Writer’s Block


If there were one among us who could have written the greatest poem or the most significant novel, it was him. He promised he would accomplish a great work many times. With ease, he rolled out ideas for lines, plots, and descriptions of emotionally deep characters. His satchel never far from his body was full of crumpled, blank pieces of paper. For the inspiration, he reached down to pull up a handful. Laid out in front of him delicately on the desk, he spent time smoothing out the wrinkles, and pressing down the creased edges. He placed the blank shreds in order. With his long fingers rested on his chin, he leaned back to consider. “No, that cannot go there. The thought is wrong.” Then set about to rearrange the blank shreds into another order he preferred. A time would pass.

Always by the window – for he liked its view — he sat in deep concentration. His face contorted in agony; the sign of a deep thinker, no doubt. Mumbling to himself things about rhymes and meter, he became uncontrollably excited. He would sit, stand, pace and sit again. The manic actions promised a flurry of creative activity. Then the words came like wind. He bolted to his chair with purpose, grasped tightly in his pale boney hand, the pen stayed still, afraid to touch the paper. A time would pass.

Finally, he exclaimed, “I’ve got it!” and slump over his paper, poor in posture, pen grasped. The paper prepared for the dictates of its master. The paper lay innocently and undisturbed. A time would pass.

“No, it is not right! It cannot end like that.” We heard him say. He grasped the pen again and pulled the paper under his chin. We watched intently with breathless anticipation as he traced the air the words running through his mind, the pen only a few precious inches from the paper, finally the pen stilled, ready to write, slowly closer it descended in his hand until there was but the slightest hint of light between paper and pen! — but gave up to exclaim, “It is no use. I cannot write in such a dreary place!”

He stood and placed his greatcoat over his scrawny and sunken frame. Never did someone resemble a turtle as he did standing there, but we were prepared to claim it a capable turtle. He marched out of the room hurriedly. Saying aloud, his finger raised, “A genius must be free! A genius needs his space!”

A wave of blank shreds of paper circled behind in his wake, and fell to a rest on the floor.


9 thoughts on “Writer’s Block

    • Well thank you.

      I was experimenting a little. The original ending was that he or any of the others were writers at all. They were all in an insane asylum. So of course he would have no pen, and, therefore, couldn’t possibly write anything. The guy was a lunatic!

      But I’m afraid it got away from me once I got going and would have been hard to bring that back. Plus I was short on time this morning.

      Hey’s that’s not to say I can’t add an alternate ending, maybe throw in a few guys wearing white coats to help explain it!

  1. Gosh, how easily inspiration can be crushed under scrutiny. Over think enough, and your muse runs in the other direction.

    You captured that feeling fantastically well. I have really been enjoying your blog since discovering it.

      • Perhaps I feel that anyone who chases inspiration is a little ‘mad’, in both uses of the word. Rage and insanity both become byproducts of any passion in life that slavishly ties you to inspiration…since inspiration can be kind of fickle and crushing?

        Maybe my interpretation says more about me than it does your narrator? Yikes! 🙂 haha

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  3. You are very close. Closer than you probably think. You approached good writing in the middle part with your fast paced, descriptive narrative. The ending line was fitting. I take from it that no one cared he left or that they were used to his antics.

    The writer is ambiguous I’m afraid. Was he a writer or not? Were those watching really in awe as you seemed to have suggests?

    Round it out and you may have yourself a cornerstone for a short story.

    Happy writing.


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