I was sitting in the park when I heard a child throwing a tantrum. "Mommy, I want a balloon NOW!" Typical for a preschooler. That's when the wheels started turning. I could write a story about a child who always wanted a balloon, but could never afford one, and then, maybe-- but no. Nobody would read a story about that. I reluctantly put my pen down. What can I write about? I pulled out a fresh sheet of paper and picked up the pen. Think, Sarah, think. Well, that man on the corner. That homeless man, right there. Maybe, a long time ago, he was a reporter, but after writing a column on a criminal, the criminal saw it and became angry at him, and, and-- I can't write a story like that! I'm scaring myself thinking about it. Let's see... That guy with the skateboard. That's it! I could write on him, and his dreams to become famous, and to... My ballpoint pen flew a across the page! A gust of wind blew away old papers with even older ideas, but I didn't care! Someone would read this. It suddenly came to a halt. Writer's block. Mid-sentence writer's block. What now? I looked up. Skater boy was walking in my direction! I quickly started shoving papers in my backpack. "Hi." It was too late. The person I was writing about was standing right next to me. "Can I sit here?" I nodded and moved my stuff over. "Do you write?" He asked me. "Yeah..." I shyly replied. "Cool. What are you writing about?" What was this guy, a police officer? Because he sure had the interrogating part down pat! "Nothing special," I said as I inched away with my partial story in hand. "Come on! Let me see!" I held away the paper. And he grabbed it. "Give it back!" I begged. Nope. He was already reading it. "Hey, is this about me?" I looked down at my feet. "I wish this kind of stuff happened to me. Can I help you finish it?" Was he serious? Or was he just making fun of me? No, his eyes were hopeful. "Sure, if you want." I replied. So he began telling me about himself. And my hand was, once again, scribbling across the page. And before long we had written another story.
July 27, 2009