I keep looking at the blinking cursor. It's the gate keeper to the page beyond and I can't seem to get past it. Bribes, threats, sweet nothings whispered under my breath. And yet, there it blinks, seeming to mock me with its silent stare.
I can hear its thoughts, coming to me in a 1-2 beat, ticking in time with the blinks of the cursor:
Write. Something. You. Suck. You. Do. Just. Write. Seriously. Loser.
I sigh and shut the computer off and get out my trusted friends - Pen and Paper. Surely they have some tricks up their sleeves for me. 10 doodles and 3 social media checks on my phone later, and I still haven't written a word.
I decide I'm trying too hard to force it and call it a night. I get into bed and read my book, hoping the fuel of someone else's words will spark my creativity. Lost in the pages of another world, I feel the tension loosen out of my shoulders. I really wastrying too hard. I should know better. I read until I can't keep my eyes open and then turn off the lamp and lay down.
A few minutes pass and I listen to the quiet house. The not-so-quiet snores of our doofus dog. The slow breaths of my hubs, sleeping peacefully. Then, an urgent, relentless voice whispers, "Wake up." It's my other old friend, Insomnia, absorbing my exhaustion into its bottomless pit. Sigh. I feel tired still, but I'm no longer sleepy. A nightly conundrum.
I start to reach over and turn the lamp back on for more reading. Instead, I pause, and then jump up in the dark and head back out to the living room. I grab my notebook and pen again.
A small flame begins to flicker inside me. It illuminates just a fragment of a thought and I rush to write it down before it escapes me. That one act unleashes an inferno. I'm desperately trying to keep up with the words now pouring out of me. My hand starts to ache, but I know I can't stop. When the muse answers your call, you honor her with everything in your being.
I let go of everything that holds me back. And finally, I stop. I don't bother to read or edit what I've written. The feverish scribbles can wait until morning. I head off to bed once more, this time feeling fulfilled. I smile, remembering the wild, passionate strokes of my pen on the paper. And I sleep like a baby.
Good night, my muse. Until next time.
**This post also appears on Medium.**