Let's be honest here for a second; I sometimes don't have any clue what to write about. New Yorker staff writer Susan Orlean once said " If you’ve got writer’s block, you don’t have writer’s block. You have reporter’s block. You only are having trouble writing because you don’t actually yet know what you’re trying to say, and that usually means you don’t have enough information. That’s the signal to walk away from the keyboard, think about what it is that you don’t really know yet, and go do that reporting".
On the strong end, isn't it Susan? When I first read this paragraph, I said to myself "YES! This has to be it!" All those years, I've clearly been not writing but simply reporting. But if reporting is the reason for my frequent blocks then why do I occasionally experience the exact opposite of writer's block? A momentary phenomenon that could only be described as writer's abundance attack! My bags fill up with pieces of random, paper-like materials: chewing gum wrappings, newspaper pages, financial reports from the office, once even a plastic bag: all glorious alternatives to my notebook, which save the day on notebook's behalf. The urge to write my thoughts down comes so suddenly and so strongly that whatever wants to come out of my system cannot withstand waiting for a regular piece of paper or a freaking laptop. It's an outpour of words linked through punctuation and frustration with a pinch of love on top.
And how about that thing with pens!? My home is filled with pens of different shapes and colors, not because I hoard them but because I barrow and never give back, which some have the audacity to call theft but so be it. In fact here's one of my evil plans: STARBUCKS! Bring them down by grand theft pens. They shall never again misspell another coffee drinker's name. Nameless cups of over-personalized coffee drinks shall never find their drinkers. Chaos will rule the waiting zones at all Starbucks stores across the world. Extra hot, non-fat, caramel machiatto with added, chemical, chocolate bomb shit will get ice cold sitting next to a melting , light ice, extra sweetened, tiramisu frappachino with 3 pumps of pumpkin spice on a single pump base of raspberry syrup. All because I very sneakily will have hacked into their universal, cup naming game with my excessive borrowing of barista pens.
Brilliant? Why yes, thank you.
With that being said, I don't think I am ready just yet to accept that I report instead of write. Susan! I might occasionally find it excruciatingly painful to transcend what lies within the realms of my pink, little brain onto a big, blue piece of paper (if you're really, really smart, you'll see the analogy here). But that doesn't mean I am a reporter! I am a storyteller. If a block occurs that means stories haven't been lived yet. To fix this problem, one simply steps away from one's laptop - or trash bag in my case- and goes out to live the story -not research it-, come back and tell it. I'm on the same page as Susan, just a different book.