They tell us words matter. We nod, thinking of great fiction, our most beloved stories. They provide lists of tools and rules: metaphors, similes, rhythm, pacing, plot, structure, setting, character. We are warned that our chances of success are slim, or nil. We grasp our pens, understanding that inferior words will never do.
We sit at our desks, weighing our words, neither writing nor creating. Sitting there, anxious, frightened, we’d find comfort on the page, but our stories are smothered under the weight of language.
We pick and choose and sift through words. We breathe hints of greatness, feel the words pulsing under our skin, but we can’t grasp them, form them, infuse them with meaning. They slip away into the ether.
Pinging reminders, chirping phones, interruptions, priorities. We lose focus. We recall the tips for exceptional writing that they offered us before we stopped listening. Spend words. Lots of words. Write them down. Throw them away. We consider the irony.
We want to write things that make us smile and sigh and weep. We want to write beauty, words lifted from the page, transformed into swirling colors and textures. We want to feel with our words.
We sit at our desks, writing nothing.