… and waiting, and waiting, and waiting.
She’d sat there waiting for something to happen for over an hour. The blank screen quivered under the yellow light. Falling forward, her head hit the keyboard, making a line of b’s buzz across the page.
Bee’s, she thought. Could I write about bee’s? She lifted her head, momentarily inspired, only to rest her chin in her hand when she remembered she didn’t really know anything about bees.
Attempting a first line, she pecked out a catchy sentence, ‘It wasn’t the first time this had happened to her.’ Glaring at her pathetic attempt at a hook, she deleted all of it.
The B’s were gone, and so was her hook.
Hook, she thought. That made her think of fish. Pacific salmon was delicious. Soon enough she’d get some, but for now she had to be patient. And she needed to get some damn words out onto the page!
With a heavy sigh she returned to the task at hand. Writing. Who’s idea was it do try being a writer? Oh yeah… hers.
What could she say that hadn’t been said before? What could she say that was relevant and worth the bandwidth it took up?
Pausing for dramatic effect, she listened to the whirring of her mind. One minute. Two minutes. Twenty minutes. Still nothing.
Head back on the keyboard, a series of v’s covered the screen. Like a flock of birds flying south for the winter.
Birds, she thought. I like birds. I could write about birds! She didn’t really know anything about birds. Liking something and knowing about something are two different things.
She knew she wanted to say something. Something that could help people get through this challenging time with a little grace. Something that offered some sort of advice, without being preachy. Something that could mean something to someone.
She stared at the gibber jabber on the screen. No flow. No focus. No good. Her brain ached from too much thinking, which got her thinking…
Maybe she could write about meditation? But she was no Guru. There was no formal training in her background, and who was she to tell others how to live their lives if she couldn’t even spit out a coherent thought?
It was no use. She was wasting precious time and her deadline was approaching fast. Maybe she could un-archive something from way back and repurpose it. She decided that was cheating.
Two and a half hours had gone by and she had nothing to show for it. She worried about what would happen if she couldn’t produce something. Maybe she was out of ideas, all dried up.
Maybe she wasn’t meant to be a writer. Maybe she dreamed wrong.
Maybe she was just adding to the noise. Maybe her ideas actually sucked.
Maybe she didn’t leave enough time to cook dinner before her children got hangry. She didn’t like cooking.
Glancing over at her sleeping dog, not a care in the world, she felt a pang of jealousy.
She was exhausted by her own “process.” It was time to give up for the day. Three hours of spinning her wheels was quite enough for one session. Tomorrow would be better. And if not, she’d try again anyway.
Liking something isn’t the same as knowing a lot about it. But it’s a good place to start. She liked writing… a lot. The rest she could learn.
After all, she reminded herself, what did Maya Angelou say, “You can’t use up creativity. The more you use, the more you have.”
A bad day of writing was still better than a day with no writing, or so she kept telling herself.