A flash fiction about a writer struggling to write.
Originally written in 2015.
Sun and cloud fought in the sky as the man stared out the window. Beams of light would shoot through, only for wind to eventually aid the clouds into victory. The sun, however, was persistent, and for every territory taken by the clouds, the sun claimed a new one where the clouds’ presence had become weak. Thus was the sky war that day, and the man continued to watch with a mild fascination.
The man in question was strewn about his living room couch. He had managed to motivate himself enough to get dressed that particular day, but nothing more. Rather, he had been huddled on the couch not long after he woke up around noon. Bitter and cold coffee sat in front of him on the coffee table, his laptop next to it. The laptop, though on, had a screen black as night, reminding the man with some ominous intimidation how long it’d been since he had used it.
After the sky battle began to darken some from the imminent sunset, the man became dulled and numb to it. With a grunt, he managed to haul himself into a sitting position, his joints cracking a bit from sheer time spent in the same position. With a few taps to the laptop’s keys, the screen’s brightness engulfed the room, causing the man to shield his eyes for a few minutes. As his eyes adjusted to the contrast, they caught sight of the singular, blinking, vertical line that beckoned him to type onto the still blank page of his word processor.
A frown sunk into the man’s face, as he tried to recall what had overcome him earlier. When he had awoken, drowsiness was his main mode of existence until he let a shower wash the feeling away. During said shower, he debated on what to do that day. His mind was suddenly an array of colors and images, his imagination surging in the comforting presence of the sound of water. He remembered that he had not updated the blog he had been trying to run in sometime, so perhaps he would dabble in that today. With decisions made, he had finished his shower, gotten his coffee, and sat at the coffee table with his laptop.
However, the man found himself in the same position he had earlier when he sat at his laptop; he didn’t know what to write. To be more accurate, he didn’t feel confident enough to write. The content was easy enough to come by for him usually. His blog, which he had started about half a year ago, was dedicated to giving tips and guides on the best methods for self-teaching programming languages. It wasn’t the most broadly sought of all topics, but it was a niche he had himself experienced. So, in the spirit of the age old expression, the man chose to “write what he knew.”
Yet, when it came time to do the actual writing part, the man always began to question himself. It began as a simple thing, like whether to write in a more casual, joking manner, or to write with a very formal, down-to-business tone. That would quickly devolve into nit-picking word choice, wondering whether a benign word would offend someone or if some joke would come off so stale that the viewer clicked away. Then the man, with all seriousness, would question the validity of him even writing the post. Who was he to advise others on how to self-teach programming? Certainly, he had experienced doing such a thing himself two years ago, and had some “success” in freelancing his skills out. Even so, he doubted anyone with an intelligent mind would call him an expert. Perhaps, the entire blog was a mistake.
Thus, it became a back and forth pantomimes of thoughts, the energy of which sapped all the man’s strength. It was happening again, as it did earlier when he had first tried to write a post. His mind was completely muddled by thoughts, and no matter how much he screamed at his fingers to just write anyway, the darker side of his brain held them back even more. Again, like last time, the man’s frown became more intense. Again, like last time, the man sighed and laid back upon the couch. And again, like last time, the man found himself staring out his window into a world of matching sky. Eventually, the laptop dimmed, and then completely darkened into disuse once more.