There is no try

A man once sat down to write a masterpiece. Except that he wasn’t yet a man, not on the inside, and the masterpiece just wasn’t that masterful.

He wrestled with his words, afflicted quill and pen and pixels on a dozen pages, but what emerged was ever more tortuous, and less masterful still. His most precious convictions staggered across the sentences, crumbling into prancing, patronising parodies of themselves. The harder he tried, the more distorted they became.

And yet he tried. He wrote, he wept, he raged, but the words would not behave. Eventually, they stopped coming at all, and the man was left staring at a blank page.

It was some time before the words returned, tentatively whispering into his head.

The man asked, “Why did you abandon me, at my time of greatest need?”

The words replied: “It was you who refused to let us play.”

The man writes now, and the words come swiftly. He keeps two rules, keeps them on his desk and in his heart:

  1. Don’t be so bloody precious.
  2. Have fun.

This piece was written for Nika Harper’s Wordplay #13. The challenge was a parable on writer’s block, with the prompts “escalation,” “frustration” and “down but not out.”

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