The bane of every writer is that moment. The moment when you’re looking at a blank computer screen (or other device), the virtual (or physical) blank piece of paper with pen (or other writing instrument) in hand…
And nothing comes.
No flash of light. No bright idea, nothing. It’s as if time stands still, only you clearly hear the clock ticking in the background, otherwise silence. Well, not really silence, because you hear the refrigerator cycling, the rustling of trees in the wind outside and your stomach growling; still nothing.
You quickly type random characters and look for a keyword to launch an idea; nothing. Randomly scribble or doodle on the paper looking for an inspiring mark, again, only the void.
Next anxiety builds. You have made a commitment. You have accepted this responsibility, even if only self-imposed. It’s never as easy as it appears to others and now – in this moment – it is beyond our imagination.
Still nothing and self deprecation begins. Why did I take on this project in the first place? I’m not a writer. A real writer would write and I can’t even seem to do that. Who do I think I am? I’m not worthy. My life is a sham. (A writer who doesn’t write. Really?) Give me a break!
I need a break. That’ll do it. Get up, abandon ship temporarily. Get a coffee. Stop by the bathroom, look in the mirror, recite a litany of cuss words, and maybe even bellow out a frantic scream. Carefully place your oversized cup of coffee on the desk, then throw yourself face-down on the floor and act out a toddler-like tantrum. Get up. Shake it off. Sit down, and, here it comes…
I think about some of the authors I know. We’re cordial, congenial, compassionate and copacetic… and we read each other’s stuff… What stuff? I’m writing a big fat bunch of nothing! Zip! Nada!
Dear God! (oh, yeah, pray…) Why did you let me get into this mess? (oops, I meant, “pray”) Give me an idea, a glimmer of hope, a sign…
(tap, tap, tap…)
I knew it! There is no God!
If You were there, and You wanted me to believe in You, then for Your sake, gimme a figgin’ break here!
This is all Your fault! You plopped us all down here and let us do all this reading and writing crap, now look where that’s gotten us. Well, me – in particular – right here and now. And you started all this!
It’s You and You’re all (in my best whiny sarcastic voice), “Oh, I’ll just let them loose on this friggin’ planet and let them think and fend for themselves, and sit back and laugh when they can’t think of anything to write.”
Oh, sure laugh it up, All Mighty. I bet this is a hoot. You’re up there texting whoever-it-is You text up there, with all Your: LMFAOs all over the wherever You are.
This whole thing is just one big joke.
Have I lost my mind?
Did I ever have one in the first place?
How’d I get myself into this one?
Somebody give me a friggin’ break!
Okay, you want something? Here you go, take this:
How’d you like it?
What was it?
It was a huge serving of NOTHING.
See how YOU like it.
How do you like it?
(You have got to be kidding me)
Fa crine out loud.
(Raskum saskum low dowl mulhaskum)
Not one friggin’ thing.
That’s it. I’m done.
Done. (Somebody, stick a fork in me.)
I don’t even care.
So there, chicken hair.