Sometimes the words just aren’t there. Actually, they are there, but the right words don’t come out in the right order. It’s as if there is a disconnection between brain, hand and screen. Somewhere in the translation of thought from idea to reality, the words get themselves tangled and confused.
Take yesterday (please take yesterday – erase it from memory as a non-event). I thought I’d have a few hours off in the afternoon, so started work early. All I had to do was write two fairly short articles and a blog post. A total of about 1500 words. A walk in the proverbial park. By the end of the day not only had I not achieved that meagre output, but I hadn’t had a few hours off either.
So what went wrong? I’ve developed the habit of ‘writing’ articles in my head before I get anywhere near a laptop. That way I get off to a flying start, with at least the introduction ready to type and a good idea of the structure of the rest of the piece. Yesterday I was struck with an episode of BPS (Blank Page Syndrome) as soon as I opened up a new document. Half an hour later, the first sentence glared at me from the screen. It was ugly, poorly constructed, and didn’t say much at all. Back to square one with the BPS. By lunchtime, I’d struggled through about 700 words, by a laborious process of writing and erasing, over and over again. A quick break for lunch and I re-read the morning’s output. Somehow, in that brief break, the words had magically re-organised themselves into a truly awful piece of writing.
Eventually I finished a fair draft of that piece, got 200 words of a second article written, then gave up. I haven’t had the heart or the nerve to review yesterday’s work yet. I suspect I won’t be dancing for joy when I do.
Some days just don’t work.