Nothing to write

I have nothing to write.

It’s a bit like being stuck at a railway station when your train is cancelled. You’re used to jumping on an idea and riding the bumpy journey until you get off – or are thrown off – at a random narrative juncture. Instead your muse didn’t show up today, now you’re clutching at newspapers –mere facts – blowing a coffee as stale as your metaphors, bewildered by this unexpected lurch into limbo.

I have nothing to write.

It’s all been said before – all of it – nothing new under the sun; of the making of many books there is no end. I’m quite sure all the words have been arranged in every possible way. I believe myself to be the first bastion of the post-verbal age; what do we do next if not write? I don’t know, but it’s all been said before.

I have nothing to write.

After all, who is listening anyway? A writer writes to be read – or heard, or sung, or echoed; delivered, extemporised, pondered, criticised, analysed. Indeed if a writer writes but there is no one to read it, are there any words? did they even write? is there even a writer? A writer does not write – unless insane – for his or her own entertainment. Why put oneself through that kind of torture for no gain? And yet what little gain! To depend for one’s substance on such a transient art form, changeable as the wind, volatile as the sea. We ride a ship whose cargo might go overboard – or be jettisoned – at any moment. Or bring us to shining shores – who knows?

Perhaps it’s just as well, for I have nothing to write.

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