Blocked (short story based on the life of a writer)

Up before my 5:30 am alarm. It’s a dull, achy feeling of almost awake. I’ve got to get up or I’ll never get to writing today.


The first five stumbling steps send me crashing into the door jam. I cuss quietly under my breath. Then apologize to the Lord for the “s-word” being my first real thought of the day. It should be Him.


Open up the laptop. It glows in a freaky kind of way-too-early-in-the-morning way. In the kitchen, the coffee has just finished its brew. Oh, Father, thank You for programmable coffee makers. And I’m not just saying that because I feel guilty about the cuss.


Fresh, creamy coffee. Computer up and running. I need to write 1,000 words before the kids get up.


Cracking knuckles. Stretching arms. Empty mug. More coffee.


50 words on the page now. On a roll.


Delete them all. I hate writing. Nothing’s right this morning.


Checking Facebook. Twitter. Email. Blog stats. Only 25 page views yesterday? I don’t get it. That was a good post.


Facebook again. Way too many passive aggressive status updates from certain people. Man. This isn’t the way to deal with personal issues, people.


I’m hungry. Peanut butter on a spoon. Nothing better.


The cursor is blinking at me. Blink. Blink. Blink. Stupid jerk cursor. Who decided that it had to blink all the time? Exactly what purpose does the blinking serve? Huh? To make writers crazy? Isn’t that already a problem for us creatives?


Empty mug. Again. No wonder I’m so on edge.


That’s it. I’m blocked. Empty. Mentally constipated. Whatever you call it. I have nothing to say. Or too much to say. I want to scream. But, instead, I cuss again.


Maybe I just haven’t gotten enough sleep. That might help. Or it’s this writing space. Too boring. Maybe too much color. Too dark? Too bright?


I need to get dressed before I come out here to write. Put on a power suit. Red. Red’s the color that gets things done. No more wearing my husband’s flannel pants and an old striped shirt. No more mismatched socks. Power suit is the way to go.


Power suit? That’s stupid. I don’t have that kind of thing. What? Am I supposed to do my hair and make-up, too?


Maybe I’m going crazy. What could it be? Boarder line personality? I’d better take one of those tests. Google is the most efficient diagnostic website.


Great. I’m a narcissistic. It makes sense. I think about myself all the time. All. The. Time.


It’s a good thing I have low self esteem. Otherwise that over-active self focus thing would get kind of annoying.


I need more coffee.


What the hee haw? I’m out of creamer? How does that happen?


Okay. 30 minutes before the kids usually get up. I’ve got nothing.


I need to got to Wal-Mart today. Get some more creamer.


I wonder what would happen if somebody got locked in Wal-Mart after hours. And they lived there, eating the food and sleeping on the display couches. And, let’s say she’s a pregnant teen. Yeah. And then she gives birth, right there on the floor.


Wait. Is that the movie I watched last night on TNT while I was supposed to be writing? Shoot.




Great. They’re getting up.


“I peed the bed!”



The kids are all up, sitting at the table, nibbling on cinnamon bread that is still just a tiny bit frozen. How do I always forget to pull bread out of the freezer?


Thank goodness for PBS. Keeps their little minds distracted. I just need another 20 minutes.


Crash. Spill. Scream.


There’s grape juice everywhere. Even on the dog.



It’s now 8:30 pm. The kids are sleeping after a day at the beach. They needed that time.


I needed that time.


The words flow from my brain to my fingers and onto the white computer screen. The cursor doesn’t have the chance to blink.


Life trumps art. Art is born from the living of that life. I just had to get out of my seat and experience a little.


And tomorrow I’ll start all over again.



13 Comments on “Blocked (short story based on the life of a writer)

  1. Loved it Susie! I’m sitting here trying to find the words to explain how I found it suprisingly applicable to my life as well, even though I’m not a writer, however, I’m blocked for words. How apropos.


  2. Do you really get at up at 5:30? WHAT???? Ok don’t answer I don’t want to know it will only make me feel bad. Oh wait great excuse my kids are up at 6am any way so really by the time I made coffee and checked face book they’d be up anyway so I guess that’s not going to work for me. What’s that? I could skip face book?………………………………………


    • Yup. 5:30 5 days a week. It works for me! It hurts every single morning. But so worth it!

      Um…and you are running. That makes ME feel guilty!


  3. Ha-stinkin-larious! Love the honesty and wittiness. I’ve been pregnant 3 out of the last 5 years and they always tell you, ‘sleep when they sleep’. I used to be able to make myself get up early (though I don’t really do coffee). But that was before my job was never ending and I was stationed in my home. But lately (again) I’ve been feeling the pull of productiveness and am praying not just for the desire, but that when I have the desire, my kids would allow me to actually accomplish something… and not just housework, but creative, soul-healing stuff. That’s just one of the reasons why you are such an inspiration, Susie.


    • This one was really fun to write.

      I know that you will be able to get to the creative stuff again, Annette. It’s such a huge part of who you are. You know, I don’t think I wrote a single thing for 3 years after Elise was born. She was 21 months old when I had the boys. But one day, my fingers got to itching and I needed to get to writing. And…that’s when I started writing my novel. 🙂

      You can do it!


  4. Thanks Susie. You’re amazing and encouraging. It seems silly, but right now, just being able to write a comment on your stories feels like an accomplishment. Like baby steps. And look, I’m up at 5:18am… I’m feeding a baby, but I’m up… 🙂


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