Crumpled Papers in the Trash

As a writer, there are times when you have the time to write but not the mentality to, and vice versa.  So many times when I’m too busy but have a million ideas, but today is not one of those days.  Today is a day when I can write, I’m sitting here staring at my screen, and I have nothing to say.

Today is frustrating.

I have written the first sentence of fifteen different ideas, I’ve tried editing some previously started projects, I’ve even written out several comments on social media, only to scrap everything I’ve done.  Today, so far, has been a zero sum day.  Even this piece? I’ll probably realize this is too ‘navel-gazy’ and throw this out too.  We’ll see.

One thing that I’ve realized, while there is something mildly more environmentally friendly about writing electronically, when shit-canning an idea, it can be significantly less satisfying.  I don’t have a piece of paper to crumple into a ball, and then throw into a trash bin, pretending for a second to be a basketball player.

I get to delete out my work.  If it’s just a couple of words, I just press the Backspace button repeatedly until the cursor is the only black mark blinking across a sea of white.  If it’s a couple of sentences, I may just hold that same button, and watch as it starts off deleting letters, and quickly snowballs until it’s consuming entire words simultaneously.  Or if I have managed to get some block of text, I may use the mouse and highlight it all, only to delete it in one quick click. If I return to a project later, and decide it’s nonsense, I can just delete the file, which is slightly more satisfying, because at least I’m asked “Are you sure you want to Delete this?”

I am sure.  It’s not good.  Delete.

After a long day of toiling over electronic writing, there is no trash bin filled with my failures, no proof that I found many ways not to make a lightbulb.  There are only my personal memories, which often are fleeting.  Don’t feel particularly useful, and particularly non-motivating.

Then there is a spark. Not an idea necessarily, but with a little bit of oxygen it could turn into one.  What about writing about the inability to write, no one’s ever done that.  And in an attempt to kick-start some better idea, I start writing that down, hoping it will open up the flood gates, hoping that by the time I’ve exhausted the idea, that maybe I’ll have a legitimately good one, or at least the motivation to revisit my ‘in-progress’ works.

But it fails.

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