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It starts with a blank sheet

In Process on February 18, 2009 at 1:39 pm

This site – like paper or, more often these days, like the document one is presented when booting up a standard word processing package – is white. Very white. I sometimes wonder if that’s my first mistake in the act of writing. The sheer, unadulterated whiteness I place before myself.

It should be beautiful, clean, pristine. It should demand filling with blackness, whether via inky trails or the lines and curves of elegant typefaces. But a new fall of heavy snow is always spoilt by human intervention – whether from the sludgy tyre tracks of Chelsea tractors or the yellowing piss-trails of the post-pubbed and post-kebabed – and it somehow seems a shame to sully such a vast white expanse of paper or screen with one’s similarly ill-advised attempts at creativity.

So I don’t. Sometimes for weeks on end. Yet all the time I have the nagging sensation that I want to write. That I should be writing. Because secretly – when no one is in danger of overhearing me and smirking at my pretension – I like to call myself a writer.

Oh, and I miss writing too, of course, when I’m not escaping into words and phrases. It’s always worth remembering that salient fact.

And that, in a semi-poetic nutshell, is part of what Writers’ Bloc is all about. Though far from all of it, since to pontificate at length about being unable to write would be even more ridiculous than this already highly self-referential concept of writing about writing. Undoubtedly, however, I can’t help foreseeing that there will be much written here about being stuck, wanting to be unstuck, and all the things that stop us from trudging our dirty footprints back and forth across the snow-covered fields. In the back of my mind, you see, there’s some crazy idea that to actively write about that creative impasse might make it disappear. Stranger things have happened.

Not only me, though. I would quickly tire of being the sole voice pontificating on all the various threads surrounding this topic, and would probably end up curling up in a corner and gnawing at my own limbs until they bled. Writers’ Bloc depends on your contributions, your thoughts, your imaginings, your creativity. You can write briefly or at length, pursuing any tangent that’s even vaguely connected with writing. Just write, that’s the key.

Having said that, I shall immediately contradict myself by mentioning that photographs, pictures and even video clips on the writing theme are very welcome, if you wish to submit them. I’ve found, especially in recent months when words haven’t flowed as freely or as often as I would like, that visual imagery is often a welcome refuge, as well as providing inspiration to return to frantic typing.

As to the practical nuts and bolts of submissions, please read the site’s guidelines before clicking Send on your email. Although they look lengthy, that’s more to do with my typical verbosity and less with actual rules and regulations, of which there are refreshingly few.

I look forward to reading your contributions. Right now, though, I appear to have spent half the day writing here, and I really should tidy the hovel I call my humble home.

Vaughan Simons calls himself the Editor of Writers’ Bloc because he has always longed for such a grandiose job title. He writes online under the increasingly pointless pseudonym of An Unreliable Witness, is a contributor to PIFFLE, and throws his other words and web detritus on Unreliably Witnessed. He’s also appeared in The Corduroy Mtn.

  1. good thoughts here, “the only judge of writing is the writer, if he/she gives into to the editors or tries to please his readers based upon what he/she has done in the past, then you can sail down all the river with all the turds.” bukowski

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