Swimming in Treacle

Some days when I write I feel like a fraud. The most perfect, immaculately coupled words, sentences and paragraphs flow so easily it’s almost as if they’re given to me by someone else rather than them emerging from my brain. I can’t type quickly enough. It’s all so easy I can’t believe people actually think this is talent. Because I’m not creating it. It’s just happening with my fingers the lucky instruments chosen to type it out.

On other days it’s like swimming in treacle and it’s so frustrating I could cry. I do cry. Not a single sentence seems to form without feeling the need to curse its mediocrity, delete it and start again. And so, the page is a merry-go-round of broken half-paragraphs and emptiness. For the thousandth time today I visit thesaurus.com because I can’t for the life of me think of another word for ‘action’.

Everything is a distraction. Everything. My terrible mood. The candle flame. The way the iPhone speaker dock repeatedly and hypnotically scrolls the artist and track name across its tiny screen in green, digital, matchstick letters. Has my lipstick worn off yet? Does it matter? Nobody can see me. Maybe I’ll go and check. How long has it been since my last cup of tea? Maybe if I step away from the screen I’ll know what to type when I come back. I come back and all my head is full of is the thought that if I keep my eye on that new, purple, Kate Spade handbag I love so much, the £410 price tag might drop. I check it again. And swoon a little. It hasn’t dropped in the last hour. Unsurprisingly.

So I just spin in my chair, drink my tea, sing along badly and too loudly to Taylor Swift songs and hope tomorrow the treacle will have thinned into a fresh stream of clear watery words. Because if inspiration doesn’t hit me again soon, maybe I am a fraud. Maybe I’m not really a writer at all.



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