Thursday, March 08, 2007

Writer's Block

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 better call it a day.


Paul H. Boge said...

Hi Eric,

That is so true. There is something reasuuring about having a person email or write you to say that they were inspired because of something you wrote. I wonder why that is. My guess is it's because there's an understanding that God is using us to impact people.

Blessings to you,


Deborah said...

Great rendition of writer's block. I'm sure all of us can identify with it. And certainly all of us need those signs of encouragement to continue. It's not easy to write.

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