The blank page sits and waits. It does not judge as the writer hesitates, procrastinates and makes another cup of coffee. It is bemused, however, by the writer’s seeming inability to do the one thing they proclaim to love. What, it wonders, is so hard about putting pen to paper or fingers to keyboard? The ideas are there, after all. The font of inspiration never runs dry, not really. The very notion is a construct of the human mind, so small in its thinking, so closed. In reality inspiration is a boundless well, but writers in particular are so shackled in their own self-doubt they fail to see the truth: That it is quite within the realms of possibility for them to lower the bucket whenever they choose.
Perhaps, the blank page muses, the writer is like a fountain pen, the ink being inspiration and the nib the point at which the creativity unfolds. When the fountain pen is first used it must be shaken to activate the ink. Only then can the ink trickle down to the nib where the two can connect and create words. Yes, thinks the blank page with a degree of smugness. That must be it. The writer is like a fountain pen that needs shaking. If only I could be the one to shake them. But alas, I am but a blank page, a canvas for the elusive words the writer struggles so much to produce.
The writer paces, sipping coffee and muttering indecipherable words. From time to time they stop and stand, quite still, in the middle of the room, like a cat that has been startled by an aggressor. They stare intently at a spot far in the distance, their eyes backlit by a fire of recognition that is stirring deep within the chasm of their mind. Then quite as suddenly their gaze softens, they lose focus, and they continue pacing, back and forth, this way and that.
The blank page sighs to itself. Watching the writer tie themselves up in knots is frustrating. It listens to the clock ticking and the twittering of birds outside the window. Still it waits, and still the writer does not write. More coffee, a telephone call, a conversation with the next door neighbour about shrubs; the blank page starts to think it will always be like this, an empty canvas, a possibility of greatness but no more. It feels sad.
But just as the blank page is about to give up hope, the writer strides purposefully back into the room and sits down at the desk. They roll up their sleeves, pick up their fountain pen, and begin to write. Or at least they attempt to write, but find that in this latest absence from writing the fountain pen has dried up. They shake the fountain pen and eventually the ink begins to flow. And as the words begin to wrap themselves around the blank page it thinks to itself, you see? The well of inspiration has been here all along. Now lower your bucket and drink.
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