A Faulty Starter

I love to write when I can cruise along with the words pouring out of my imagination onto the page. Editing can also be a pleasure, especially during the rare session when the right words automatically pop into my head. So what is my biggest challenge in writing?   Starting.

Sitting down and beginning is the biggest challenge. In the olden days I sharpened and arranged my pencils, found my favorite pens, lined them all up, chose the paper and laid it all out neatly. It was an inspiration.

Setting up is easier in the digital age. Now I merely find my computer glasses, open my computer and click on Microsoft Word. The blank page is ready and waiting, my computer glasses are on my nose and my hands are on the keyboard. At this crucial moment a force stronger than gravity on planet Jupiter begins to draw me away from the keyboard. This morning it took the form of an irrepressible urge for a piece of toast.

Before I knew it I was in the kitchen. Just as I was about to drop a slice of bread into the slit I became painfully aware of all the smudges that needed to be removed from the once shiny white surface of my toaster. I set down the bread, bent over and pawed through my under-the-kitchen-sink cupboard for a ‘Magic Eraser.’ I did not find one. However, during the search I realized that those shelves needed to be reorganized at that very moment. By the time I finished my cupboard was so tidy and attractive that it could have been featured on HGTV. But alas, I found not even a torn half of a Magic Eraser.

Not being a person to give up easily once I have begun a project, I continued my search in the cupboard underneath the basement stairs. It, too, was in disarray. So I set to work. It is now efficient and orderly: paper supplies neatly lined up, Kleenex boxes organized according to color and the cleaning supplies for the house and the car are separated. Happily I found my ‘Magic Erasers.’

Returning upstairs I worked on that toaster until it was as clean as the day I bought it ten years ago. I then made the mistake of looking inside. It was crammed full of historic fragments of former breakfasts. It took me a fair bit of time to find and open the crumb removal drawer and nearly half-an-hour to shake and brush out all the accumulated crumbs. By the time I finished that toaster was beautiful to behold.

I then sat down and enjoyed the piece of toast that began this entire diversion from the keyboard. I now have two clean cupboards. Unfortunately, it is now almost time for lunch and my screen is still blank.

Has anyone reading this ever had a similar experience? If so, please feel free to leave a comment below.  I am always anxious to learn a new avoidance behavior.

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3 thoughts on “A Faulty Starter

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  1. Oh my goodness, Rita, that is so ‘me.’ I agree; it was so much easier when I could get all my paper ready beside my typewriter with my pens, pencils, etc. Sometimes the blank computer screen can be quite intimidating. Then I think, well, I’ll just play one of my computer games for a few minutes. I will play for ten minutes and then I will write – before I know it, twenty minutes has slipped by! I think next time I’m going to clean my toaster and then start writing.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. My house gets very clean when it’s time to start a new book LOL. I solve the “blank screen” syndrome by handwriting first drafts. I have a special clipboard and pen I use just for writing. I sit on the comfy sofa and scrawl away. Then when I set at the computer I have words down already and I can just type them in. Editing is fairly easy from then on.

    Liked by 1 person

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