The urge to write something epic was over-powering. I needed to create a piece that was unique, but still containing all the time tested components of a classic. I could feel the creative genius building inside me like a pile of leaves that had been ignited with too much gasoline.
A novel! I’d write a novel that would put Melville’s silly fish story to shame. No, that would take too long. And I know from experience that these bursts of creative energy only last a few hours or until something catches my eye on TV.
Or maybe a poem. No, that’s an even more ridiculous notion. I haven’t the slightest idea how to meter, and I think I might be rhyme deaf.
So I decided that I should stop wasting time deciding what form of literature my writing would be and just start writing. I could always decide later if it was a novel, or poem, or short story. I would just let the spirit take me wherever it wanted.
I sat down at the computer with my cup of coffee. I made myself comfortable and prepared to unleash the epic-ness. I cracked my knuckles in preparation for the flurry of typing. Here we go.
But nothing was coming out.
The keyboard keys were not clacking.
I thought for sure that this much inspiration was surely the precursor to an earth-shaking subject matter. It hadn’t even crossed my mind that I really had no ideas on deck. The desire to begin my masterpiece was unbearable, but there was nothing there!
I began to look around the room as if the dirty cereal bowl on the end table or the floral print box of Kleenexes would suddenly jar a topic loose, but again, there was nothing.
I stood up and scratched my head. I looked out the window at the overgrown lawn, but all that came to mind was that the lawn mower blades needed sharpening. For a second I pondered a story about dull lawn mower blades, but it seemed to lack the potential for being the awesomeness that I was determined to create.
Picking up my wife’s women’s magazine from the coffee table, I began to leaf through it. I would write a story about … dish soap? No, that’s silly. How about “Sizzling Summer Fashion Ideas”? No, even the word “fashion” made me yawn. Tampons? Good Lord no!
I simply had nothing to write about, and it was beginning to make me angry. I was getting angry at my brain. Stupid brain.
After another two hours of seeking ideas from the TV, two glasses of wine, watching the dog sleep, and both sides of Pink Floyd’s “Wish You Were Here” album, I finally gave in to the fact that I had no idea what to write about. And all the ambition in the world was simply not going to change that fact.
In an act of desperation, I sat down and began writing about having writer’s block, the result of which you are reading now. It certainly isn’t the Pulitzer Prize winner that I was anticipating, but it did occupy me until a documentary about South African Crocodiles came on the television.
Unfortunately, I don’t think I can get away with writing about having writer’s block more than once with any degree of success. I guess the next time I have writer’s block, you will be stuck reading about a floral print box of Kleenexes.