(short story by Ambre Pluta and illustrated by Vaneeza Jawad)

A blank page and a black stick that appears then disappears. A mind burdened with ideas and thousands of words, but none seeming worthy enough to appear on the screen. It would give concrete and tangible life to thoughts that seemed so fragile.

Yet, she needed to write something. Anything. Even just a few words. She felt a surge of inspiration that she had feared would never come again. Not exploiting it seemed like a crime.

Time was stretching. Silence heavy like the quiet before the storm. All she could feel was the need, the inexplicable and indescribable need, to write. 

Sometimes, she imagined herself writing something so wonderful that it would be translated and read everywhere in the world. But always, lurking in a dark corner of her mind, the inexorable fear of taking a path already traveled. The pride and the bogeyman of every author. Does the desire to be read spoil the ability to write what you really want to?

This was the reason that had prompted her to write with a computer. Typing on the keyboard doesn’t give her enough time to question herself. The barrier between her mind and the page seemed so much more surmountable when the words were appearing on a screen, and not on paper. Admittedly, the pen and paper carried within them an undeniable charm. But the speed of transcribing thoughts to the screen was unbeatable.

Yet, on that day, despite the surge of inspiration and the will to write, she couldn’t write a single word. So, she got up, put on her coat, woolen hat and shoes, and left her flat.

She spent the day wandering the streets. Seeking inspiration that was already drowning her mind. But no sentence formed and the urge to write persisted like the constant tick tock of the clock. She walked with a rhythmic pace, without avoiding the puddles. She hadn’t taken an umbrella and her woolen hat was soon soaked through.

How could she be so inspired and yet not be able to write a single line? It was with this simple question that the idea appeared. An absurd idea, yet surely already used millions of times. But the words finally wanted to come out.

She sat on a bench, under a tree, in no way sheltered from the rain. She pulled out her phone. And amid the downpour, on a wet and blurry phone screen, she wrote the story of the writer’s block.

It was perhaps very simple and paradoxical. But the feeling of satisfaction was unparalleled.

She told a story; her story and that of so many. She wrote that she couldn’t write.

Thus, it was on a rainy afternoon, when she was afraid that she would never know how to write again, that she was inspired by her disarray to write a story. This story would probably never be translated. This story would probably never be read. But she was writing it.

When it was over, the girl went home with a light heart. She sat down in front of her computer and the words continued to flow from her mind to the screen. The sentences seemed to dance before her eyes as her fingers flew above the keyboard.

She finally wrote the last sentence and a full stop:

She finally wrote the last sentence and a full stop.

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