In general, I loathe stories where the main character is a writer or the subject is writing. “Oh, you, a writer, wrote a story about a writer? How imaginative. How ever did you manage to dislodge your own genitalia from your mouth? Be honest, you just didn’t want to research literally any other field of work, did you? ” Of course there are exceptions, but, usually using this as a shortcut for characterization comes off as lazy, unrelatable, self-aggrandizing and exposing a lack of life experience.
Equally perturbing is the diatribe about writer’s block. There have been an embarrassing number of publications about wayward writers clinging to a muse as personified by the “Manic Pixie Dream Girl” rather than dare face the menace that is writer’s block. These tropes are palpably hackneyed, trod, and retrod while dragging a dead horse that is being flogged with a smaller dead horse (a metaphor beaten beyond the afterlife by a hundred dead duck-sized horses).
Yet, here I sit, with the cursor mocking me. It blinks, relentlessly it blinks pulsing like the Tell-Tale Heart as thought it implores me to confess some sort of nonsensical absurdity, the blinking pounding on my brain like…well, like a metaphor I don’t want to use involving minorities and authority figures (too soon?).
The cursor mocks me and my arbitrary obligation to myself to write something, anything. The cursor bullies me like a cretinous schoolyard reprobate into regurgitating this mea culpa. Just as soon as I satisfy its insatiable blink, there it is again, reappearing as the interminable blinking line after what you have just written and the oblivion of what is yet to be committed to word. The pace reflects that of my mildly panicked heart.
Wait, is that the “cursor”? I thought the cursor was the arrow that darts around when you use the mouse/pad? Does it mean both? Is this a situation like the word “buffalo” where it means five different things? Can I make a sentence like “Cursor cursor cursor Cursor cursor cursor”? (You trivia and grammar nerds should love that joke.) Do words have meaning anymore?
The blinking echoes my hypocrisy, telling me what I already know, “I see what you’ve written here, I see how you try to call out your contradiction ahead of time so others can’t do it and how you’re doing it again. But I demand more.” Too bad, cursor, you get nothing more than this, me turning in on myself, indulging my insecurities, imploding like a dying star (there’s that self-aggrandizement of someone writing about writing I was talking about).