Medicine, Man-Colds and the Blank Page

Truthfully I’ve been having some issues writing this blog post. There have been three different versions of it so far. I started writing about being sick (enthralling literature, I know) before I decided to write about books instead.

That had a bit more promise, my bookcase IS pretty awesome, after all, and most everybody has a favorite book. But I couldn’t write that either, because the words weren’t flowing, and when the words don’t flow writing is the most frustrating thing ever.

I feel like that should be a post in itself, but to set it up a bit:

What is it about your favorite book that you love the most? How did you find it?

Maybe that will be the next one. Let me know in the comments if that’s something you’re interested in reading about. In the meantime…


Look at it! It’s beautiful!

You see, the problem is that I don’t just want to write about just anything in these posts. You deserve better than that. The problem is that most great works of art have a theme that ties them together.

This one doesn’t.

But I think that’s the thing that gets me the most. This is a blog about my author’s journey, and that means it’s important that I give you guys the best. Truthfully I always look back on my past posts and think “I could have done that better” or “I should have talked about this.”

But it’s also a blog about my life. And when I’ve got an atrocious man-cold, I’m not doing much, so I don’t have much to write about. Imagine THAT blog

8:02 am: Went back to bed after ingesting the maximum dosage of cold/flu medicine

8:03 am: Did I take the blue pill or the orange pill? Isn’t this how the Matrix started? “Take the orange pill, Neo, and the journey continues. Take the blue pill, and wake up four hours later in a pool of your own drool.”

There are only so many jokes about the man-cold that I can make before I start to feel a little dead inside.


The man cold is real. Believe me.


But both the times I tried to write, I couldn’t. The blank page is not my friend. I’m talking about that moment when a perfect, blank page is in front of you. A writer can do one of two things with that.

The first? Fill it with amazing and magical things. Really make the words come alive until the reader feels like they’re right there with the main character, wherever they are. If the writer does it right then time stops. You forget about the problems of your day and small things like eating or drinking. There’s nothing but you and the next page.

The second? Nothing happens. For me, I can feel the magic in my fingertips, or I’ve got the ideas in my brain but there’s a disconnect somewhere. I try to force it but it doesn’t work that way. The few prosaic sentences that I string together mock me on the page until I delete them.

And then the laptop goes into sleep mode because I haven’t written a word in five minutes, and I’m left staring at my sad expression in the reflection of the screen.

Some days, the words don’t come. Those are the hardest days. When you sit in front of a blank screen for hours on end just hoping for that one little spark that will get you going. You don’t know what’s causing it – the day before it all went great. But now you’ve just got a Blank Page in front of you, and an overwhelming desire to clean.

Because the reason why you can’t write is that your mantlepiece is dirty, right? That’s GOT to be it.

Maybe the reason is that the glass of wine beside you is empty, and that dry-red is the only thing keeping the words flowing.

Maybe the cold medicine is starting to wear off.

What I want to write is magic. That’s the plan I have for this blog. That’s why it’s got to be as close to perfect as I can make it.



SO. What did we learn this week?

  1. Yeah, I’m a big baby when I’m sick.
  2. Being sick was way more fun when I was a kid. I swear I only pretended to be sick back then once or twice, mom
  3. See? I’m getting writer’s block even right now
  4. Something something magic fingers something something buy my book

Grabbing the cough medicine now.

Later days,

M James Murray

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