It’s Not Writer’s Block, It’s Writer’s Bummer

He had to think up a story. The page was there in the typewriter. That terrible white page – that blank page in all its torturous glee – looking at him, taunting him.

He knew he could write something. But writing something is not the same as losing yourself in a story.

He knew he could type-up a list. He could write a description of the floral patterned wallpaper in a Poem Format. It was The Story that eluded him. Something to start a novel, a shorty story (there’s that word again,) hell, even a script would be something to consider.

None of those things were calling to him, though. He sat and typed everyday about that day. There were some good entries… some good advice pieces, but there was that old Capote quote running through his mind: “That’s not writing. That’s typing.”

He knew he was a writer. Sitting down at the typewriter – even when nothing came out – looking at the page, scratching down ideas on the notepad next to the machine, he knew. He put the time in everyday. He had been published!

There just had not been a STORY in a long time.

What kind of writer went about his day without a story bubbling in his heart… in his mind… a story that needs so desperately to be written down the fingers jolt from the sentences formulating in the mind?

He looked over at the spiral bound steno pad; looked at the words he jotted down in black ink that morning: “A reform of reciprocity for the Looking Glass Personality.”

What did that even mean?

More importantly, how & where could he use those words in the day’s work? And he was going to work! Come hell or not, he was going to get at least one page written.

The page stared back.

There was the story about a serial killer. Stories about his drinking problem – his drinking problem, not the serial killer. The serial killer was sober!

That page kept smiling back at him…

There is was no need to write anything grand. No fancy language. No moral. No profound insights into the Heart of Man.

He just wanted a Story. He just wanted some pages that felt wonderful to write. Some pages that would cool off for twenty-four hours, be reread the next day, and have the story continue.

No need to worry about typos (this would be a First Draft; the beginning of a First Draft, and typos were almost like welcomed blemishes on a Great Lover.)

And he was the King of Typos!

Rewriting something was a bit scary. That Second Draft business really brought the work into play. The editing… the expanding. The Second Draft was the puberty before publication… or, submission.

Maybe today was not the day to start The Story.

Today was meant for this! What you have read.

Leland Locke (c 2012)

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