For most people, writer’s block is staring at a blank page and wondering how to fill it. For me, it’s a mist. There’s something about looking at a blank page that sends me into some kind of seizure or trance. I can lose hours, sometimes days, waking up and writing even though my ass is asleep and my back is screaming from being in a sitting position for so long. I’ve pissed and shit myself, I’ve nearly starved, I’ve snapped out of it with no saliva in my mouth, desperate for water, but I know if I get up and get a drink, shower, eat, change my clothes, I’ll have lost whatever I found in the mist.
But lately, the mist hasn’t come. I’ve been doing things the traditional way, sitting down and writing what I can, good or bad. It’s not writer’s block, but it’s still worse than what happens after my trance. Whatever I write before the mist comes isn’t worth a good god damn. It’s not even worth editing, or re-writing.
The mist. I need the mist.
I’m sitting at my computer now, and I know what I want to write. I want to write a story about a firefighter who goes on his first job and encounters a guy who just ignited his house by flushing his toilet during a gas leak, and the guy walks up to the firefighter all black and burnt and inhuman and one of his hands is huge because his metal watch melted to his wrist and cut off blood flow, and the firefighter looks at the hand and the guy looks at it too and goes to unclasp the watch and the firefighter says NO but the guy does it anyway and his hand just POPS and blood and plasma and everything goes everywhere, right into the firefighter’s mouth. That’s what I want to write, but I won’t. It’s not that I can’t, it’s that I wont. The mist didn’t give me that idea. A guy told it to me.
So I’m looking at the screen, knowing what to write, but I refuse. It’s a Mexican standoff between me and the screen. Give me the mist, or I’ll fill you with shit. I’ll die in this seat until you give me the mist.
And I sit. I wait. I won’t even let sleep take me–it’s not the right trance. I piss myself. My stomach rumbles. And I slowly begin to die.
But not before the mist finds me and carries me away to the best story I’ll never write.
Day 151’s three writing prompt categories were, “Mist,” “Writer’s block,” and, “Traditional.”
Godspeed, writer! All is fair in fiction and war.