Nothing to Write

When There’s Nothing to Write, Write Something

Image for post
Photo Credit: Amberleigh Storms

It was Saturday evening. Joe and I were already laying in bed spooning. Activities are limited when it’s NEGATIVE TWENTY SEVEN DEGREES outside.

We heard gunfire. The echo bounced off the silence and jerked my head from the pillow to listen more closely. One lonely shot and then a few minutes later three shots one right after the other.

I called the local police to report it. We’re semi-gunfire experts from living in the city for 20+ years. Handfuls of people get shot there every day.

We’re aware of the sound, Ma’am. The Chief is setting off fireworks at this house.

I hung up the phone and nestled back into Joe. He chuckled.

The Chief, Huh?

I struggled to roll over underneath the weight of the blankets to face him.

Who the fuck goes outside in -27 degrees to shoot off fireworks?

“I haven’t had writer’s block. I think it’s because my process involves writing very badly.”
― Jennifer Egan

They say writer’s block is a real thing.

We’re always referring to ‘They.’ Who are ‘They?’ Why do we believe ‘Them’?

Should I be listening to someone other than myself when it comes to myself?

Why do ‘We’ allow ‘Them’ so much power?

“When words don’t come easy, I make do with silence and find something in nothing.” ~ Strider Marcus Jones

I write stories, essays and blog posts. I write personal narrative, cultural commentary and funny shit. I write. There are times I have felt there was nothing to write. I wrote anyway.

There are so many ideas. There are ideas everywhere.

They’re inside the walls of my home, up in the sky peering through the clouds, beneath my feet as I take each step, if I’m on my knees in despair when I discover the coffee shop is closed, when I look into my husbands eyes, during teenage meltdowns. They’re on the train, bus and in the car. They chase me down the street. I can’t escape them. They consume me.

I pull out my mini detective like notebook and jot it down.

Write it down.

Write it down.

I have so many ideas and even when the words won’t flow I write, then I crumble up the shit, toss it and then I write it again.

When there’s nothing to write, write something, even if it sucks, even if it’s one word over and over again, the last conversation I had, an email to a friend.

I can understand when writing a book or novel it’s possible to hit a wall. I’m a horrid novel writer. I’ve tried and I’ve failed, but at least I’ve tried. My manuscripts live in my desk drawer covered in dust. There’s the one about the old couple falling in love, and the detective who finally cracks and takes off in hopes of finding herself and the all American favorite of aliens taking over the planet. They’re down right awful.

You’ll never read them. No one will ever read them. I might read them on the days I feel depressed and hate myself and I’ll scribble read lines and switch about words but still, I’ll be writing.

There is poetry. Poets acquire a unique level of skill far beyond my capability. Yet, I need to write something. It’s better than nothing. So I try.

Roses are red

Violets are blue

I’m gonna write a story for you

When there’s nothing to write, write something.

“We write, not because we claim to know more than others, but perhaps because we want to know more than others. Writers are explorers”
― Bangambiki Habyarimana

Previous story:

Newspaper reporter in Eastern Iowa. The views expressed are mine alone.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store