“Shut up and write”, the pinned sign says across from my writing chair. “Every chapter should reveal a clue,” and “What am I trying to show?” and “Good writers don’t equivocate–tell your story!” Good advice, all, and prominent–but instantly invisible once I sit down to bang out the words.
It’s as if, by sliding my butt onto the cushion, a tunnel forms, leaving me deaf, dumb, and blind to the outside world. No matter how hard I prep, how determined I might be, I am once again alone in the dark, with no idea of where to go. I had a map, I had a plan, but must have left them in my other shirt. Somewhere not here. And I can feel the panic. What was I going to say?
So I fiddle and fumble and stumble around until focus drops in, and then I begin. Again. And here they come, my long-lost friends. The words. The stories. They didn’t forsake me, or I them. It’s just the game. The stupid game. “Count to ten, then come find me…” Hide and seek.
Must it always be an ordeal? For once, can’t you just wait where I asked you to? Where I left you? Please?