On December 22, 2009 I told my husband I was going to start a blog. Then I clarified: it wasn’t going to be a “blog”: I was not going to be journaling my daily activities or using it as a public confessional. I decided that I would pick a different topic (a noun, a verb, a situation) and write about it, every day for a year.
46 days in and I’m feeling rather tired. I’ve tried doing all the things I normally do to get the juices flowing. I drank six cups of coffee. I swept, I swiffered, I cleaned the toilet, and I fluffed the pillows. I even caramelized an onion. I sat down in front of my computer. Nothing.
I tapped my pen on my lip. I opened a blank word document. I looked through the font selection and settled on Times New Roman, size 12. I typed the letter “Q” to see how it looked. I decided that it looked fine and then deleted the “Q”.
I stared at the computer screen for a few minutes, thinking of all the things I’d rather be doing, and all the places I’d rather be (sitting in a small village pub with a pint of Guinness in my hand, and the English countryside sprawled outside the paned glass window, or swimming in ice blue geothermal waters with the vivid green Icelandic landscape spread out as far as the eye can see, with a glass of potato schnapps in my hand.).
Then the screensaver popped on: a photo slide show of the social life I once had, before I committed myself to writing every day. I thought about how I’ve been neglecting my friends, and then I thought about how I haven’t checked my email in twelve hours. So I checked my email. Nothing. I wondered if I had any snail mail. I went downstairs to my mailbox to check. One bill. Cable. $33.23.
I think they call it writer’s block because that sounds better than saying, “I’m really tired of writing every day”. Some days I’d rather be doing something else, anything else. But if I take the day off people might think I am not really serious about a career in writing. But if I say I have “writer’s block”, people will think, “She’s a writer. While she’s feeding ducks at the park, she is actually honing her craft”.
Obviously, if you see me at the park throwing breadcrumbs to the ducks it is because I’m gathering information for my new non-fiction book (about ducks). If you see me at the movies, it’s because I’m writing a screenplay. If you see me at the beach reading a trashy magazine, it’s because I’m getting into journalism. And, if you see me reading your diary, it’s because I have a blog to write.