Writer’s block, that horrible, life force stealing condition that distresses dozens of writers, has paid me a visit, again. Wikipedia defines writers block as “a condition, primarily associated with writing as a profession, in which an author loses the ability to produce new work. The condition varies widely in intensity.” Oh buddy, does it ever vary widely! I spent almost ten years in a writer’s prison. When I was in my early twenties, I got my ‘dream’ job. I got hired as a small town reporter for a very small newspaper. I was on cloud nine for 29 out of the 30 days I was employed. I covered school events, council meetings, small town crime, etc. Then, on the 30th day, I was canned. I won’t go into the harsh details of why I was canned; rather, I will give you the mild version. I was inexperienced, and naïve. I was crushed. Someone just threw the baby out with the bath water. My heart was broken, my pride was smashed. I picked up what little was left of my passion for writing and locked it away in a dark box on the top shelf of the spare bedroom closet and left it there to rot. I never wrote anything again, not one iota. At times, I would glance up at that box, covered in spider webs and think that I should take it out and dust it off. But my head, aka my Demon, said , “but-what do you have to write about that anyone would ever want to read?” You have no college experience, you have very little life experience, you have a small child at home and recently married, who in the world would ever want to read what you have to say? Those thoughts plagued me for ten years. My demon as I like to call the voice in my head that talks to me whenever my pride has taken a crash, is a horrible, malicious little character with horns, a forked tongue and tail. In one hand he holds paper and pen, in the other hand he holds a lighter, waiting at a moment’s notice to set flame to my grandest thoughts and ideas. Every time I would get an idea, you know that moment, when your fingers start twitching and your brain is pushing you to write, that vicious Demon would “flick his Bic” and whoosh! –up in flames my inspiration would go.
Life went on, I became a nurse out of necessity; and, the fact that I was going to stay as far away from writing as possible loomed over me. So, for ten years I worked as a nurse taking care of the sick and wounded. For ten years, my Demon won. The twitching fingers would start every so often; but, I pushed them right back down. I had gotten really good at ignoring my inspiration. Life moved on. I divorced, remarried and my daughter is no longer little. I thought I was over the writing thing. It was just a broken dream. A childish dream. I was passed it. Over it. Done.
That is until this year. One day I found that box covered in cobwebs, dented and cracked, in a corner on a shelf. I took that box out. I opened it. What I found surprised me. There was my notion, waiting patiently for me to come back. Yellowed with age and crinkled; it sat there looking at me, almost begging me to pick it up. When I finally reached inside to grasp its stained pages, my demon, which had been silent for a while, leaped out of his fiery hell and attempted to “flick his Bic” at my old friend in the box. I struggled with my Demon. As I lifted the pages from the box, I fought like hell. My demon whispered to me all the reasons I should not write, could not write. I pushed him off, pulled the singed pages from his hot little hands and ran like hell!
I wrote. My demon tore at his horns, “flicked his Bic” and howled. I wrote.
At night, my Demon pays a visit. He whispers his distain to me. He plays on my crushed pride that I have carried around for ten years. Then, I get up, since I can’t sleep and I turn on the computer. I sit looking at a blank screen until a word appears.
I may never be rid of my demon, he will “flick his Bic” again and I will try my hardest to rip my muse from his fiery hands. But, I hope I never let him win again. I hope and pray that until the day I die that my demon will never get the upper hand. When I am dead, all I want on my tombstone is