"I Can't Write": Lamentations Of A Professional Procrastinator
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Politics and Activism

"I Can't Write": Lamentations Of A Professional Procrastinator

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"I Can't Write": Lamentations Of A Professional Procrastinator

I Can’t Write!

Oh my God.

I can’t write.

It’s not that I lack the physical dexterity to incite my fingers in a tantric monkey dance or that I haven’t tried to invoke the Muses in a quasi-pagan ritual I’ve found online. (Writer’s Block, when you have a paper due the next morning, is a desperate affliction that compels you, its victim, to seek the assistance of such measures.) It’s that on this less-than-satisfying keyboard, every other keystroke is a below-standard auto part on an endless conveyor belt of a failing car factory. Every other keystroke has to be deleted, erased from oblivion by virtue of my ideas being half-baked streams of consciousness that sound better in my tired head; typos which inevitably result from my long nights spent binging classic television shows at the expense of writing time.

Backspace is my favorite weapon.

My words are silenced, murdered by their tired typist before they can form coherent sentences because I know they will ultimately coalesces into weird, incoherent ideas. Creativity is a distant relative -- it visits when convenient, but never long enough to give me an idea, a spark, a tour of the imaginative layers of subconscious where I could find some inspiration. Although I could always have a brainstorming session with a friend, the act of writing, the dictation of my scrambled thoughts into semi-eloquent words, open to dissection from cold, calculating critics and overzealous grammarnauts, is a solitary task. It’s a monumental task.

To distill the kluge of thoughts in my mind onto a simulated paper on my computer screen isn’t something that comes easily to me. First of all, the stationery is fake, and therefore lacks the tactile satisfaction of writing on actual paper (plus Clippy died years ago), and second, it’s all a sham! Humanity is not a species with higher order thinking skills because their are people like me who do not think; who can’t think; who would love to think and come up with an interesting idea already, but instead are simply rambling on about how they cannot think.

No.

What's worse... is I'm writing in purple prose. Lock me up in a Hemingway camp for writers with a penchant for Dickensian flair! Writer’s block is an insidious creature that, I think, engenders the sort of writing that makes writers who are better at their craft than I ever will be, sound eloquent. The very nature of being in a position in which you do not have a brilliant idea, but possess the tools for embellishing what little fragments of a great one you can conjure, results in the development of a style of writing that is easy on the ears but hard on the mind.

Think politicians with perfectly tousled hair who can talk the talk but not walk the line to which any ordinary voter expects of them and follow through with the promises they promise when they are vying for your vote. It’s all bullshit.

Believe it or not, this article began as a detailed explanation of my skincare regime, or it was at least shaping up that way in my head. But writing has this way of helping you romanticize your surroundings, so instead of simply singing the praises of my BHA, I began to ruminate on the utter beauty of it all -- the immense satisfaction of exfoliated skin, soft as a baby’s behind.

A paragraph on my newly supple cheeks!

Another on my neverending struggle with acne and it’s metaphoric implications for the journey of life!

This obviously is an exaggerated misrepresentation of the actual piece (I promise I’m not the guy in class who never shuts his mouth), but nonetheless, it was a pretentious display of language: useless adjectives, hastily added adverbs, meandering sentences with misplaced periods.

I am terrible at writing. I hide my incomplete thoughts among an overgrown forest of pretty words, and hope that people will listen.

I’ve always subscribed to a rose-colored notion of what it means to write -- to be a Writer.

Often this hypothetical Writer is dressed in a modest beret, bespectacled, and with a smoke in their (conscious singular they) mouth, diligently clacking away on an jingle-bell typewriter. Amidst a background of perfectly shelved books organized by color and dewey decimal, this Writer would conjure, through some magic spell, the next great novel -- a tome which recasts a secret of the cosmos in a language we Muggles can understand.

But the actual task of writing is beset with complication, worry, self-doubt and an unhealthy obsession with commas.

I don’t have a spell. I have my fingers, an enticing delete button, and an internal monologue that screams: DELETE EVERYTHING!

For me, Writing is the process by which you repeat the same thing billions of times and hope for some odd reason, a muse you’ve bothered through the previously mentioned internet-derived pagan invocation -- try it -- will bless you with something, anything, because you are one annoying worker bee.

In what always will be a long drawn out battle (it is 5 AM) I let a few words slip through the cracks. In the farthest corner of my eye, they form some run-on sentences, make up a semi-coherent paragraph and coalesce into something that looks like an article.

Or at least I hope it does.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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