Twelve days. It had been twelve days since she had written anything. She brought the mug- with vapors still coming out of the steaming hot coffee- to her lips and inhaled the scent of freshly brewed coffee. The aroma of this beverage was the only thing had could calm her down for the past few days.

As she took the first sip of the mind-numbing beverage, the voices in her head shouting ‘WRITE! WRITE! WRITE!’ died down a bit. Their chanting got a little softer and the splitting headache that Alicia had been sporting since the past nine days- nine days which felt to her as though nine years, nine mountains waiting to be moved by her- seemed to moderate its torment.

Her hair was a tangled mess- she had not cleaned or combed it for seven days now. She ran her right hand through the brown curls that had been ruffled up wildly from those sleepless nights. Her eyes, which were like golden pools of honey but had lost their charm and liveliness recently, were drowsy and she had developed dark circles under them.

Alicia was frustrated- she felt as if the frustration was slowly eating her up, picking only one part of her soul at once in a slow torture. She was irritated and bitter. Small matters of no significance caused great annoyance to her. Many a times she had kicked her study table in annoyance or threw her pen across the room when she failed to get any new ideas and write something. Often she felt like banging her head on the nearest wall. Writing has always been a part of her soul and suffering from writer’s block was driving her crazy. This had been her longest break from writing.

She was not able to think straight. The words kept getting jumbled up together and her sentences became shorter. Her brain kept screaming those few phrases on repeat. Go write. Just write. Write whatever you feel like. Do something. Grab a pen and paper. Open your laptop. Just start writing. Write. Write. Just write. Something. Anything. Alicia wanted to write but what was she supposed to write about? If only she could figure out the answer to this question.

Alicia had stared at the blank canvas on her laptop for hours these past few days, waiting to fill it with the brightest or dullest or black and white or rainbow colors of words. She was ready to fill it with any color, a single color, a mixture of colors, make it abstract, or make it definite; she didn’t care what she did. But the problem was she had no idea, no understanding of which color to pick first; should she pick pink or blue or yellow or should she pick black or brown or red? She just wanted to do something, write something. ‘But where to start?’ was what she wondered every time.

Alicia had tried every possible way to find some inspiration, some motivation that will get her words flowing. She had looked through hundreds of prompts- creative writing ideas, short story ideas, romance prompts, thriller prompts, historical fiction prompts, mystery prompts. But none of them created any sort of profound impact on herself that could get her started without even thinking much, get her lost in the world of words. Instead she had subscribed to several writing sites, their courses, daily newsletters and what not.

She had visited all her favorite places, places that used to inspire her to write, places of significant importance to her, places with amazing views, but still- NOTHING. She had sat by the window on a day with wonderful weather and looked up at the sun and the clouds and the sky and her surroundings, and inhaled the scent of nature letting it revive her body. Sometimes she would manage to write a few words or a sentence or two but would then come to a dead end again. Those few random words made no sense to her and she would delete it soon after. Hence came the blank canvas back again.

And then it was there. Amidst all the phrases and voices in her head telling her to write, there emerged a faint whisper. A line that inspired her. A sentence that urged her to start writing, and this knowing what to write about. She would have probably ignored that voice like she had been ignoring all the other voices, if not for the irony and contrast that the voice had made compared to all the other voices. This newfound guide told her to not write. It told her that it was alright if sometimes you can’t write a new story. But you can always write your own story.

And so Alicia wrote. She quickly started her laptop and opened the Word file- whose empty blank page she had been staring at for the past twelve days. The sky was a shade of yellow and orange, the kind that brings a warm, fuzzy feeling in your heart and leaves you longing for more. She wrote her first line and wrote some more. The words were just flowing, filing her empty canvas with a thousand different colors, colors of all kinds, black and white and blue and yellow.

She wrote about her frustration, her anger, her irritation. She wrote about her writer’s block. She wrote about her life and the challenges that she had had to overcome. She wrote about her first boyfriend and she wrote about her first heartbreak. She wrote about the awkward moments and the happy and the sad moments. She wrote about her times she had been denied access at some place or had been treated badly because of the color of her skin. She wrote about a hundred more things.

And when she had written it all, Alicia felt different. She felt whole again, as if there was some part of her soul that was missing before but now she had found it back. Adrenaline was coursing through her veins and Alicia was overjoyed. The air smelled different; there was the scent of newly found inspiration, the scent of freshly budded flowers, the scent of the clouds and the sky, the scent of a new book. But above all the other feelings, Alicia felt happy for the first time in twelve days.

June 19, 2020 11:50

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Adaline McDowell
01:32 Jul 03, 2021

This girl's battle to sit down and write is very real, coming from someone who is struggling to do the same. I found reminiscence in your powerful statements, particularly this one: "And when she had written it all, Alicia felt different. She felt whole again, as if there was some part of her soul that was missing before but now she had found it back." :)


Neomi Shah
03:58 Jul 03, 2021

Thank you Adaline! I myself have more often than not struggled to write something, anything and this story definitely had its roots in my frustrating feelings😂


Adaline McDowell
04:24 Jul 13, 2021

Well, good work!


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