When I was writing my first book — which was never published and has since been destroyed by me as a way of letting go (there is maybe only one copy left with an ex lover whom I no longer speak with; c'est la vie) Anyway I wrote this as I was agonising one day.
9th Sept 1999
Me, her and the block
The first word written wounds the amateurs pace
Deleted with zeal by fingers of haste
Forced then to savour a silence cursed
Is this beginning a bubble burst?
Time out to boil a kettle well worn
Craving the caffeine besides what was sworn
Another hour past as this block spends time
Phased by the search for the starting line
With effort persisting block under attack
As fingers and key automatically rap
But witnessing average prose on the screen
Returns the critic to the shoulder scene
The droning echo of negative spawns
A weight of doubt with a piercing thorn
“So you think you’re a writer ... ha what nonsense!
You can’t even produce the first sentence.”
Once again the retreat into kitchen hell
Where cigarettes lurk for the vulnerable
Fearing enthusiasm slipping away
As the critic exploits this winning delay
Staring intensely into nothingness walls
As computer speaks tongues of encouraging calls
Finding the strength to continue the craft
Making myself write the first paragraph
This next attempt soon gave the critic a blow
As the writer inside formed the words to flow
Phrases and sentences spilled from the source
The block broken down by the plodding force
Three thousand counted, time for a drink
Switch on the radio, feet up to think
Beginning to write is tough at the start
To master the critic and block is the art
Back at computer it all starts again
Missing the ease of that writing is pain
How did a break turn into a block?
Or is the beginning just amateur talk?
This discovery highlighted a terrible mess
If beginning exists why this constant process
This illusion was formed for amateur fools
By critic talk and beginning tools
The meaning of life became clear in a way
Beginnings are endings; vice versa each day
So when writer is blocked and the critic is flowing
You’ve been there before; just keep going.