The Writing Block Parable

On a long, warm spring evening, Master Hughes sat at his desk, head cradled in his hands, sat in front of an old computer monitor. At one side he had a steaming hot chocolate, at the other a half eaten pack of Jelly Babies and in front of him the bane of all authors: a white, blank page, with not a word on it. He was suffering writer’s block. No signs betrayed his despair: he didn’t sweat, nor shake, nor do anything out of the ordinary; he didn’t really do anything at all, just sat there finding excuses not to write. Absent mindedly, he stretched his arm out to grab a jelly baby, pulling it from its wrapper, crinkling as it relinquished its contents. Popping it in his mouth, he chewed for a few seconds then swallowed, leaving a sweet taste in his mouth. Not long after, her claimed another of the sweets, the cycle beginning again. Once the packet was empty, he picked up a pen, leant over a notebook and started writing, as if possessed by a burst of inspiration, a smile of triumph on his face. He quickly scrawled a line in the book, which read in messy writing ‘The Writing Block Parable’, before sitting back in his chair, frowning and putting the lid back on his pen. Just as soon as the inspiration had come, it had fled again, leaving him with four words and an ominous collection of lines to be filled. Turning back to the keyboard, he typed up the title from the notebook and began hitting keys in the hope something legible would appear. After a few minutes, he had a couple of paragraphs written, describing the story of a man with writers block. After all, they always said to write what you know about and that was all he really knew at that moment in time. He briefly pondered who ‘they’ actually were, before deciding it didn’t matter and proof read his work. ‘Hm, his writing block caused his rise and demise,’ he muttered to himself, a slightly confused look on his face,  ‘I just wrote the shortest Greek Tragedy of all time.’ Writing down a few sentences to conclude the story, he hit ‘publish’ and went to get a new pack of Jelly Babies.


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About Peter Hughes


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