I'm here on campus for my final residency. I'm sitting in the computer lab, posting to my blog. Three twenty-something blondes are to my right, chatting about the latest gossip and lamenting about a late night of partying. They are comparing tattoos.
I looked in the mirror this morning and noticed that my grey roots are showing again. I suppose it doesn't matter while here, I should be focused on more important things like getting my thesis proposal finished. But I'm feeling old and tired. I'm feeling like I want to wrap this graduate thing up, be done with it already. But I know four tough months are ahead as I finish my book.
Of course, I'm procrastinating. It's a skill I've mastered over the last 45 years. I should be articulating at a graduate level my thesis, the wonderful journey that tells the thesis committee why I'm writing the book I'm writing, why its audience will be flocking to bookstores everywhere to buy it, why every publisher in America will want to put my words on pages. But instead I'm writing in my blog. Truth be told, I'm having an awful case of writer's block.
One of the most terrible maladies to have when in the company of writers is writer's block. All kinds of writers are here with me. Young writers. Older writers. Published writers. Wanna-be writers. But terribly excited and motivated writers. And here I sit with an empty brain, and I cannot translate one cohesive thought to capture what my book is about although twenty page of text sit in my porfolio next to me. I am trying to channel energy from Kaelyn who sits to my left. Her fingers are flying across the keyboard. I glance at her screen, words bounce all over the page. I look over at Carmen across the room, calm, serene, the poet in control. We have writers-in-residence scattered across the room. Are they working on edits to their next best seller? Are powerful words and grammar-perfect sentences pouring from their minds to the pages?
I glance at my nail polish. Chipping already. I have nail polish remover in my room. I look at the portfolio. My work is still there. Maybe I shouldn't have done the yoga workshop this morning. Maybe yoga had a reverse effect on me and has put my brain into a suspended state of relaxation.
Kirsten is revving up. She's off to 18th century France to work on her historical fiction. Kaelyn has put her work to rest and is out of here. I sit, reading the sign taped to my monitor about cell phones not being allowed in the computer lab.
The tattoed undergrads have gone on to other things. Thirty minutes have passed, I've written nothing about nothing. But I have written something.
I open the portfolio. And begin to write.