The Man who would Write

The morning was bright. Birds were singing in the solitary tree jutting out of the concrete next to his mezzanine floor apartment. Children were playing happily on the slides and monkey bars on the small patch of cemented park-like space in between his building and the next.

The man was absolutely determined as he got out of bed. This morning he would write. Nothing could stop him from writing.

He sat on his favourite spot on the couch.

Not like he had a choice. The rest of the couch belonged to the dog.

Problem was that the pillow was not quite parallel to the back of the couch like he always liked. He needed his back to be absolutely straight while he typed. Not that he had a problem with his back. But he needed to sit exactly so his left elbow was just short of the left armrest and the coffee table was within reach so he could put his legs up if he wanted.

The dog was more adjusting than him. But then, the dog was more of a thinker. He needed to type.

So the pillow was taken care of.

But oh! The sunlight was streaming through the window. How could he see the screen? How could he work without adjusting the blinds?

But wait! As he was about to get up and go to the window, the light fell on the keyboard and illuminated a speck–a crumb that had fallen on the hapless edge of the key H at a precarious angle. Just about to fall through the crack!

He had to lift the laptop, turn it at various angles, blow on it, poke it, shake the whole thing! Hrrmmmpppfff. Finally the dog, having gotten very curious, rubbed his nose against the keys and that took care of it. Gone. Back to couch.

Noooo! He had forgotten about the sunlight and the blinds. Get up again.

***

Finally.

Open word processing document. Start typing.

The

Now that’s a good word. A great word.

But should he check his Facebook status for a few seconds? What if a witty retort needed to be positioned at the right place at the time time for maximum effect?

So Facebook was opened. Colourful pictures of Fall leaves on the top of the feed. This warranted a comment. “Nice!” A few likes and “Thanks!” to be taken care of.

All done. Back to document.

The man

Not bad.

***

Oh! Why was the tea cup empty? The creative imagination could not get beyond The man at this rate.

Go back to the microwave for another cup. Wait two minutes. Milk, sugar, stirring, balancing tea and bringing back to couch.

***

Pillow  adjusted again.
Room too dark.
Blinds opened again.
Keyboard  cleaned better with a soft rag.

***

Type.
WRITE.

The man who
The man who would
The man who would write

Nah! Better. Better.

The man who would write perfectly

Now that’s a better title.

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72 thoughts on “The Man who would Write”

  1. Hahahaah! Reminded me of me when it comes to doing a blog post! My current “most needed” right now is..catch up on reading blogs and comment!”…soon it will be “have to shower”…then it will be…”stretching my legs”..and so on and so forth. 😉

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  2. Haha, this man has some serious issues doesn’t he?

    Really enjoyed reading it. Very refreshing and entertaining writing-style.

    Since you are an experienced author, I’d really appreciate if you would stop by my blog sometimes, where I share short stories, flash-fiction and poetry. I would really appreciate some feedback from a great author like yourself.

    Regards,

    Daan van den Bergh

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  3. I read this out loud to my husband as we crashed in a hotel room – our holiday around California is exhausting us at times but we are enjoying everything so much we keep pushing on! We both hooted with laughter – I feel like the woman who would holiday instead of write but we do need to get out in the world now and then and get inspired – so glad I can check into the blogosphere as I go.

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  4. Very well done! Made me smile…very nicely expresses the way many of us writers sit down to write but suddenly everything else takes precedent! Even small things like sunlight and pieces of lint. Loved it. 🙂

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  5. I soooo enjoyed reading this, I could really picture it as I read and it was a beautiful combination of funny and warmly touching, verging on sad…brilliant. Is there a little of me in it too?…well, alright, a tiny bit…:-)

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  6. So, the woman who would write, who would make herself write for half an hour…checked email after one minute, found this post and took heart that while she was writing about how she must write, other writers were writing about the same thing. Then she went to get a cup of tea.

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  7. I enjoyed this story so much, I shared it with my husband in the car. Facebook and Stats are very real distractions, but I make sure I write by having a master file with my ideas in and copying a chunk into a new file to work up into a post.

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  8. Great – I’m with you. I might even have started cleaning the refrigerator when I went to put more cream in my coffee. You captured those moments of writing determination and distraction (and procrastination) perfectly. Thanks for sharing.

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  9. Really like this, great flash fiction, but find your use of the asterisk a bit distracting – do you need to put them in there? Love your blog. Check it out every day.

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    1. I think the asterisks work in this format. I used to use softer breaks in my writing; however I found that the simple multiple line breaks I used for hard copy were easily lost online on at least a few of the plethora of column widths created by frames, line wrap settings, and different monitors, none of which are the width in which it was written. Now – unless I know the layout will be fixed width and type-size – I use * * * to ensure breaks are clear.

      An amusing (or frustrating) example is that the visual editor window on WordPress is a different width from many of the main columns in the free style sheets. I have found writing anything for publishing on more than one site will almost certainly look odd with traditional book style formatting.

      It does feel less satisfying visually than a sparser use; however it does keep my work readable whichever accessibility settings or even viewing device a reader uses.

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      1. Wonder what reactions other people had?
        Dave, your detailed and insightful comment really made me think about differences in breaks between traditional and electronic media.

        I wish all this thought had gone into the asterisks here but the real reason I put them in was (1) I thought those parts needed transitions and I wasn’t ready to write a really long blog. Those transitions would have needed a lot of details there. (2) I wanted people to fill these parts in on their own with what they did themselves so they could identify with this guy. I mean, not everyone has a microwave or a dog. (3) Laziness and a desire to hit the publish button immediately which is a desire I am learning to control.

        Which is to say they were breaks.

        It’s for the reader to tell me whether (a) they work as is (b) it would be better if they were just blank line breaks (in which case we might run into some of the problems Dave talks about above) (c) no break at all (d) some other transitional writing/images.

        Thanks dearbhlaegan32 and Dave Higgins.

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  10. There are days when I find myself procrastinating when it comes to writing and other days when the words just jump from my fingers onto the screen. I could totally relate to this scenario.

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  11. For some time now, I have been enjoying your posts. Thank you for thoughtful topics relayed through mindful language. Truly, your blog is a must read for me.

    This post, in particular, revealed my writing self to me yet once again but seeing myself through your morning is now a permanent image, I suspect. Your detail, word choice and timing are perfect.

    Karen

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