I’m sitting cross legged on my bed, an “SG-1” DVD is playing on the TV, the lights are low and the world outside is peaceful and quiet, I have everything I need at my finger tips, laptop, fag’s, lighter, wispa’s and a bottle of coke, no work in sight for over 48 hours and my brain is buzzing with ideas, plots and twists.
Yet here my hands let me down, poised over the keys, but the words will not come.
I have writers block,
And it’s slowly killing me.
I close my eyes and go into my mind, closing out the TV and ping’s coming from MSN.
I close my eyes and go to the place I made inside my mind, a place I can usually find the solution to my block, my library.
It’s an idea I first considered after watching Stephen King’s “Dream Catcher” in which one of the characters, blessed with a photographic memory, (something I do NOT claim to have in anyway), created a vast store house for the sheer mass of information his mind had to deal with, so, with this in mind, I created my library.
The best way to start would be shelves, obviously, but they’d have to be big, floor to ceiling, and a high ceiling at that, because I’m not just going to store the things I’ve read here, but the things I’ve watched too.
As I said, I don’t pretend to have a photographic memory, my short term is near useless, but my long term is very, very good. I will know a film or book plot off by heart having only read or seen it once, with some of my favourites, take Jurassic Park for example, when I was sixteen and could not sleep, I used to recite the entire film to myself after seeing it twice.
With books its slightly more complicated, I will remember all the details, but could not recite one to you, not even a Herbert or Rowling, which, I will have read countless times, but still, I would be able to tell you exactly what happens after one read, is this extraordinary, I have no idea.
So, there is the basis of my library, a nice big room with lots of extremely high shelves, now I need to fill it.
I decided to store all the stuff I didn’t know very well at the front, movies and books, even games I keep meaning to go back and watch, read or do again, (reminds me I really should finish Oblivion one day!), slowly working backwards to the end of the library, where the final shelves hold the things I love the most, my personal faves.
Right at the back of my library, which by the way, has no windows or lights, candles or even a fire for light, instead, right at the back against the wall, is a comparatively small shelf stack, compared to the rest, but you see, this one is special, this one has just a few books on it, and I know each of them off by heart, because you see, I wrote them.
This shelf glows bright, brilliant gold, lighting my library.
This is the stack I come to when I write it’s where I keep a mental image of my books, published and printed with the covers I always dream of, when I should be concentrating on work, which never happens.
Most importantly, this is the stack I come to when I have block, the idea is, I can reach up and take one of my own books down, flicking through the pages, not seeing the words, but seeing the story playing out in its entirety, from start to end, pushing me to recall the scenes already written out in my head, the scenes to come that till this very time I have only ever dreamed about actually writing and making real, so to speak, usually, this approach works very well.
Just not now in fact, not for nearly three weeks.
For nearly a month, every time I reach for one of my stories, I see the place I’ve reached and know what needs to come next, but it won’t, my fingers won’t make the magic, surfing the board with speed and precision, making the story appear as I think it, Writers Magic.
The pages in the books just become blank and meaningless the few words I manage to spew onto Word just look like rubbish and end up getting deleted.
For the first week it wasn’t too bad, I turned my XBOX on for the first time in months and played a game I had completely forgotten buying, but then the week ended, and the game, then I was just sitting in front of a blank word page, waiting for something to happen.
Night after night, the frustration builds, first it feels like my skull is very, very slowly shrinking, pressing against the sides of my brain, then, an itchy sensation spreads across my forearms, and over my shoulder blades, I can’t explain it, but the longer I sit and try to write, the worse it gets.
The biggest problem is not being able to vent, for me anyway, I need to write to get things off my chest. A little while ago, I fell in love, god even writing it makes me feel sick, for the first and only time in my life, and that’s nearing 31 years now, I let someone in close enough and did something I was starting to truly believe I wasn’t capable of doing.
We were together for a while, and it was the happiest time of my life, but it ended, and a mess just isn’t the word for what I was for several long months after.
I knew writing would help, and finding Protagonize after buying my laptop, I began work on a story that means more to me than I can ever express, Absolution.
Later more came, ghost stories, addventures with other authors , fan fiction, short stories and more, finally, I was starting to feel something of myself again (On behalf of all us devoted Protagonizers, again, thank you Nick).
Then comes the block, then comes the long hours when all I have is my thoughts, too much time to over analyse the past, that’s when the depression comes back, that’s when I can feel my hands shaking and my heart beat, drumming so hard it actually hurts.
By the third week, this week, I can’t take it anymore, but what else can I do?
I’m standing in my library holding my books, I can see Eclipse sitting alone, scared and crying on a building top.
I can see a group of friends reaching the pinnacle of a journey they should never have begun.
I can see the monster white shark glide through the ocean.
I see a team waiting in the dark of a country village, for ghosts.
I know what needs to come, I know where the stories need to go, I can see the entirety of the L.O.M trilogy, looking as amazing in my head as I hope it will be on paper, but I just can’t do it.
The words will not come.
The itch is driving me mad, three weeks of pent up emotion and experience is filling my head like a balloon and any second now it’s going to pop.
My teeth are gritted and slowly I realise that all I can do is wait, wait for the block to clear and the words to come, wait for the split second of inspiration to seize me and my stories to come alive again.
Until then, there is nothing more I can do, but stand here, inside the library in my head, holding onto the dream that one day, one perfect amazing day, these stories and the ones to come will be finished, published and one day, be sitting on a shelf in someone else’s library.