On Nothing

I’ve been sitting here at the computer, dying to write something witty or meaningful for the past… 20 minutes. I know, it could be worse, but the older I get the more patience I seem to lose. So, yeah, I’ve been staring at the screen and I’ve tried a couple topics because writer’s block has been kicking my ass for months now and I still have to understand how much of it is due to my hectic life in the past few months and what instead is to blame on sheer laziness.

Anyway, I still haven’t decided what I’m going to write about. Like, what does someone write about when one’s head is so full of white noise it’s a miracle their irises haven’t changed color?

The answer? Nothing. One writes about nothing, which is basically what I’m doing now, hoping that amid the furious typing some random though will pop up, smack me upside the head and say: “Write About Me.”

Mmmmh… this actually reminds me of something…

The writing process? Do you have one?

Maybe I should tell you a story.

Well, once upon a time, there was a sweet, naive, little girl who must have been, what, 10 or 11 years old. Even at that age, she had a knack for all things murders and gruesome, so she decided to write a mystery thriller in which the janitor would be the killer.

She never got around to write the words: Chapter one.

That was attempt number 1.

Number two went a little bit further. I guess she was around 13, second year of middle school. This time the killer was going to be the butler (Genius, right? I mean, who would ever suspect the butler?). She wrote 6 or 7 sheets, then hid them in her school journal, where they probably got mixed up with other papers, fell out or committed suicide by OJ’s drowning.

One year later, she got her first computer. 40 pages, and finally no one was dying. It was basically some kind of elemental YA fantasy with a side plot portraying the misery of her love life. Let me tell you, she’s glad to this day that she had the intelligence to erase every condemning word.

That was attempt number three, which also failed because it had started as a summer fling, and it doesn’t take John Travolta or Olivia Newton John to figure the plot didn’t survive the trauma caused by the back-to-school shock.

Attempt number 4 was even more short-lived. Nostalgic of her middle school class, she tried to (jeez, it DOES feel creepy to talk about myself in third person) turn some of her memories into a coherent story. Can you say awkward unrequited love triangle? Yeah, no one wants to remember their early teen crushes.

But then something happened.

*mysterious music*

 Another project kidnapped her mind and, for the first time ever, she was sure she would never finish it. No way. She knew it. It had never worked before, but she didn’t let that knowledge take away the pleasure of shutting up those annoying voice inside her head.

Three months. Actually two and a half. Five freaking hundred pages. Yeah, the editing later was a bitch. Every sentence I cut it felt like I was sewing my own limbs off with my teeth.

So that’s how I happened to write my first book. I’m sure it was a thrilling story for y’all. You can save the hand in front of your mouth. I mean, if you even read so far then kudos to you. You have more patience than I do.

That was probably the fastest book I ever wrote. I guess it was the novelty of it all, and also that childish belief that it would be the next great romance after Twilight’s or Harry Potter’s (C’mon, I was 14!). Every other book I wrote after that, it took at least 9 months to a year to get it done. More than a frigging pregnancy! It sure felt like it.

Then my passion for English came around and… the first book ever which I wrote in English took me a little bit over three months. Again, novelty of it all, the relief of finally being able of expressing myself in a way that matched what I was reading (am I the only one whose style changes according to what I’m reading? I feel like a damn chameleon!)

I guess this is all. Only time for one last confession.

Hi, my name is Talia, I’m a writer, and it’s been more than two months since I last wrote something.

And if you’re wondering, yes, it feels like shit. I’m really committed to my writing and, in the past, not writing for a week made me frustrated, annoyed and angry at myself, but lately I tend to feel disconnected to my characters. I blame it on the fact that I don’t NEED to write anymore, not the way I used to when it was some sort of refuge or obsession. I don’t really hear the voices anymore. Truth be told, I don’t dream anymore too.

I’m not talking about normal dreams, I’m talking about the hours spent looking around but not seeing anything, the days lost in my mind. I don’t do that anymore, and THAT was the best part of it. Seeing the scene pan out in front of my eyes, falling in love with the imaginary people in the stories, being them.

I don’t know if there’s a cure for that. Maybe it just means I’m growing up and losing some of my pixie dust along with my patience, or maybe it’s a good sign, meaning I don’t have to take residency in my head anymore because I actually enjoy the outer world more.

So I guess this post doesn’t really have a happy ending, but more of an open ending.

Just like life a little bit, uh? I mean, closure these days comes around less frequently than an ARC from Cambria Hebert (wow, I’m snarky tonight. If you’re reading this, Cambria, I love you and your books! Don’t mind me and go write some actual awesomeness!)

The End

Yeah, because nothing feels better than typing those two words at the end of a manuscript.

Oh, so now that you’ve read all this, you can probably understand why I burst out laughing when one day my flat mate interrupted our dinner to announce she wanted to write a book.

My first words?

“Good fucking luck with that!” *raises glasses* *laughs maniacally internally*

But that’s a story for another day.


7 thoughts on “On Nothing

  1. Happily Ever After says:

    love it!!! I’m glad I’m not a writer. I can see myself sitting in front of the computer and NOTHING comes to mind. I’m happy to be a reader and let others write to their hearts content. Have you thought of writing short satires or snippets or something like that? Start different ideas & projects, see where your muse takes you.

    Liked by 1 person

    • taliaredhotink says:

      Thank you for reading and yes, a couple years ago I thought of writing short stories about everyday situations from a satirical, fun POV, but it wasn’t my thing.
      I’m more of a plot-characters-dynamics-romances-banter kind of gal. This new project I’m working on is actually a “new” one that I began after leaving another one to rot at the bottom of my documents’ folder. I’m sure one day I’ll pick it back up and finish it, but as of now I really need to give myself a sound slap and get my head in the game. It’s been such a weird year this last one and my routine has been upended.
      I think I need to find a new writing routine 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Beware Of The Reader says:

    I love your post about “nothing” Talia 🙂 I happen to share many common traits with you, falling in love with English being one of them. I do beta reads for some authors and had to rewrite scenes sometimes just to share what I expected. They’re all urging me to write my own book but firts of all: where would I have the time (between the kids, dog, hubs, work, sport, reading and blogging…) second which language to choose? My mother language or English? See I’m not ready yet and I admire you all trying to write stories . 500 pages when you were a teen that’s impressive! Now for your writer’s block someone told me to write everyday, anything really so you writing about nothing means you’re on the right path.


  3. taliaredhotink says:

    Thanks for the great advice, Sophie! I’ll try to buckle myself to a chair and just write something every single day. Hope the conditioning works 🙂
    I’ve actually discovered that, for me, it’s better if I have a super busy schedule. When I have nothing to do… well, I keep doing nothing. Still, being a student, I have lots of free time even when my schedule is busy, so I can’t imagine how hard it must be to find place for writing between kids, work etc.

    As for the language, it’s kind of tricky, because my English isn’t as good as that of writers who actually speak it every day, but it feels weird to write in Italian because I have no means of comparison. Also, I love the way it sounds and writes. I love the way you can practically turn everything into a verb, and how onomatopoeic some words are, especially action-words.


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