Reflections

Something From Nothing

My friends, I have a problem.

Today is Sunday, and that means that I should be posting something. Anything! But today I find myself at a loss…

My problem may have started when I decided that I would post something at least once a week, often on Sunday. As a writer, I figured this would make a great challenge that would further develop my skills and it would help keep me accountable…to myself mostly, I guess. But also to anybody who takes the time to read the scattered thoughts and tales that come out of my brain. If you are reading this right now and count yourself as one of these people, thank you! But this week, I find myself scratching my head while trying to find some form of inspiration.

Over the last few weeks, I’ve had no shortage of ideas or topics to write about. When it comes down to it, the struggle usually has had more to do with picking one of the ideas I had rather than actually trying to find one. Yet… here I am.

So what does one do when they start drawing blanks? You head to Google of course!

“What should I write about today?” I asked.

Lo and behold, in a matter of seconds, the helpful search engine presented me with page after page of prompts and ideas. Now, I could have spent hours looking through all the material it gave me to work with. Instead, I clicked on one of the first hits, an article titled “365 Creative Writing Prompts.”

“Yes! My problems are over!” I told myself. Then I looked at the prompts…all 365 of them. Once again, I was lost in an overwhelming sea of ideas. Sadly, almost every prompt I looked at was shrugged off with little effort.

“Simple,” I thought.

“Boring,” I yawned.

“Silly!” I exclaimed.

“How am I to pick from all of these?” I found myself once again asking…myself. “I know! I’ll use Google to find a random number generator and I’ll stick with the prompt based on its assigned number. I’ll go with that suggestion no matter what!”

Any normal person should have facepalmed at the intricacy of their own stupidity at this very moment.

I, however, did not.

The first number the generator picked out for me was #29. The given prompt was “Good Vibes: What makes you smile? What makes you happy?” I really wish I could tell you I stood by my original plan and went with the first prompt.

Once again, I did not.

Five prompts later, I was no closer to deciding on a topic for today’s post. Each time I had the computer pick another random number, I was less than impressed with the prompt it gave me, so I managed to convince myself that the generator was just getting warmed up. This could have gone on for hours, most likely, but I needed to start with something as time was growing short. Funny enough, I was already doing it. Did I notice?

*sigh* … I did not.

At some point (as I actively type out this paragraph), I found myself writing about my experience in trying to find a topic. Maybe because I found the simple humour in my situation and found it worth noting. Or maybe, I figured it would be a good exercise and would help get things going. Then again, perhaps I started writing it to berate myself for procrastinating and being indecisive. Maybe I’ll never really know.

When it comes down to it, I believe we are our own worst enemies in everything we do. We have a tendency to push ourselves to the brink. We expect the best and tend to be overly critical of ourselves, but for some crazy reason, we can never just let ourselves be. In my case, I had decided that I was suffering from writer’s block, but in the end, the writer’s block was all in my head. I created it. That was all me! I still had several topics to choose from, but I relied on Google and a number assignment generator to pick it for me. And even after that, I pushed each one aside, thinking those topics were garbage and the generator was trying to sabotage me. Do you know how asinine that sounds when you say it out loud to yourself? You spend all that time thinking you have nothing only to figure out in the end that you had plenty of something all along.

The only one stopping you is you. Never get it in your head that you have nothing; this is a trap of your own making.

And now that I’ve finished my post for the day, I can honestly admit that I’m smiling like a fool. Oh! What it is to be happy!

Take that, creative writing prompt #29!

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