Empty pages, let us talk a moment here.
You see, you fill me with a most irrational fear.
You scare me half to death with pristine white.
This isn’t writer’s block, it’s writer’s fright!
I’ve tried to work with you in pastel dress
But find the end results are still a mess.
So what am I to do, oh pages clean?
To scratch my pen upon you feels just mean.
It is your purpose, yes I know, to take the word
And let it live to be re-read, even heard
But I look at you, your perfect paper face
And to sully you with ink seems a disgrace.
Have I the right to write upon such beauty?
There are far less dainty forms to fill that duty.
The electronic page can take your place
And then my foolish marks I can erase
But no, those pages cannot be as good
And leaving you for them is simply rude.
There has to be an answer, pages dear.
Perhaps we ought to wait for an idea
That we can share, that flows from my pen.
Yes that’s the way and maybe… maybe then
We’ll work together gladly my old friend
Your surface alive with words up to The End.
No doubt we’ll start again with something new
And there’ll be this chat again some time with you.
Until then I’ll place you back upon the shelf
To be your unblemished, uncorrupted self
And when my words have the power to compare
To your perfection we’ll say at last fair’s fair.
For now my ache to write must rest complete
Upon the knowledge I can always press Delete!
Oh dear. Maybe it was the medication. It gives me a fever and I have some very obscure ideas. Wrote that short story I was thinking of yesterday, the “Go to Hell” one, and I really hate it. Twee is just not me! It came out at nearly 4,000 words of unoriginal, Disney-movie drivel that I’ll never allow to see the light of day. I’ll have to delete the whole thing so that no-one ever finds it accidentally and thinks I usually think along those lines. It has to have been a hallucination. There is no other plausible reason.
I suppose there is one good thing to come out of it and that is that I was so absorbed in that maudlin rubbish that I didn’t spend any money under the influence of the evil fever. The Internet has the ability to draw me in to shopping sprees at these times, especially Amazon and that “Buy now with One-click” thing. The nemesis of bank accounts everywhere.
It’s always disappointing though when you read something back and your only reaction is a facepalm. Really saps your confidence and makes you wonder whether everything else you ever wrote was that bad but you were blind to it at the time. I suppose it’s necessary to have off days (or nights as this mixed up sleep pattern demands). If you only ever had great days of blindingly good creativity, you’d be so full of yourself you’d burst something vital. So I should be glad I wrote a load of awful rubbish and step away from the keyboard at least until I’ve had another good sleep. I think. I might still be hallucinating though.
I remember once, I had a raging fever and thought there were pigeons on the coffee table, and I talked to those pigeons for some reason in an American accent. Pigeons make me smile to this very day because of that ridiculous figment of my imagination. But should it then be good or bad for my writing to be consciously working from my sub-conscious? Is imagination conscious or sub-conscious? When I write, whatever it is I’m writing, I have no concept of time. I don’t hear anything from outside my own head. It can go on for hours and I won’t eat, drink, move until it lets go of me. Is that not on some level the same as hallucinating? Why all these questions?
Sometimes I do have a thought without asking a question. Just not very often. Zen and the art of writing rubbish. But I did right 6 pages of piffle, no question about that. What an embarrassing waste of time. Of course, no-one would know if I hadn’t said anything but it feels like the universe is pointing down, laughing and won’t let up until I confess it to anyone who’ll listen. Maybe I should speak to the doctor about the side effects of this stuff. It clearly makes words come out that should have been kept firmly locked in. Still, it won’t give me back all that time wasted on a terrible night’s work.
The other day I couldn’t write a thing. Your voice in my head was telling me again that what I’m doing is a waste of time and isn’t proper writing. So I’m addressing you with this post and I hope there’s some way you can read it from beyond. I’m not sure what you believed proper writing to be. I never saw you read a book, although you did read some autobiographies, or so I’m told. Well, Grandma, when I was a kid, I hadn’t really been around long enough to write a substantial story of my life but I had so many ideas for stories that created lives.
You’ll be pleased to know, Grandma, that Paul has written a fantastic autobiography, but he’s had a full and action packed life that people will want to read about. Me, I’ve never been very far or done very much really, and that seems more and more unlikely all the time. I didn’t mean to get this illness in childhood that took away my physical energy. I didn’t mean to start falling apart in my thirties. I didn’t design my own genome and if I had, I would have still added the drive to write.
After talking to Paul though, Grandma, you need to know that the writing drive comes from your bloodline. I’m taking my publishing name from your bloodline and very seriously considering making it legally my name. So what I do is as much because of you as in spite of you.
Paul and I talked for nearly an hour and we have very similar things to say about our early lives. the difference between he and I though, is that he went out and did what he wanted to do early on. Me, I’ve waited until no-one can stop me and I’m only sorry that Mum isn’t here, because she would be so excited for me and for Paul.
So I’m ever so apologetically going to have to tell you to shush, Grandma. I can do this and you never know – it could be the start of something good that you would never have let me achieve. Getting a book out is an achievement in itself. You should be pleased for me. Your granddaughter knows what she wants to do, always has, and she’s doing it. If we ever meet again, if there is an afterlife, I hope you can smile and introduce me as your granddaughter, the writer. I’ll even give you signed ethereal copies if you think you can stand to read some fiction and be gracious about it.
Now please excuse me. I’ve set myself a task to write as much as I can today, whether you approve or not.
Your granddaughter, the writer