For more than an hour I sat at the computer, screen blank. Not a word, not a letter, nothing. And I was beyond frustrated.
“Writer’s block,” I concluded as I got up and headed for a place I knew would help me get my ‘creative juices’ flowing again – the bathroom. No, not to take a dump – rather to shower and soak in the warmth of the water as it cascaded from my head to my feet and out the drain between them.
It’s been like this since I was a little kid – water and words. It didn’t matter whether it was the creek below my childhood home or a bathtub/shower stall — water and words.
Once toweled off, dressed and ready for action at the keyboard, I sat down and pounded out my first few lines, including a bit of dialog:
‘Sam sauntered down ‘C’ street from his office to his favorite watering-hole, the Sazerac Saloon. Finished for the day, is was time to commence with the personal frivolities of drinking whiskey, smoking fat, smelly stogies and telling lies.
“Well, okay,” Sam would later admit, “the Sazerac was one of many favorite establishments in this mining town.”‘
There I paused, taking a sip of what was now a cup of cold coffee, feeling a surge of renewed energy coming to me. I believed my patience was about to pay-off.
However, after a few more minutes, I moaned, “Shit! I got nothing.”
Feeling deflated for the time being, I set about reading from some of my favorite blogs, hoping to capture a spark of inspiration. Seven or eight postings later — and nyet.
So I concluded that I should pack it in for a while, find something else to do, return to my writing project later. I was out in the backyard on poop-patrol, cleaning up doggie-dookie, when I felt the need to jot down some words.
After finishing dookie-patrol, note in hand, I raced to the computer, turned it on and set about typing and editing my next paragraph.
‘It so happened that his day, his friend and drinking buddy, Tom from San Francisco was due in town on what passed for a stage in the newly minted state of Nevada. Sam had met Tom while stringing for his current employer, sending hefty telegrams daily over the Sierra mountain range for nearly three-years.’
As I worked to perfect the language, I was overcome with another case of ‘where-the-hell-do-I-go-from-here.’ By now I was doubly frustrated because I’d also forgotten how I had planned to wrap my story up as I’ve always ascribed to ‘knowing where you’re going, before getting there,’ when pen is in hand.
Later that night, after the lights were out and all were in bed, most of us asleep, I thought about my story. I ended up getting out of bed, returning to the computer and tapped out my third paragraph containing two sentences.
‘Sam was glad to be back where he believed he belonged, the raucous, noisy and sometimes dangerous hillside burg of Virginia City. He enjoyed the open surroundings to the confined streets and alleyways of San Francisco, to visiting the bigger city was always a ‘hoot’ in 29-year-old Sam’s opinion.’
Again, I smashed up against my writer’s block, threatening to erase the couple of hundred overworked words I’d hashed out over the day. Then my Jedi voice warned, ‘Save your work, return to bed, you should.’
Happily, I listened because this morning as I was standing in the shower, allowing the hot water to soak in and cascade, a bright flash of ‘genius’ slammed into me.
Blam-O! Writer’s block, my Ass. Take that, Brain. Water wins again.