Wednesday, November 27, 2013

I have writer's vacuum, but at least I saved a frog

I’m not producing a damn thing at the moment, yet I don’t consider myself to be suffering from writer’s block. ‘Block’ suggests that there exists a great reservoir of words hanging dense and fluid in mind, and that to unleash the flood all I have to do is roll aside that mental stone, pull the pesky little boy’s thumb out of the dike and fuck the risk of Holland flooding, or place an oversized crate of dynamite at the base of the dam and try not to get drowned in a tumultuous, roiling, foaming, crashing wave of coruscating verbiage. 

I have no sense of there being any such reservoir, which you may consider no bad thing given the potential of unleashing so many unnecessary adjectives. I detect nothing behind my absence of inspiration and words. In short, I have writer’s vacuum. 

Unfortunately, this does not mean I can stand beside Neil Gaiman, David Mitchell or Louis de Bernieres and employ the relative difference in creative pressure to greedily slurp up ideas through their ears. Nor does it mean I can use my mind to hoover up all of those biscuit crumbs, crisp fragments and gloopy lumps of chocolate—the decaying remnants of comfort eating—gradually coalescing around the legs of my writing desk into a single clump organic matter that may one day become sentient. No, it means my mind is a dark, cold and gaping void (if you have trouble picturing such bleak emptiness, look into David Cameron’s eyes). If an inter-dimensional rift doesn’t opens up and throw me a cosmic bone soon, I’m either going to have to get a new keyboard or a new forehead, depending on which gives way first.

I do actually have plenty of things to work on: half-finished short stories, concepts and outlines for over a dozen novels, and a working idea for a kids’ book. Yet any time I sit down to write, the words just won’t come no matter what I try, like something that won’t come no matter what I try (and no, I didn’t do that on purpose to prove that I can’t even produce a decent simile; I just can’t write a decent simile, like a writer who can’t write a decent simile).

God, the simple act of writing this blog post has become a chore, making my original goal of trying to force myself to get some words down seem utterly pointless. So I’m going to stop now and return to banging my head on the keyboard.


Right, so the above five letters are what I got from banging my head on the keyboard ten times. Five puny fucking letters, right? That’s half a letter per impact, which calculation at least goes to show that my engineering degree wasn’t a complete waste of time. Even my forehead has writer’s vacuum. 

Now, aware that I am being my usual whiny self and wishing to end on a slightly more upbeat note, I did pour water on a lost and semi-desiccated frog this morning. It didn’t say thank you, but its little red eyes did seem to bulge slightly in gratitude as the mineral water cascaded on its head. Maybe I’ll ask it to hop over my keyboard for half an hour in return. It probably has a better chance of producing something worthwhile than I do.

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