Writing, sometimes.

11 May

( 4:00 p.m. )

The cursor blinked.

           Pounding.

                   Like my heart.

The blank screen injected adrenaline and dread into my stomach at the same time. It was challenging me to write something, anything, to just forget myself for the space of a moment and type one single word.

( 4:05 ) There. I did it. A drop of black mixed with a lot of white. Now what? I’ve got a half dozen jumbled interview notes and some statistics spread across the carpeted floor in a circle around me. By tomorrow the mess on the floor needed to be a polished article on the screen. It wasn’t hard to do. I was just psyching myself out, thinking that it was ridiculous I thought I could do what I was doing. Who am I to tell anyone about anything?

( 4:30 ) The laptops on my floor; I’m sitting cross-legged in front of it, twirling my hair (a habitual nervous gesture), with a highlighter rackishly positioned between two fingers like a chain smoker. The bright yellow ashes are scattered all over the notes, indicating good quotes. I’m chewing gum, guess it’s supposed to help the thinking process, but it’s just making my mouth dry. I take a long sip from the mountainous glass of home-made iced tea to my right. If I’m supposed to be good at this then why does it take one hour to get out one paragraph???

( 5:30 ) I hate this. Nobody reads a well written paragraph and thinks about how many times the writer stared at the screen while trying to think of the right word, or how many times the delete key was put to use, or how many times it was rearranged to reflect logical sequence. “It’s just a good paragraph,” I mutter to no one as I keep dryheaving the lede.

( 6:00 ) It’s not coming. And I’m OCD like that. I can’t move to paragraph two unless I’ve written the first. And it must be perfect. I fiddle endlessly. The infernally loud wall clock clock Ticks, Ticks, Ticks. But I don’t even notice the time. I keep rereading the sentences over and over again. The letters are swirling, and the black is blurring with the white. I rub my bloodshot eyes.

( 8: 30 a.m., one week later ) “Hey there! By the way I wanted to mention that you did a really nice job with that Tennyson Court piece. They’re going to be really happy with it.” – Chris, Managing Editor

It’s all I need to start all over again. I’m crazy for doing this. But I love it.

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