Thursday, September 08, 2005

Inner Dialogue 

“Why aren’t you writing?”

“I don’t feel like it – that is, I haven’t got anything to say.”

“If you don’t write, they’ll go away and leave you, y’know.”

“Ha! If I do write it’ll be more soul-less pseudo-intellectual crap and they’ll still go away.”

“The longer you leave it, the harder it’ll be.”


“Is that it? Yup?”

“I’m not going to argue…”

[tries a different tack] “Where did all that rekindled energy go?”

“It’s not as simple as that.”

“As what?”

There’s more to it than being bouncy and wanting to write something.”

“Such as?”

I’m not going to bore people with the contents of my diary.”

“Bore them with something else then.”

“Any suggestions, smart-arse?”

“I only ask the questions – it’s you that has to give the answers, my friend.”

“Hey, don’t you go getting clever on me, this is supposed to be a joint effort y’know.”


“’S okay... so am I. I didn’t mean to snap; you touched a nerve.”


“I’m short of answers at the moment. Short of questions, too for that matter.”

“Is that why we’re sitting here thus engaged?”

“Could be, I guess…
Look, it’s like this. You know how I’m always griping about how frustrated I am with my job? Thoroughly dis-ed: disengaged, disenchanted, disillusioned, disempowered?”

“I could hardly have missed it, could I?”

“How I long for a job that would offer some meaning, in which I might feel valued, doing work that mattered?”

“Get on with it, it’s not as if we haven’t heard all this before…”

“Well, this last week has been different; I actually had a small taste of what I’ve been looking for – for the first time in a very long time indeed I’ve had work that has seen me hurrying to get in, eager to get going and where I’ve met some really nice people and begun to build what I hope turn out to be mutually fruitful relationships. Even been able to exercise a modicum of leadership.”

“Why do I get the feeling you’re not going to be telling me how wonderful that is?”

“Well, in some ways it was; I could actually feel proud of what I’d achieved. And I meant what I said about the people I’ve been working with; they’re a great bunch”


“But it had some unexpected side-effects.”

“Such as?”

“I miss writing here. It’s not that I’m too busy and haven’t got the time. I can make the time, but I can’t find anything to say. It’s almost as if the frustration was what had fuelled my writing, such as it was. Take away the frustration and, without fuel, the fire that burned within dies. The irony of course is that I thought it was the frustration that prevented me from writing more; now it looks as though I got that completely back-to-front and inside out. The frustration was both generating emotion and forcing me to look outside the walls of the job.”

“Go on…”

“Now I’ve tried both sides of the fence. If it comes to a choice, I think I prefer the other side. Can you believe that, after all that whingeing? I’ll take the frustration and anxiety and mild depression if that’s what’s needed to carry on writing. This side is too bland”

“So you’re saying you need to be a tortured artist in order to write? That can be arranged, you know…
Wait a minute, you’re saying something else too; didn’t you notice? The writing is actually that important to you?”

“I guess it must be.”


“Well what?”

“What are you going to do about it?”

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