Sometimes it’s better not to say anything at all 

Writer's block

This is a question I’ve been asking my entire life.

I was sitting slumped over the keyboard, cradling my head in my hands, when Vanessa walked into the room.

“What are you doing?” she asked, frowning.

“Blogging,” I said.

“It looks like you’re sitting there with your head in your hands.”

“This is what I look like when I’m blogging.”

Vanessa approached me and looked over my shoulder. “You haven’t even written anything yet.”

I sighed. “That’s because I don’t have anything to say.”

“So let me get this straight,” Vanessa said. “You told me you started blogging because you had so much you wanted to say.”

“That’s right.”

“And now you’re telling me you don’t have anything to say?”

“Exactly.”

“OK.” Vanessa frowned again. “I’m not sure I follow.”

“I have a lot I want to say,” I said. “The problem is, when I sit down to write, I’m not sure how to say what it is I want to say.”

“So you know what you want to say,” Vanessa said. “You just don’t know how to say what you want to say?”

“Exactly.”

Vanessa shrugged. “So why not just say what you want to say and get it over with?”

“Because when I sit down to write, I’m not sure I have anything to say.”

“Don’t say that,” Vanessa said. “You have lots to say. I know you do. You have ideas all the time. You’re always telling me about them.”

“That’s part of the problem. I have all my best ideas at the worst times. Ideas come to me when I’m in the shower, when I’m driving, and when I’m sitting in meetings at work.”

“But not when you sit down to write?” Vanessa asked.

“Nope. There’s nothing. When I sit down to write, all those ideas seem to disappear.”

“I see.” Vanessa clucked her tongue. “It’s quite the conundrum. No pun intended.”

I shrugged. “It’s a good pun. It plays off the name of the blog.”

“Then maybe you should write about it.”

“My blog?”

“No — this. How when you sit down to write, you don’t know how to say what it is you want to say.”

“Nah,” I said. “I wouldn’t know what to say.”

“Oh, c’mon,” Vanessa said, shaking her head.

“It’s true! Everything there is to say has already been said.”

“You know that’s not true. No one’s said all the things you want to say.”

“I’m sure they have, and they’ve probably said them better than me. That’s why they’re all rich, multimillionaire authors, while I’m just 9-to-5 drone and a wannabe blogger.”

“Each of us was put on this planet to say something,” Vanessa said. “We’re all unique individuals with one-of-a-kind perspectives. So you can’t tell me you don’t have anything to say.”

“I’ve been sitting here for twenty minutes, and nothing’s leapt to mind. Just check out that blank screen. I can’t even write a Tweet, must less an entire blog post.”

“That’s because you worry too much about how you come across. Don’t worry about how to say what you want to say. That’s your problem. You worry so much about how to say it that you end up not saying anything at all.”

“And then my readership plummets.”

“Exactly. Wait.” Vanessa frowned at me. “You have a readership?”

“I had a readership. But that was back when I used to say things. Funny things.”

“Then it’s simple: Start saying funny things again.”

I shrugged. “I wouldn’t know what to say.”

Vanessa groaned. “You know that’s not true. We just discussed that. You know what you want to say. You know what you should say. You’re just worried you won’t be able to say what you want to say as eloquently and as intelligently as you want to say it.”

“You don’t say?”

Vanessa flicked my skull. “You’re a conundrum. You know that? You’re a walking, talking, out-of-this-world conundrum. Now if you don’t turn off that computer and come watch Tiny House Nation with me, then I’m the one who’s going to have something to say.”

I smiled. “I don’t know what to say.”

“Then don’t say anything.”

“Good idea,” I said, putting the computer to sleep. “Saying nothing is probably the smartest thing I’ve said all say.”

Vanessa grinned. “Now you’re talking.”

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14 thoughts on “Sometimes it’s better not to say anything at all 

  1. In My Cluttered Attic

    Allen, I’m going to sit right down and write what I wanna say to you before I forget what it is I want to say to you. Lord knows I don’t wanna be sitting in front of a blank screen like you, because then you’d never get to read a word of what it was I wanted to say. Now what was it I was going to say? Well one things for sure… at least you won’t have to worry about having a blank screen to stare at while you’re trying to remember what it was that YOU wanted to write about. 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  2. sportsattitudes

    I have gotten myself into the habit of jotting down all the ideas for writing as I think them…for were I to simply sit down and try to recollect them I would indeed have my head in my hands with a blank screen assisting me in achieving absolutely nothing. My creative thoughts come about in the course of not thinking of them. I don’t know what that says about me, the human brain or the creative process…or Tiny House Nation.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Colane Conundrum Post author

      That’s a really good idea. I used to write ideas on scraps of paper and shove them in my pocket, but I’ve taken to carrying a small notebook with me. It doesn’t work too well when I get ideas in the shower, but it’s better than leaving it to memory. 😄

      Liked by 1 person

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