The pencil is a necessary item. No matter how many times I explain that to my mother, she always chastises the mechanical pencil peeking out of my bun. It helps me concentrate. Those are the things I need to be able to get my words out: a pencil in my hair and a caffeinated icy beverage within my grasp.
I open my laptop and pull up Word. I want to write, to get back in the swing of things, but I can’t write well unless I’m depressed. Like, there-is-no-hope-left-in-the-world-for-anything kind of depressed. But I don’t want to be that person if I can help it. She is frightening, and I hate what I am when I am her.
So I attempt to write jovial stories and poems. Things an audience should respond well to. But they sound clichéd and overused and I hate them. There are a million and one similar yarns and I want to be the one writer that isn’t passed over. If I were using pencil, pen, marker, or even crayon with notebook paper, I would be tossing so many pieces into the garbage can that it would become a landfill of wasted ideas.
Ugh. My hands are chapped: red, rough, and bleeding in some spots. Lotion will save me …peaches and vanilla and soothing the burning. That’s better, I can concentrate again.
I shove my earbuds in deeper and turn up my music of choice. I can do anything with music’s sweet helping hand, and this confuses people. ‘How do you pay attention to the words in your head when you’re being bombarded with music?’ It’s easy: I play songs so they become background noise: the lyrics, drum beats and guitar solos don’t mean much to me anymore. With background noise, the words in my head become clearer.
But what to write? I have several ideas for fan fiction, most of them involving pairings from my favorite fandoms, and I have a few poems that have been fluttering around, but none of them sound right. I could write about what’s going on now. But that’s been done before.
Some confessions: I’m majorly stressing about my college grades; I don’t believe they’re good enough to get me into veterinary school. I could go on about my boyfriend, who everyone knows about except my father, and I plan to keep it that way for a while. I don’t know what I’m looking for, but I feel like I’m living two separate lives, and it’s driving me out of my mind.
It’s freezing in here. I can’t think straight when I’m shivering. I’m wearing two sweaters: one of itchy, cheap department-store quality, and a warmer zip-up hoodie. I need to find some gloves. Preferably fingerless, so I can still type.
I’m just seated in front of my laptop staring at the white space like if I stare long enough, words will appear and I can just add details to what’s already there. But it’s a machine, it can’t infiltrate my imagination and pry the words out with a crowbar for me. I wish it could, it would make my job so much easier.
It’s hard to write when you know you want to but all your ideas sound pointless and unattainable.
Oh, well. There’s always singing.