The Dark Side Of Writing: Writer’s Block

Stanley Dai

The cursor blinks as another minute passes. The rain pours outside. I take a sip of coffee. I’m already out of words, and I haven’t even written anything yet. I lie down and stare at the ceiling.

I try to get my brain working by playing a nice tune. I read to absorb the skill of writers better than myself. I play some generic game to stall. I pace around my room because that usually gets me thinking. It doesn’t work. I go back to lying down and staring at the ceiling. I’m completely out of ideas.

The cursor keeps blinking. Time doesn’t feel real anymore.

I feel a headache throbbing in my skull. At this point, I’m not even sure if it’s because of meds withdrawal, lack of sleep or staring at a laptop for prolonged periods of time. I sleep it off because I’m afraid that my physical state will manifest itself in my writing.

Another day passes. The cycle continues.

I wake up late, and so begins another day of trying to write some career-changing thing. I want to write something so career-changing that I can finally establish myself as a “real” writer and not just someone who helps businesses get billions of clicks. Once I’ve achieved that, I’ll share my career-changing thing on social media to be marveled at by people I know and people I barely even know. Some stranger will reach out and tell me how they felt alone until they read my work. I’m validated. I’m relevant. I’ve established my place in society. I’m finally at peace.

The cursor blinks again.

And again. And again. And again.

It’s funny how I can write 140-character quips all day and not get any ideas for something career-changing. I rushed my workload just to get a long writing break and all I did was play Candy Crush and binge-watch some shows. And they say being a freelance writer is easy.

They think it’s all about lying around at home all day and telling people How To Get Flawless Skin With Some Magic Pill. No, it’s also about staring at a stark white screen squeezing your brain for something worth telling millions of strangers about. If it goes well, it will eventually land you a Stable Writing Job that pays a hundred times more than any of your writing gigs. And then a book deal. I guess it really does take a certain amount of hubris to be a writer.

Thank you, Satan, for inventing writer’s block. Nothing ruins someone so much as a near-impossible fantasy.

The cursor blinks once more, and I snap back to reality. I write a short rant on writing just to get me in the mood to write something else.

Another minute passes. My coffee mug is empty.

I stare at whatever I wrote, and tell myself that this is all I can contribute to society for now.

And then I hope it’s enough. TC mark

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