I sit down on my sofa and open up my laptop. Same time, same place, same problems. My laptop loads, I click on the hopeful Word logo, and pages of words flick up before my eyes. Those words from before, back when I could write them, looking up at me like I am their father and I’ve missed several key dates in their lives. Looking up at me like I used to love them, and like they still love me, only I have let them down so many times they’re no longer sure why.
You see, once upon a time I had plans. Those plans involved writing a book, which is no surprise. Doesn’t every copywriter have such ambitions? Don’t they all have a half finished novel sat waiting for them at home while they’re out at work fingering their marketing mistress? Forgive that turn of phrase, but it’s been so long since I found a turn of phrase that I’m going to leave it in, just in case it never happens again.
So yes, plans. I had them, and I made a most excellent start. Since beginning I have written more than the combined total of both my dissertations. Since the first line I have achieved more words than all of my short form copywriting put together. Every 5 word banner, ever punchy three word press ad, every edgy one worder that pleases the designer but leaves the reader completely confused and, you hope, intrigued.
As those words pop up I realise that I have achieved something. I’ve made a very good start, and of that I can be proud.
Sadly, now, that start sits without a middle, and miles away from any hint of an ending. This is highly upsetting.
My laptop once again lies open, my Word document once again flashes at me to tell me it’s ready to go, and I once again find a distraction. I once again struggle to know what to say.
I tell myself I will write tonight.
I tell myself I can do it.
I tell myself it will be this night.
But I fill myself with bullshit.
Hours pass and I write nothing. My laptop waits by my side like a patient dog, panting in the hope that soon it will be walked. Sit boy, maybe later. I flick mindlessly through my Twitter feed, finding nothing to inspire me but not really looking that hard. How about Instagram? Food. That reminds me, I should really eat. I prepare, I cook, I devour, I clean, I shit. Did shitting inspire me? No, and by now it’s getting late and I’m sure there must be something good on TV.
But no, Ash, don’t let this happen again. You are better than this, you told yourself this time would be different.
You are a writer. No – you are THE writer. You can beat this like you can any brief, you can solve this like you can any word related problem. You’ll do it with time to spare, you’ll do it in three different styles, you’ll do it in a range of tones.
Maybe if I blog that will loosen up my gears?
WordPress.com, I type it in. White space, just longing to be filled. Blankness, begging me to make it messy. But by now I don’t even know what blogging is. I’m not 20 anymore, I don’t have the enthusiasm I once did to write satire about mundane events. Well, I do have the enthusiasm, I do have the desire, perhaps a better way to say it would be I DO NOT HAVE THE SODDING ENERGY.
So my blog sits there too, waiting as my Word file does for any sign of action. Tick, tock, you’ve got work in the morning Ash. Shouldn’t you save your best ideas for then anyway? That digital banner that needs to be delivered in a straight, unimaginative, and if possible immediate way will definitely require your creative juices to be ripe, ready and dripping.
Wouldn’t it be a shame to waste them on a dream?
I open up my Word file and click save, just in case anything happened while I wasn’t looking. I’d hate to lose all that work that doesn’t exist.
I write a blog instead. It’s this crap, and I doubt many of you made it this far.