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When You Don't Know What to Write

Screen Shot 2013-03-12 at 3.58.55 PM

When you don’t know what to write, you stare at your computer screen.

Stare.

Your gaze is held by the glaring oh-so blank page. Still blank. Blank blank blank. No where else to look blank. Taunting you with its blankness.

Taunt.

You take your hands off the keyboard. Time to flex a bit, crack some knuckles, massage some wrists. Time to get them ready for their big moment.

Flex.

You take another sip of tea. Luke-warm, now, since you made it. Back — twenty minutes back — when you were all ready to put words to paper.

Sip.

You think about the television, and how it just might save you. If only you could find the remote control, you think, you just might turn it on, with the aimless desire to find something to distract you. A Law and Order marathon must be on, right? Background noise always helped a writer, right?

Wish.

You fiddle with itunes, convinced that the major thing stopping you from writing is the lack of musical accompaniment. Over the Rhine and Counting Crows and Tracy Chapman and a million bands you started listening to in your teens stare back at you. Nothing seems to inspire.

Fiddle. 

You open a new tab on your computer. J.Crew. New shoes, anyone? You open another. NewYorkTimes. News, for always.

Click.

You wonder, was this easier when computers didn’t exist? When laptops were paper and keyboards were plumes and inkwells and desks were small and wooden and chairs didn’t have lumbar support? Was it easier when home offices were quieter and workplaces had doors and the world slept when the sun set? Was it easier for writers to write when the world was calmer and slower?

Wonder.

You decide that it was easier. And yet. And yet you still can’t explain away the legions of writers who still write, today, in the face of blinking lights and late nights open office floor plans and gravity chairs and Macbook airs and life moving fast fast fast.

Decide.

You type a word. And then you type another.

Type. 

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