and who knows how many others, be without you? You have illuminated a few of the dark recesses of my mind over the years. Not that I feel any better as a result of that, but at least I have more to talk about with people than I used to. For that, I’m eternally in your debt.”

“So glad to be and to have been of service. You won’t mind, I hope, if I mention you by name in my memoirs?”

“Certainly not. Especially since it seems I’ll be long gone or too old to care by the time your book hits the market. You know, I must say today’s session has been unusually enlivening and enlightening, so much so that I feel the need to write up an account of what you and I have discussed this afternoon. I am totally confident that writer’s block will not be an issue. And then, with your permission, naturally, I’ll publish the story on my blog.”

“You have my blessings,” my doctor said. “After all, your previous descriptions of our encounters brought me a substantial number of new patients. They’d never have known I existed had it not been for you.”

“I’m really glad to hear that,” I replied. “And I barely can wait to get back home and put my fingers on my computer’s keyboard. Because of you, doctor, Yeah, Another Blogger will live to see another day!”

131 thoughts on “What’s Up, Doc?

  1. Lynette d'Arty-Cross April 18, 2023 / 12:44 am

    Great post; your sense of humour is very evident and enjoyable, Neil. But then again, what blogger hasn’t had their creativity punctuated by slow writing periods? 😉

    Liked by 4 people

  2. gabychops April 18, 2023 / 1:07 am

    Am I the only person reading this, Neil, who wonders how sane you are?
    To pay someone to talk to is absurd when you have a beloved wife and friends,
    and it would save you heaps of money and produce much better results if you told yourself every morning after brushing your teeth and looking into the bathroom mirror, I am great, I am clever and talented, am I not, mirror?
    And the mirror would reply, Yes, you are!
    Writer’s block?! Nonsense, you could find inspiration, Neil, in the telephone directory! And the bearded doctor could be another imaginary ploy to keep us amused and craving your posts! Just get typing.
    According to the great Ernest Hemingway, writing is easy, you just seat at the typewriter and you bleed.


    Liked by 5 people

  3. janesturgeoncelebrant April 18, 2023 / 2:56 am

    Chuckling…Go, Neil… x

    Liked by 4 people

  4. Paddy Tobin April 18, 2023 / 3:54 am

    The doctor is not alone in choosing a job to which they are not suited. I’ve met several through my working life. I was more fortunate in my own choice. Writer’s block always passes.

    Liked by 4 people

    • Yeah, Another Blogger April 18, 2023 / 5:12 pm

      Hi Paddy. Conversely, some people have more than one big-time career going at the same time. I know of a dentist who is/was also a psychologist.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Paddy Tobin April 18, 2023 / 5:23 pm

        I wouldn’t leave him into my mouth!

        Liked by 1 person

  5. joylennick April 18, 2023 / 4:04 am

    You could write a blog about a plastic bag and make it amusing, Neil. Humour nearly always saves the day! Cheers.

    Liked by 4 people

  6. johnlmalone April 18, 2023 / 4:58 am

    glad to hear you and the doc are still hitting if off so well, Neil 🙂 hilariously tongue-in-cheek 🙂

    Liked by 3 people

  7. Scott Dubois April 18, 2023 / 5:37 am

    Good post
    What a humorous and entertaining dialogue between the patient and their psychiatrist! It’s great to see the patient seeking help for their writer’s block and getting some unexpected advice from their doctor. The article also highlights the importance of sticking with a profession, even if it’s not the perfect fit. Overall, a fun little read.
    Scott Dubois
    Civic Edge Lifestyle


    Liked by 4 people

  8. swabby429 April 18, 2023 / 6:02 am

    To indiscriminately select a job for which I was ill-suited describes my career path perfectly. Now I feel much better about my life, too. 😁

    Liked by 4 people

  9. tylerus April 18, 2023 / 6:11 am

    I love your wit. You should bottle it; I’d buy it! 😉

    Liked by 4 people

  10. Helen Devries April 18, 2023 / 8:20 am

    Your doctor reminded me of the days when French notaires could inherit the practice from their fathers without having to have any qualifications. I had dealings with one of the old breed who was perfectly competent unlike his qualified successor who was a pain in the proverbial…..
    Keep on trucking and run that writers’ block into the ground.

    Liked by 4 people

  11. Joyce Christine HAMILTON April 18, 2023 / 8:35 am

    Funny! I am waiting to see your beautiful Spring flower photos!

    Liked by 3 people

  12. Dave April 18, 2023 / 8:52 am

    Dr. Forereel to the rescue! Even when I keep writer’s block at bay, it seems the words flow one day and get all garbled the next. It’s a unique challenge, but we keep coming back to the keyboard because we love it, don’t we? Write when the topic inspires and be patient when it doesn’t. Your readers are willing to wait, even if it’s to simply to hear about another visit with the good doctor.

    Liked by 5 people

    • Yeah, Another Blogger April 18, 2023 / 5:20 pm

      Hi Dave. Somewhere down the line I’ll write again about Dr. Forereel. After all, she’s a big part of my life.


  13. mariezhuikov April 18, 2023 / 9:25 am

    I love how you just snuck this in there: Dr. Forereel paused for a long moment, playing with the several chin hairs that she’d have done well to dispose of at home.

    Liked by 3 people

  14. Paula B April 18, 2023 / 12:06 pm

    I’m glad you have Dr. Forereel to encourage you, Neil. She and her chinhairs continue to do your eager readers a great service!

    Liked by 2 people

  15. annieasksyou April 18, 2023 / 1:31 pm

    Glad Dr. Forereel helped you through this dry spell, Neil. Have you ever posed the obvious question to her: “Well, are you…?”?

    Liked by 2 people

  16. sniderjerry April 18, 2023 / 1:46 pm

    Hey there Neil, My doctor told me I had mutiple personalities. I said I don’t like that and niether do we. Then he sent me twelve copies of the same bill. Go figure. Have a nice day. Jerry

    Liked by 2 people

      • eden baylee April 18, 2023 / 7:47 pm

        Writer’s block is real, so be kind to yourself. Sometimes posts just happen when we least expect it.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Yeah, Another Blogger April 18, 2023 / 8:13 pm

          Hi Eden. Well, actually I don’t have writer’s block. I threw that subject into the story to see where it might lead me. Take care. See ya!

          Liked by 2 people

  17. Robert Parker April 18, 2023 / 6:47 pm

    Thanks for a fun block 🎈 party! Have you ever had a chance to get a close look at this Dr’s diploma? It may just be an artistic license. But definitely keep consulting with her she’s obviously a great medico-muse when you’re stuck, looking forward to her autobiography and I’m sure you’ll be a whole chapter “Delusions Can Be A Lot of Fun!”

    Liked by 2 people

  18. talebender April 18, 2023 / 8:28 pm

    Great dialogue, back and forth, lots of humourous exchanges! Hope your health insurance covers writing prompts!

    Liked by 2 people

  19. Ann Coleman April 18, 2023 / 10:48 pm

    I usually laugh at your posts, because they are that good and that funny, but I don’t often snort soda out my nose on the first sentence. That has to be some sort of record, right???

    Liked by 3 people

  20. selizabryangmailcom April 18, 2023 / 11:24 pm

    I started out trying to do a post a week, but it made me anxiety-ridden. Now I’m at once a month, but even THAT can be a challenge sometimes.
    Some people write stuff religiously in here, every week, without fail. I’m sure you’ve noticed! What the hell?! No idea how they do it.
    But writing about not writing–good idea! This one’s hilarious. Thank you! lol

    Liked by 2 people

    • Yeah, Another Blogger April 19, 2023 / 7:21 am

      Hey, Stacey. Some WordPress bloggers post pieces every day, sometimes twice a day or even more. It’s amazing.


      • snakesinthegrass2014 April 19, 2023 / 8:23 pm

        I’m in the position now, Neil. My wife never saw it, and so I’ve been re-watching all the episodes over the last month. We’re on the last season now. I couldn’t resist the Dr. Melfi reference here. 😆

        Liked by 1 person

  21. 100 Country Trek April 19, 2023 / 4:17 pm

    Thanks for sharing this idea. This made me smile
    Thanks Anita
    Can you follow my Blog ..let me know .

    Liked by 1 person

  22. shoreacres April 19, 2023 / 9:32 pm

    Such an enjoyable read, Neil; it had me smiling the whole way through. It also reminded me of one of my favorite jokes, told to me by a practitioner of the psychiatric arts: “How many psychiatrists does it take to change a light bulb?”
    “Only one, but the light bulb has to really want to change.”

    Liked by 2 people

  23. Alyson April 20, 2023 / 3:17 am

    You started blogging the year before me Neil and I too am finding it harder to find inspiration on a regular basis. We move into a different phase I think. Thank goodness for people like the doctor – one of your best characters.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Yeah, Another Blogger April 20, 2023 / 8:18 am

      I like the writing routine I’ve been in for the last two or three or more years: I publish one story every two weeks.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Alyson April 20, 2023 / 8:53 am

        Yes, it’s great to have the discipline of a regular routine. Makes it a bit like a job, but a fun job.

        Liked by 1 person

  24. J P April 20, 2023 / 6:08 am

    I have thought about seeing a psychiatrist but decided against it. Many already suspect that I’m nuts. Going to a psychiatrist would serve as an admission that they’re right.

    Liked by 2 people

  25. Ally Bean April 20, 2023 / 10:24 am

    Thanks for the smile. This just goes to prove that everything and anything can be a great blog post, when an astute blogger is involved.

    Liked by 2 people

  26. Platypus Man April 20, 2023 / 11:02 am

    Wonderful post, Neil, the highlight of my day! Your description of Dr. R. U. Forereel reminds me that one my greatest fears in life is that one day I might find myself trapped in a broken down elevator with only a psychiatrist for company. They’re nearly as mad as politicians!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Yeah, Another Blogger April 20, 2023 / 12:58 pm

      Hi. After reading your comments, a movie popped into my head. It’s about a psychiatrist and a Mafia don. It’s called Analyze This. Billy Crystal and Robert DeNiro are in it.

      Liked by 1 person

  27. andrewcferguson April 21, 2023 / 5:20 am

    Doctor Forereel might be onto something. Incidentally, in the spirit of light bulb jokes, how many psychologists does it take to change a light bulb? Only one but they don’t change the light bulb. They write a pop psychology book called ‘Coping With Darkness…’

    Liked by 2 people

  28. cincinnatibabyhead April 21, 2023 / 1:07 pm

    I had a hard time continuing on after the “chin hairs”. That’s a hell of an image fella. Lots of dope and booze for creativity.

    Liked by 2 people

  29. The Architect April 22, 2023 / 6:33 pm

    Your encounter with Dr. Forereel highlights the creative mind’s challenges and the importance of connection. Embrace the brain’s boundless potential and life’s complexities, for within this vibrant tapestry of experiences lies our existence’s true beauty.

    _Synaptic Sage Solomon_

    Liked by 2 people

  30. Shelley@QuaintRevival.com April 24, 2023 / 6:44 am

    🤣 That’s the best muse doctor name ever! Dr. R. U. Forereel. Way to take overcoming writer’s block to a whole new level 🤣😂🤣🥰

    Liked by 2 people

  31. Linda Pearce Griffin April 25, 2023 / 12:36 pm

    I read this and realized I was grinning like the infamous cheshire cat – thanks to Dr. Forereel and those chin hairs……..and perhaps you are somewhere in that mix. Btw, I have had multiple incarnations aka careers in my lifetime. So I completely understand that one could be unsuited to one’s chosen profession. Of course, my solution was – leave it and find something that suits you. And here I am writing away – which I have loved since childhood. Hmmmm…..
    Anywhoo, thanks for making me smile today. I’m going to check the mirror for chin hairs. Bye!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Yeah, Another Blogger April 25, 2023 / 8:53 pm

      You and I both enjoy writing. And, because of the internet and WordPress, we can set our own deadlines, not have to deal with editors, and write about whatever we want to!

      Liked by 2 people

  32. rkrontheroad April 25, 2023 / 12:42 pm

    Wherever you find your inspiration… it works! I enjoy following the antics of this doctor and her quirky view of life (and you!).

    Liked by 2 people

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