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Is Blaming Writer's Block Socially Acceptable?
Sitting at this computer made me want to pull my hair out. Never before had an assignment been as hard to write as the one before me. With only half a page of writing done in the last two days, I could officially say I was stumped. I’ve never experienced the thing called ‘writer’s block’. I’ve always thought it silly when people said they couldn’t think of anything to write of. In my mind, I’d always silently laugh at them, imagining all the different story possibilities I could explore. And now here I am, sitting before a blinking cursor with nothing to satisfy its insatiable need for words. Being a deadly disease of incurable origins, the blinking cursor that was once a mutual acquaintance was now nothing more than the bane of my existence. I could imagine it now, flashing before my eyes and laughing cruelly at my pathetic state of being. Oh how I loathed that cursor, oh how I loathed it so. It was the only thing standing before me enjoying the last full week of my freshmen year in peace. For an hour every day, I sat before my computer praying for the story to magically write itself. Silly I know, but I would have wished for anything to happen to help me get through this one paper. Those meager three paragraphs staring back at me, they sit there and mock my inability to be creative.
Maybe I’ve lost my touch. Maybe my brain is beginning to deteriorate. Maybe I am just all out of ideas. Three or four years of being able to come up with story ideas lickety split and now the well has gone bone dry. I’ve tried to remedy the barren well by trying some old tricks. Whenever I was having a hard time continuing a story I would usually reread it to gather some inspiration, but considering the fact that I had nothing written, it was hard to get inspiration from the measly half page of mockery. If that didn’t help me, which it wouldn’t right now, I’d listen to some music that went along with the type of story I was writing. If the story was sad, I’d listen to sad songs, if I was writing a happy story, which I don’t most of the time, I’d listen to some happy, upbeat songs, and if the story was a mix of every emotion imaginable, I’d just put my music on shuffle. Sadly, I’d already tried my musical approach and nothing up to standards was produced. I even left my somewhat of a story alone for a few days and still, nothing! Nothing came, absolutely nothing but a depressed state of mind and self-induced anxiety with a bit of healthy, rational fear.
What would my teacher say when I showed up on the date it was due with nothing but those insufficient 500 words of pure torture? Besides being far less than the bare minimum amount approved of, it would be even worse than those turned in by students who didn’t even try. I could see it now, those burning eyes of disapproval and slight shock. The pure amount of let down in them would be enough to set me alight right then and there! I ran my hands through my hair in frustration; slightly tugging at my roots. I let out a sigh of relief for the small action of pulling at my hair actually gave me a somewhat liberating feeling. The slight pain distracted me from my problem at hand, but not for long.
In pure defeat, I walked away. No, I wasn’t giving up, but I just couldn’t stand to sit there and stare at the half empty screen anymore. Allowing my chair to make as much noise as possible as I slid back, I smirked at the accomplishment and headed down the hall for a refreshment of sorts. Maybe a drink, maybe a snack, or maybe a little bit both. Who knows, maybe I’d find a story out of it; at this point, I would write just about anything. And if I was especially lucky, maybe I’d run into a daring adventure with suspense and action; one I could retell in a story format. But then again, I wasn’t anywhere near lucky; lady luck had abandoned me and left me for dead above a poisonous sea of fatal writer’s block and disappointment. Oh the joys of teenage woes and angst.
Sadly I returned with three chocolate chip cookies and a cup of Dr. Pepper in peace. No distractions, no spirited adventure, and no life-altering events; I didn’t even run into my parents to hide my ‘dinner spoiling’ snacks from! My life is a mess. Not even wanting to touch the offending material on my desk, I sprawled carelessly on my bed. With my drink safely on my bedside table, I laid on my back with pity as it was out of reach. How was I supposed to enjoy my cookies with the knowledge of my drink being so close and yet so far away? I want to eat these cookies; I really do, but my drink.. It was right there, but I didn’t want to move a muscle. And why should I? I can’t write a story, I can’t even sneak by my parents, I can’t even position my drink within an arm’s length of my body; I was the embodiment of self-pity. I really just wanted to take a nap. A very short one; I’d just close my eyes for a few minutes and I’d be refreshed and good to go. Heck, I might even be refreshed enough to write a whole page!
That’d probably wouldn’t happen. I hung my head from my own stupidity; of course I’d fall fast asleep if I closed my eyes. I’d do anything, at this point, to not have to think about this assignment I couldn’t do. I let out a loud groan, after all what good would it do me to avoid writing this monster? Most likely none. Rolling over, which was a chore in itself, I hoisted myself up and off my bed, but my arms gave out underneath me. I crashed on top of my comforter once more and just laid there. Not even caring about my weakened state of body, I just continued to be. I was in no mood, or position to, get up and be active. No finger dancing, no eye concentration, and certainly no creative thinking was allowed at this moment. I was content of just laying here. In fact, I would be content to lay here forever just wasting away my youth and then my adult years and then my old, wrinkled lady years. And lay there I did.
And oh, they were the most blissful ten minutes I had ever experienced in my life. Imagine floating on a soft, foamy cloud drifting in a vast sea of crystal-clear blue and only indulging in some well-deserved relaxation. Now imagine being angrily shaken awake by a traumatizing, eye opening, slobbery, well placed kiss right on your cheek. That, my friend, is how my dog woke me up.
I haven’t mentioned this yet, and if it weren’t for my dog I probably never would have, but I am not very fond of dogs. Any type of dogs really; they are truly my least favorite species on this earth. They drool and slobber and whine and fuss and just make a general mess of everything. And have I mentioned their horrendous odor? Truly awful and terrifying. Now as you can imagine my distaste for those furry, four legged creatures and being woken up in the most horrible way by one, I was fit to be tied. Red as a tomato, I threw the dog off my bed with as much strength as I could and screamed and hollered for the mutt to get out of my sacred room. Never would I allow for such an animal into my bedroom, never. The nerve of dogs!
Now that I was awake for sure, I glanced at my alarm clock. My face fell when I found out that only ten minutes had passed; then my face brightened when I realized only ten minutes had passed. I knew I could take a short nap, although that nap was shorter than what I would have liked. I settled down onto the chair in front of my desk and scooted closer towards it and proceeded to open up my lap top. Logging in and pulling up my saved story document, I could feel myself dying inside. I had no motivation to finish this story but my moral-abiding brain just wouldn’t let me not finish it. And besides, I believed in myself; I had plenty of good faith. Maybe it was a little bit of good blind faith, but faith none-the-less.
One hour had passed. One long, slow, torturous hour had crawled weakly by. Who was I trying to fool? All my faith had diminished within the first half hour and now I was running on some French vanilla coffee and a small sugar high. Not only had I not written much of anything, I was now fidgeting in my seat with an abundance of energy and nowhere to put it. I could practically feel the sugar in my veins gradually replacing my blood. Maybe it wasn’t that small of a sugar high after all. I knew I was stuck, I was stuck between a rock and a hard place, and the sad thing about it was I was not trying very hard to get out. My brain was sluggish, my arms were sluggish, and my eyes, oh Lord, my eyes! They were droopy and sore and stung with a vengeance. It was a chore just to keep them open. With my last bit of energy, I cupped my head with my hands just letting it rest there for a few, couple of minutes. Or hours. Whichever would be easiest. Probably hours; yes, hours sound splendidly easy.
After what seemed like an eternity, but probably just a few minutes, had passed I heard a quick rapid, succession of tapping noises against glass. Looking up for the source, I scanned my room but couldn’t find it. Ready to ignore the noise and write it off as a figment of my imagination, (oh so now you decide to show up!) I cradled my head once more. Taptaptaptaptap. Once again that noise plagued me and once again I searched for the source, but this time with more conviction. My search, once again, came up as a failure. With more frustration, I rubbed my hands over my face trying to get rid of my sense of disorientation. Tap. Tap. Tap. Taptaptaptaptap. That sound! Forget my story being the bane of my existence; it was this wretched tapping sound! Looking up, I finally found the source of this despicable noise. Right in front of me, behind the screen of my computer was this small creature. It looked like a mix between a mouse and a squirrel; for he had the grey body of a mouse and the same pointy ears mixed with the head of a squirrel and the huge, fluffy tail. His big, round eyes stared adorably at me as he waved his mouse like paw towards me with rapt excitement. Curiously I regarded this hybrid creature closer; kneeling on my chair and leaning over my keyboard as I scanned this strangely cute animal. Without knowing it, I continued to lean closer and closer until I had lost my balance. With a shrill shriek and flailing limbs, I felt myself falling. Was I going to fall into the computer screen? Melting into the document background alongside my new furry companion? Would I be the new Alice in Wonderland and instead of the bunny worried with time, I would be chasing some freak of a squirrel-slash-mouse fusion-animal thing?
With my eyes closed and ready to jump into a new exciting adventure, I relished the moment of falling into the prospect of something exhilarating. I’m ready – this is actually happening – I can’t believe this – I will so totally write about this! I couldn’t help the numerous thoughts from crashing and jumbling together; all of which got me even more pumped and excited for the possibility of the wondrous unknown.
Crash. Well. That certainly didn’t feel like a new adventure about to start. With wide eyes and a thumping heart, I surveyed the damage I had created. Instead of falling into the computer screen, I had fallen on top of it. And we all know what happens when you fall on things; they usually break. And broken is exactly what my computer was at this moment. With a blank, black foreboding screen staring up at me, completely bent in all the wrong ways and angled in an unsightly disproportional way, I cringed just looking at it. I hadn’t even realized the pounding in my head, not to mention the giant goose egg on my forehead. I was far too wrapped up in how disgustingly mangled my computer looked. The keys had caved in and looked like they took quiet a beating, shards of unknown substances were littered about, and the coating around the keyboard looked melted and battered. How could I have done this much damage by falling on it? Surely I’m not that fat, am I? That single thought kept playing over and over in my mind alongside how my parents would react if they find out. Scratch that, what was I thinking? Of course they’ll find out and then they’ll probably kill me and bury me and then unbury me to make money to buy a new one and then re-kill me and then burry me once more. My face fell and my mood fell even deeper. Forget my problems with writer’s block and my story due within a few hours, I have bigger problems now! What could I do? What should I do? My gravestone was probably already being written at this moment: Amber Haul. 1996-2013. Girl who destroyed her computer trying to write a story and failed. May she never get over her writer’s block and stop killing computers while trying. This was awful. This was truly and utterly without fail, awful!
A million thoughts rushed through my mind as I, once again, sprawled across my bed. Some of them telling me to hide the evidence, some of them telling me to tell my parents because they’ll be less harsh if I tell them immediately instead of trying to lie, and then the other parts are telling me to just keep quiet and blame it on the dog. I never did like that dog anyways. But that would be too cruel, even for me, so I did the responsible thing and rolled out of the safety of my bed, out of my room, and down the stairs to the living room where I heard the TV droning on and on. Dragging my feet and hanging my head in shame, my dad asked me what was wrong and I just wanted to yell at them everything was wrong. How could they not see that? It was blindingly obvious! Ugh, parents.
The stupid story; that was what caused all this mess. That’s what caused my parents to look at with those looks after I told them what had happened. It’s what caused me so much misery. I hated that story. And now it’s never going to be finished. Ha! Take that you dumb paper! I was getting yelled at and being threatened to be grounded and I was mentally taunting my paper? Yeah, I’ve lost my sanity for sure. I accepted my punishments, begrudgingly of course, and started back up the stairs with my parents following close behind me. It was almost like they couldn’t trust me to not break anything between here and my room. We went up the stairs of shame and embarrassment, across the halls of anger and resentment, and through the threshold of despair and acceptance into my bedroom to assess the damage done.
And lo and behold, my computer was sitting there in all its glory in its original and healthy condition. Turning back to make sure my parents were seeing the same things I was, I was glad to see the shock on their faces too. Soon the shock turned into confusion and then into looks of contemplation and then finally settled back on confusion. They made their way to the computer to check its condition for themselves and gave me looks of disbelief. They probably thought I lied to them and I’m now making up stories for attention. Great, just great.
With a sheepish smile on my face, I continued to stare at my parents who were done inspecting the computer and were now staring back at me. They looked at each other and then back at me and then back at each other. Shrugging in nonchalance they started walking out the door telling me my joke wasn’t funny, next time don’t joke about such a serious matter, and that I wasn’t grounded but it still wasn’t a funny joke. With a sigh of relief escaping my lips, I hurried over to my computer to search for the furry creature who also had a hand in breaking my computer.
Searching everywhere, but since it’s a computer and there aren’t many places to look, I couldn’t find the animal. This whole thing didn’t make sense. At first I thought I would fall into this magical world like Alice, then I break my computer, then I get yelled at only to discover my computer isn’t broken, and now I can’t find my furry animal. What is going on? Maybe this is all a dream. Maybe this is all a dream! It would explain everything! The furry animal, my computer breaking, and my parents freaking out and then discovering my computer is alright. It would all make sense. Kind of, in a messed up it could only happen in a dream kind of way. Who knows? All I know is my story is definitely not being written and I need some sleep. Like now.