I’m waging a valiant, but losing battle against the demons of distraction—those self-centered brain sprites who care not a whit that I have a writing deadline to meet today. I will NOT go online, I say to them, I’m writing! At least, I would be if you’d just hush.
But they dance noisily through my brain, screaming like late-night infomercial salesmen…
“Why so serious? Writer’s what? Well that sounds boring. Hey, you know what was fun? That movie…the one with that guy in it? You know, the dopey one with the girl who did that thing? Who WAS that? Perhaps you should look it up!”
No, I say firmly. No online. None. It’s just me, my muse, and my Word doc—hey, how did that screen open? Well, as long as it’s here I’ll just type it in. Yes, Richard Gere. I thought so. Now if you would just—
I look across the room and notice the sprites have lured my muse away with a quart of jamoca fudge ice cream. Useless ditz. Usually I keep her close with a box of chocolate chip cookies. I couldn’t get her attention now if I piped in chocolate direct from Pennsylvania. . .but that makes me think of—oh, what’s that place we used to go to for that incredible chocolate Easter candy? I’ll just search it really quick. Criminy! Who knew there were so many chocolatiers in Pennsylvania? Oh, my, that one has tours; and this one is right across the border. How far is that from Woodbridge?
Stop it, stop it, STOP IT!
My muse is now in a jamoca fudge stupor, dancing around the room like a wood nymph while the sprites clap with delight. She’s oblivious to the cascade of ideas trailing behind her, tumbling across the floor like dry leaves in the breeze and disappearing behind the furniture.
Hey, those were MY ideas, I shout. Pull yourself together! I race to save a precious few but they seem to disintegrate the moment they’re out of sight.
Speaking of leaves, did anyone from the north east notice that the ends of nearly all the trees are blighted with dead leaves? I did, and yep, I looked it up. See here, it says that’s called flagging. Those are the last traces of our recent cicada visit. The trees will be fine next spring.
Dash it! That was a 30-minute detour. And while we’re at it, I absolutely abhor the sound of sprite giggle.
I decide I’ve got to do something about that low-wattage nitwit before she loses everything, so I quickly start typing: “It was a dark and stormy, um, um…”
She can’t help herself; she twirls by to see where I’m going with it. Quick as a wink, I lasso her with a noun string and tie her to the chair beside me. She rolls her eyes, or perhaps she’s trying to focus. She starts patting her now-empty pockets and looks up all wide-eyed and innocent, but I have no sympathy for her fudge-faced self. I hold my hand out, palm up, and give her my sternest no-nonsense look.
She pulls out a crumpled, cocoa-stained, barely legible morsel of thought—the last measly scrap of idea she has left. I snatch at it and read it hungrily, but it contains only two disappointing words:
I can’t write about writer’s block, I sputter. What kind of idea is that?
But my question goes unanswered; my muse is now slumped over and snoring with abandon. It’s pointless to wake her. She’s going to hate herself in the morning.
So now it’s just me. Even the sprites have gone to bed. I look back down at the paper and then return to my keyboard, because I have to post something…
And so I do. Take THAT, my muse-less salad spinner.
. . .And because I just know you’re wondering, the search engine brought up 11,600,000 results for “Writer’s Block.”