Writer’s Block

It was night. I peered through my room window; darkness had consumed everything on the outside. I was alone. The quiet settled in. I felt I could hear my own breathing or my heartbeats pounding on the inside of my chest.

I sat on my desk chair. My laptop was open, waiting for me to use it.

I knew that with no distraction in sight, it was finally time to write.

I opened a blank page and stared at it. It was white, just like the inside of my mind.

I got up. I paced the room to get them emptiness out of my head and get the writing thoughts and ideas to start flowing.
After pacing the room for a few, I got tired. I went to bed to get some rest.

I closed my eyes. After waking up, I hurried and looked at the digital clock on the bottom-right of my laptop screen. Two hours had passed. Two hours, and not a single word written on that damned blank page.
I faced my laptop again. I started hitting a few keys and wrote a few sentences. Then I hit the ‘Save’ button. The blank page refreshed. It was no longer blank.
I reread what I just wrote. It wasn’t good. I decided to erase it. I hit the ‘Save’ button again. The document refreshed. The page went blank again.

I got frustrated. I decided to commit to the thing and vowed I wouldn’t get out of my chair before I had written a full page. Or, considering my lack of inspiration, a few good sentences at least.

I decided to look for some inspiration. I clicked on the search engine icon on my desktop.
The search engine bar opened on the screen. I started searching for some of my all-time favorite authors. Each time the search results returned a name, I would click on it and display it in another tab. Having made my selection of writers, I started going through their biographies to get a clearer perspective on an author’s life.

As strange as it might sound, that’s exactly the kind of drive that gets me going in my writing.

While reading each selection, I tried to scan the text for a paragraph on how the author dealt with writer’s block. I was hoping to get some answers, but that hope was short-lived.

That’s the problem with hope as a whole; it lends you a lifeline to some imaginary gateway. As soon as you choose to take it, you realize your brain is fooling you, and you are merely trapped in an illusion. Often, you’d be stuck in a much worse reality where you slowly make your decent into the abyss.

I wasn’t descending into the abyss, but I still couldn’t write a damn thing on my blank page.

Seeing its white texture irritated me; I wanted to fill it, but I simply couldn’t. That’s the trouble with inspiration: you think you control it, but in reality, IT governs YOU.

I started looking further into my authors’ lives and by the time I finished reading everyone, another hour had passed.
It’s fascinating how time flies just when you wish it’d stick around for a little longer.
Having finished my readings, I still couldn’t find a cure for my writer’s block.
I did, however, come across something interesting: I noticed that most (if not all) of the writers I read were alcoholics.

Maybe that’s their secret, I thought, feeling my legs about to jump. I was like a mad scientist on to the next big discovery that will send shock waves into the world and change the face of the planet as we know it.

Maybe the inspiration’s in the booze. Maybe that’s the answer I had been looking for.

As silly as it seemed, I believed it. Or rather, I wanted to believe it – since it was the only lifeline I had.

So I decided to test it. I was determined to get myself drunk in the hope of puking out chunks of sentences as opposed to vomit.
I went to the kitchen (I had forgotten about my vow to never leave my desk chair). I opened the fridge. I searched for any drink that might contain alcohol. All I found was a couple of sodas and behind them at the back of the fridge…yes! Beer!
My cry for salvation had been answered. My lifeline wasn’t a fake.
I grabbed the whole pack – a six-pack – and took it back to my room.

Back in my desk chair, I started chugging beer. I was down to almost half of the first bottle when I started to feel uneasy. So I drank at a slower rate.
Half an hour later (I was really slow), the first bottle was out of the way. There was room for the rest. But the feeling of uneasiness was still there. It wouldn’t go away, despite my best efforts to banish it by not thinking about it.

I started on the second bottle. It was cold. It tasted exactly like the first bottle, minus the zest of excitement at the idea of getting drunk and instantly turning into a writing machine.
With each gulp of beer the uneasiness grew. Then it evolved into a bad stomach ache.
I don’t have time for this, I thought. I have to get drunk. I need to get drunk. The universe would have to do a better job than a simple stomach ache to stop me.

But then it did.

I remembered I had Emetophobia – a fear of vomiting – and that reflex had just kicked in to prevent possible gagging. This was a huge blow to my writing aspirations. I was finished for the night. I couldn’t continue drinking my beers and risk spurting gag all over the room. I couldn’t think of anything else to cure my writer’s block.

There was nothing left for me to do.

I put the rest of the beer away – at this point they resembled bottled vomit.

I went to my room window and observed the darkness unfolding outside.
There was a sense of mystery to it, some sort of discretion that rendered it beautiful.
That stunning view got me thinking about the night, the quiet, the calm, the stillness.
Then I started thinking about darkness, the dark, shadows, evil.
I realized I had a few thoughts in me to get me going. Enough to write a sentence maybe. Or some words at least.

I typed my thoughts on the irritating blank page. These were just some randomly thought-of words. And then, unexpectedly, something beautiful happened: the words started interacting with each other.

It was something I hadn’t planned, something I had never seen, and something I couldn’t control. Could it have been the work of my mistress Inspiration?

The words, at first random and out of place, seemed to find some sense in one another and awaken some of their own sense to complement it.
It was artistry at its finest, it was poetry in motion. Chunks of sentences descended on that page, all inheriting the sense that had just been born a few lines above.

I watched my fingers go to work; they were tapping the keyboard like a pianist stroking the keys of his instrument. At that point I wasn’t so sure if I was under the influence of the booze or the control of my own twisted inspiration.
Either way, I was in utter and complete surrender.

I filled half the page. My fingers stopped. I understood the rush was over. It was beautiful but short-lived.

I looked over at the pack of beers. The second bottle was there, still open, while the rest hid inside the wrapping of the six-pack.
I extended my hand and reached for the second bottle. My stomach ache had disappeared just when the word gagging had begun, and it was done haunting me. I grabbed the second bottle and reeled it in. it was now standing by my side, unfinished.
I wanted to finish it, not because I was a stubborn little fool – but because I was hell-bent on filling that blank page all the way down to the last line.

I sipped my beer. It tasted fine. I picked up the pace. The beer was flowing naturally into my stomach, all the way down to my intestines where it would just sit there for the next few hours.
I finished the bottle. I threw it away. I was proud.

I faced my screen again, like a warrior accepting a gauntlet.

I surrendered once more to the two forces that governed me: my booze and my inspiration.

I hoped I still had enough of both to finish the page.

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