You can push it, you can avoid it, you can move it around, but you can never break through it. Your mind becomes stuck on endless, meaningless strings of thought–never fully formed enough to bring an idea to fruition. So you get up. You grab a drink. Or a snack. You count the bumps on the ceiling–imagine that it’s a vast, rocky desert, and you are the lone wanderer traversing it’s asbestos-laden planes (albeit, not for long). Of course, none of this helps.

You begin to descend into the murky depths of vacancy–a literary Virginia Woolf, pockets laden with so many aborted, grotesque baubles of beginnings and stories.

“Do it later,” you tell yourself. “I’ll write so much better if I come back to it later with a fresh mind.” But weeks will pass, and “later” will never come.


So, you begin. One by one, you pull out each idea–examine it, polish it, feel it out. And maybe it will go back in your pocket, maybe it will be another abortion, only this time it’s a late-term one, so the mental, emotional price you pay to discard it is higher. But, maybe it leads to something else. Maybe one bad idea turns a corner, and you realize it into not such a bad one. You feed it, turn it into something new, something almost useful. And maybe you suddenly aren’t sinking quite so fast.


Eventually, you hope, these tiny, fragile ideas begin to create something larger than themselves, something you can almost see being worth something. A portfolio. A collection of short stories. The beginnings of a novella.

“It’s not perfect,” you sigh, “but it’s something.” You are tired. You are content.