Frustrated beyond measure. It’s almost a physical feeling, a rage borne of confusion. I’ve at here at my keyboard for forty minutes trying to start a story, and I have produced nothing but three false starts, opening sections that inspire me to continue writing about as much as they would inspire someone else to keep reading.
It’s like being sat at a potter’s wheel, unable to do much more than prod the damp clay with a desultory finger, knowing that the world is full of plates and vases already crafted by craftsmen more original, disciplined and inspired than yourself. Or like joining a degree course in its final week. Or like, or like, or like.
Yeah, I know, â€œkeep writingâ€, all those clichÃ©s. Finish what you start; just type and see what comes out, don’t be critical, just free-associate. That’s what I’m doing here; this is the third day in a row that all I’ve been able to write about is my inability to write; pointless self-castigating screeds, the sound of someone marinading himself in his own inabilities. Finally, I have an hour set aside every day in the quiet of the morning so that I can CREATE, and all I can do with it is the literary equivalent of banging my head against the door of my padded cell.
It’s ludicrous. A whole sixty precious minutes, reserved for my mind to do what it wants to do rather than what it must. And I sit here wanting to get on with my other work, because at least there I know where to go, what to do; there’s a clear route forward. There’s none of this terrifying void of inspiration; none of this horrifying thought that, perhaps, I really am kidding myself about this whole being-a-writer gig, and that I’ve spent a few years talking a good game and bluffing the basics only to fall at the first true hurdle. I really can’t understate the sense of anger coursing through me at the moment, this urge to throw things and shout formless words. Nor can I channel it in any useful way, so it seems. At least not today.
Maybe tomorrow will be different.
[ Regular readers please take note â€” I’ve posted this up as a record, a message to a future self who, I sincerely hope, will look back on it in a few months’ time and chuckle at how hard it was to start the routine. It’s not a bid for sympathy; I just need to have something other than a handful of half-page word processor files and some scribbled-on notebook pages to show for the last few days, so as not to feel it’s been an utterly wasted effort. ]