MUSINGS ON WRITING
The writer's profession is a strange and weird calling. As a writer of novels, articles and non-fiction books, I occasionally ask myself (as does my wife) why I didn't choose to be a ditch digger or some other useful profession. Sigh, it's a calling, a compulsion, an itch, and sometimes not unlike self-flagellation. And thus in this blog, I'll bare my soul and post all kinDs of trivia about writing.
|Posted by [email protected] on March 26, 2013 at 4:35 PM||comments (0)|
I sit staring at the blank screen . . . and staring . . . and staring. Nothing.
A massive writer’s block, like an arctic cold front, has frozen all creativity. My fountain of ideas is a block of ice. I shiver. Why, oh why, was I so stupid as to accept this assignment? With the deadline a few days away I feel desperate. My kingdom for a warm idea!
Well, I’ll just check my e-mail. Hum, cheap drugs—cheap stock options on a gold mine—cheap Rolex reproductions. OK, back to the grind.
A blank screen. What gave me the idea I could write, anyway? Why didn’t I take up curling or tiddly winks or knitting?
No use sitting here biting my lip. I’ll work on another project already in process. That should unthaw my idea bank.
Ah, that’s better. An article already roughed out. But as I scroll through the story, a terrible truth dawns. It’s appalling. I darken the first two paragraphs and hit the delete button.
Whoa, Nelly, that might not be wise in my current state. Better to restore and come back another day.
A cup of coffee, that’s what I need. So I measure out the grounds—extra to make it strong—pour in the water, flip the switch and pace up and down until I hear the beep to tell me it’s ready.
Back in my office I set down my steaming mug and stare again at the screen. Take a sip and stare. And stare some more. Take a long slurp and turn my attention to realigning my stapler, flicking some dust off my keyboard, and checking the calendar. Maybe I’ve mistaken the deadline. Wishful thinking.
Obviously, coffee won’t do it. I’ll just check my e-mail again. Might be some new messages. No?
Maybe I need a walk or an hour spent grubbing in the garden. Get real Eric, it’s March.
Get out of the house. That’ll do it. Buy groceries. Wander up and down the aisles of Canadian Tire. Find some useless doodad.
Much later, the groceries put away, I sit and stare again at a blank screen.
Better check the e-mail. What’s this? A note. “Your last article was a real blessing.” Well, maybe I’ll keep writing after all but I'll start again tomorrow.