Writer’s Block

(This was a writing exercise for one of my creative writing classes)

One hour.  Sixty minutes.  That is how long I am supposed to write for.  One hour doesn’t sound too bad, but sixty minutes?  The clock reads “8:24.”  That means I have to write until “9:24.”  Do I really have anything that interesting to say that it will take me a whole hour?  Doubtful.  I mean, I live with my thoughts everyday, twenty-four hours a day.  I do have enough thoughts to fill up a day, are any worth remembering?  Hmm…

Adjust my chair, scoot closer to the computer screen since I already took off my glasses and I’ve had to erase and rewrite several words already.  But now my chair is too far over so I have to scoot it over again.  I think it’s back to where it originally started from now.

My wrists are already starting to hurt.  There’s no way I could possibly type another hour.  I already sat in front of a computer for eight hours today at work.

Blink, blink, blink.  That darn over anxious cursor is just too eager to work.  Sometimes I can’t think that fast.  Blink, blink, blink.  I think the cursor is actually taunting me.  I’m being taunted by a cursor.  How am I expected to work under such conditions?  Blink, blink, blink.

Let’s see, I’m not even to half a page yet, am I?   Unless of course, I went to double spaces.  Then I might be closing in on a page.  But who cares?  Nobody will read this unless I happen to write a million dollar book tomorrow, and then die the day after.  Even this would be worth something then.  I doubt it.

How can I tell if what I’m writing is actually entertaining?  I may be having a hard time writing something because I’m cracking myself up (this would not be an example of that), but the person who reads it might have a hard time reading it because that person keeps falling asleep.  What is the essence of good?  I think timing has everything to do with it.  Something that people love to read now, may not have been popular years ago or even years from now.

How was that for BS-ing my way to nearly half a page?  Have I written anything of importance?  Um, no.

Oh, I’m sliding down in the chair, have to adjust my seating arrangement again.  I decided to save this.  I must think it’s cuter than I’m letting on.  Of course I do.  The only difference between writers and other people is the fact that writers think that their thoughts are so important and grand, everyone else would want to know them.  “Oh, look at me, I’m a writer, I have these great thoughts.”  I’ve known some wise people in my life, and many nuggets of wisdom have come from many different sources.  Even the most ignorant person can occasionally spout off a deep thought or two.  But the writers are the ones, well, writing things down.  My thoughts are not any more moving or wise than another person’s, I just try to write mine down is all.  Or at least, I’m learning to take the time to do so.

I used to do it on a much more regular basis, but once I discovered I’m not as smart as I think I am, I quit writing.  Now to get back into the habit, and to do it more so than I did before, well, that’s why I’m in the predicament I’m in tonight.

“8:39.”  It’s not even nine o’clock yet.  But I think I’m getting to the end of a page.  Still “8:39.”  I think my clock must be broken.  Finally, “8:40.”  Let’s see, I had to take a pause and figure out how long I’ve been writing for.  Sixteen minutes?!  That’s it!

But I do see the end of the page.  Another minute ticks by.

Oh, now I’m slouching again.  Sit up stratght…straight.  Lean forward a bit, too, so that I can see the monitor better.

Roll my shoulders a couple of time.  Stretch my neck a little bit.  Hmm, there’s got to be a better way to describe stretching my neck.  Let’s see, twisting my head? No, that sounds like I should be in the movie “The Exorcist.”  Bob my head back and forth?  No, now I’m sounding like a dancer.  Shake my head?  Now I sound like, well, like I could be crazy.  I guess stretch my neck will be the best description tonight.

Paye…Page 2!  Woo-hoo.  And it is “8:45.”  Let’s see, more math.  Twenty-four plus fifteen would be…oh, why didn’t I start at “8:25?”  The math would be so much easier. Thirty-nine minutes.  I’ll admit, I used a paper and pen to figure that out.  Thirty-nine minutes.  That’s still over thirty minutes away!

Of course, I do have some stories I could prroo….prr…proofread.  That should count for something.

This room is a very quiet room.  Only the sound of an occasional car passing on the street outside is heard.  Plus, some kind of faint strange sound.  I can’t tell if it’s coming from the tv in the next room, or some kind of animal outside.  It sounds too rhythmic.  Ooh, that word took some time.  I was trying to spell it rythmetic.  Of course, the spell checker went crazy with that.  So, I tried using the computer’s spell checker.  I could not find that word in the spell checker at all (go figure!).  Finally, after trying different variations of it (rythmn, rthm, etc.), I stormed into the other room to consult the dictionary.  “Stupid spell checker,” I mumbled.  “It doesn’t even work right!”  I got a little sidetracked by the words sanguine and sanguineous.  I’ll have to try to use those more often.  Oddly enough, the dictionary also didn’t have rythmn.  Hmm.  I went back to the computer’s thesaurus and typed in “Melody.”  That wasn’t a big help.  I typed in “Beat.”  Oops, my mistake.  That pesky “h,” I forget it all the time.  And keep trying to had an “n.”

Another save.  I pity the poor person who embarks on this article.  “9:02.”  Yes, easy math.  Twenty-two minutes..  Twenty-three now.  That whole dictionary excursion took some time.  All for one word.

Oh, I’m slouching again and have to sit up straight.  Lean forward so that I can see the computer screen.  Shake out my wrists.  Blink, blink, blink.  My mom is talking on the phone in the other room now.  If …I… type… slower, I… can… eavesdrop… easier.  Nothing excitng…exciting for me thought…though.

“9:06,” the math is harder again.  Eighteen minutes left.  What exciting bit of information can I share in eighteen minutes?  Stretch out my back again.  Sit up straight again.  Stretch my arms out a little bit.  Now my neck.  Blink, blink, blink.  The cursor seems to be sanguine.  “C’mon,” it blinks, “let… me… say… some… thing… im… por…tant… for… you.   I’m… read… y… to… work… for… you.  I’m…wait…ing…for…you.  What…are…you?  Stu…pid?  Let…me… work… for… you!  Put…me…to…work.  I…want…to…work…for…you.  I… know… you’ll… think… of… something… great.  What… is… writ…er’s… block?”

Save again.  Let’s be honest, I really do think I’m quite clever.  “9:12.”  Easy math again.  Twelve minutes.  How effective was tonight?  Well, in twelve minutes I will have written for a whole hour.  So what?!  Who will sit through this jibberish?!

I learned rhythm is spelled with an “h” and no “n.”  Though, I’ve learne…learned that before and a lot of good it did me.  I relearned the definition of sanguine and made a goal to use ilt… it more.

“9:14!”  Ten minutes left.  Stretch out the arms again.  Sit up again.  Lean forward again.

Almost to the bottom of page 2.  Two whl… whole pages and then a little dribble on a third.  This has been fifty-one minutes of my life.  That’s a bit scary.  These are the thoughts that I thought another person would enjoy?  That another person would appreciate?

I think I might be a bit pompous.

Page three.  Time is flying by now, seven minutes remaining.  Mom is talking to her friend on the phone and her laughter rings through the walls.  Doesn’t she know I’m trying to write?  I’m trying to be creative here, I need absolute stillness.

Blink, blink, blink.  That cursor is starting to annoy me.  Six minutes.  Stretch my back and yawn a great big yawn.  Now my eyes are watering just a bit.  Five minutes.  I looked back at the window.  It’s dark now.  The faint sounds from the tv in the bedroom next to me can still be heard.  Four minutes.  But the unnerving sound that started the whole “rhythmic” search is gone.  Whatever it was.  Sit up again.  Three minutes.  Isn’t that close enough really?  I’ve come this far, I’m going to finish it now.  Um, but how?  Blink, blink, blink.  Writer’s block is a cursed thing.  Two minutes.  Fifty-eight minutes I’ve spent clicking and clacking away at this keyboard.  Two and a quarter page – single spaced.  I could have written something exciting.  A possible lead on an epic story.  Instead, I’ve written this.  My mind freezes up and goes blank.  I read over the pst… past few minutes.  “9:24!”  My time is done.  This is how I spent the past hour.  Couldn’t I think of something better to do?!


Originally posted May 11, 2012

Hair Today

I was supposed to be writing a fabulous, genius-piece short story.  Instead, I stared at the cursor while it blinked at me.  I had a great story about a princess in mind but the fire is gone and everything I’ve written is now erased.   Which just makes me more frustrated because I have a project I want to complete.  But…blink, blink, blink.

So, I decided to take a nice warm shower to relax and get the creative juices flowing.   Still nothing.  I washed my hair and ran my fingers through my hair.  At least, tried to.  My hair has always been the bane of my existence.  You may think I’m prone to hyperbole but I’m not.  I’ve had three good hair days my entire life and I’ve been alive for a few more than three days.  

The first good hair day occurred when my sister-in-law, CC, gave me a makeover.  I was fifteen and for the first time, felt like a looker.  And, to be honest, I was. 

The second good hair day happened when I got primped for senior pictures.  I went to church the next day and one of my friends asked, “Did your sister-in-law help you with your hair?”

“No,” I said. 

“Oh,” she replied, “you just look so…” she caught herself.  “Your hair just looks like she did it.”  Nice save.

The third good hair day happened just a couple years ago.  I discovered I don’t have one good picture of me.  Being single, I never got the fancy wedding pictures.  So, I had glam pictures done.  Don’t mock.  Someday, I’m going to need a video of my life done and I wanted at least one good picture.

Perhaps you noticed the common denominator for all three days.  Somebody else styled my hair.  Long ago I realized I’m missing that crucial gene most girls have that help them do their hair.  That’s one of the reasons I want to become stinkin’ rich.  A stylist would be on my payroll.  That and I’d like to get me an island.  Let’s face it, I just want to upgrade my odd status to eccentric.

But I digress.  Let’s recap, I was in the shower supposed to be coming up with a doozy of a short story.  I ran my fingers through my hair and that’s when I realized:  I have a mullet.  I’m pretty sure that’s not what I asked for the last time I got my hair done.  I made a mental note to find a picture as an example to take.  Obviously, I have trouble communicating verbally what I want because this is not what I want.

photo courtesy the web

I have a small round face and my hair grows in thick.  When it’s long, I resemble a Chia pet. 

photo courtesy the web

When it’s short, I look like someone who needs help grooming (which I guess I just proved I do).   A long time ago I noticed a discrepancy between what I see in the mirror (cute) and what I see in photos (oh dear).  I hoped the mirror was the more accurate of the two.  But then I noticed everyone else in a photo looks like themselves (dang me).  Now, don’t get me wrong.  I think I have a lot of potential.  For example, I have a very cute nose of which I’m very grateful.  I just have trouble assembling all my potential together into a cute package.

Here’s hoping I get my windfall soon.  Because if I get my own island, it won’t matter what my hair looks like.