You Have Written Before

She was thinking about writing.

All morning long, she read the beautiful words of others.  Was she looking for inspiration? She read quotes in fancy script on her computer screen. She went to the bookcase, creaked it open and searched for the very best lines from the best books. And then her heart was full up and destroyed on all the wonderful things already written.

What can I say that hasn’t been said before, she tore through her hair and pulled her fingers.

I have nothing.  I have done nothing. I can’t find the right space to begin.  And she grasped at floating thoughts, but couldn’t catch them by the wisps. All she heard were voices.

But then she thought of Virgina Woolf consumed by these madnesses. Is that a good end?  You can let it consume you or you can consume it. 

And what was it Hemingway said? You have always written before, you will write now.  

There, she thought.  Even heroes are afraid sometimes.  

It was done, then. As swiftly as the panic began.

She would write, because the others had written. She would wrestle with the animals, the lines, that prowled her nighttimes. There were words still unfluttered. They did not have to be good words. Even if no one read them, they would exist to her and be something real.

She closed the bookcase and pulled up the horses of her fears.  She shushed out the clamouring voices.

When she was writing, when she stopped thinking about it and actually began, it was quiet.

And in that space, like those that came—much better and long before her, she would try to harness something wild.




    • It is,isn’t it? I had to literally write this piece and publish it just to feel like I began. Otherwise I was going to sit there and obsess about NOT writing. It’s really a psychological experiment sometimes. 🙂


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