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Conversation with self

I hate that feeling when you stare at the screen and inspiration has left you. Your fingers are poised over the keyboard … and nothing happens! It is even worse when you are under pressure to produce and all you have is this emptiness. The only consolation I have is that I know I am not the only person who feels this way.

Sometimes I wonder where inspiration goes. I wish I could reach out, grab it, and put it back where it belongs.

Does it sneak out the door like someone who doesn’t want to be found out? Does it just disappear in a puff of smoke? Does it stamp its feet like a petulant child trying to get my attention and I simply ignore it?

I’m left wondering whether there was any inspiration there in the first place.

The one thing that has me completely stumped at the moment is an abstract I am trying to write for a conference paper. Yes, I am back in academic writing mode. Actually I have two papers to write in the next couple of months. So I am heading down the path of more research, thinking, formulating, and writing.

I have had all these ideas formulating inside me for the paper I am working on today. Yet now when I have to write there is nothing. No matter how hard I search the words won’t come. I keep looking at the screen. The questions and the doubt have now started to take over. Oh, how I hate this.

I start having a conversation with myself.

Cyber sisters from Flame Warriors by Mike Reid

“How come you are writing these words so easily – they are just flowing out of you – and yet you have spent the whole day just trying to work out the title of your paper?”

“I don’t know, maybe I’m dumb and I can’t do this?”

“What rubbish. Of course you can do this. You know what you want to research and what you want to say so go and do it.”

“I can’t. There is nothing there. I just don’t know where to start”

“Yes, you do. You have done this many times before. Why are you struggling with this. Put anything down. Just get your thoughts down and then you can go back to it and fine tune it.”

“I’m no good at this”

“That’s what you said about your Masters. Remind me again what grade you managed to achieve for your research.”

“Okay, point taken.”

“What do you think is holding you back?”


“A lack of belief in me and what I can do.”

“You have to change these thoughts. You are the only one in control of this.”


“That is the million dollar question!”

“Open your eyes. See what others see. Believe and go for it. No one is making you do this. You are in control.”

The other day a special friend drew my attention to a posting in Drawn!. The original posting was made by Keri Smith in her Wish Jar Journal. This suddenly flashes into my mind.

How to be miserable as an artist

My immediate reaction when I read this was that this could apply to any situation if it was slightly re-worked. I’d like to suggest a new title: How to be miserable no matter what you’re doing.

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