You sit at the blank screen, the blinking cursor mocking you. You’re at the beach in a warm house with no internet. You don’t know your neighbors’ WIFI passwords. You don’t like the morning news shows. The thrift stores won’t open for two hours. Its’ too cold right now to do yard work, plus your back hurts from picking up so many pine cones yesterday. It’s the perfect time to write, but you have no topic, no ideas, no burning desire to discuss anything.
Your phone pings, and you pick it up to look. If you were into your topic, you would’ve ignored it. It’s just a Patch news story about flights delayed because the air traffic controllers are calling in sick. They are tired of working with no pay. Their stressful job is now more so, with no way to pay their bills or feed their families. Some of them are driving for Uber for cash after a long workday.
You stop to warm your hands on your coffee cup. Normally you’d take a sip as you pondered your next sentence. Today you have nothing to ponder that isn’t political. You don’t want to write political. Nobody reads those posts.
Your followers want fun, laughter, and wit. They want to escape the reality of today’s world — bank shootings, school shootings, bar shootings. They don’t want to read about the rich politicians playing a game of chicken regarding the government shutdown. They already know the Earth is in trouble with climate change. They’ve heard that the stock market is down. There goes everybody’s 401K.
You hit a wrong button and a screen pops up. You don’t want that screen. You should’ve paid more attention in typing class back in the day.
I’m never going to have to type, you thought. That’s a secretarial job. Who knew the world was getting ready for PC’s, Macs, and laptops?
You remember the first time you had an Apple computer in your school classroom. It didn’t do much, but it was fun. The kids fought over chances to use it. It made robot noises. They were intrigued.
Now you’ve got computers doing everything. You tried to activate your new credit card yesterday, and there was no 800 number to call. Instead you had to go online to do it, create a user name and a password. It took twice as long as a phone call would’ve taken. But your Travel Rewards card wasn’t working out. You couldn’t redeem any of your 400+ points. You don’t travel except to the beach. You had no airline tickets, hotel room charges, or rental car bills to erase. Your sis needs visitors daily.
Wow! You’ve written 480 words about nothing. Now you can have a second cup of coffee, take a shower and get ready for your beach day. It will warm today by Northern California beach standards for the end of January. Upper 60’s. Not too shabby.
Sometimes the hardest part about writing is just getting started.