On my back, just hovering over my right shoulder blade, is a tattoo. Inked in the sharp curves of Klingon script, the letters translate to read “wordsmith”. I have 21 tattoos to date, but this is the one that sticks most fiercely in the forefront of my brain. It is the tell-tale tattoo. Throughout my day of internet surfing, crafting and playing with cats, the tattoo throbs. The word echoes in my brain.
On one of many shelves in my bedroom is a series of books. Books that have my poems in them. Published works. I’m a published writer. Except that I haven’t written anything in years. I’m not a writer. I’m not a wordsmith. I’m a fraud. I have lists of ideas, and a million first drafts and random paragraphs. And I have a million excuses to not sit down and write. I need to finish that knitting project. I need to feed the cat. The rug needs vacuuming. I need to defrost the freezer. I need to do absolutely anything except sit down and face the fact that I can’t write anymore.
I can open a blank page, or try to work on a half-finished piece, and all I do is sit there. Sit there waiting for inspiration to strike. Waiting for the words to flow through me onto the page. Sit there feeling like a fraud and an imposter. My shoulder heating up with the slow burn of that tell-tale tattoo.
Even now. I’m writing. And I’m pleased that I’m writing. I’m ecstatic and over-the-moon that words are appearing on the page in front of me. But I don’t know what I’m writing. These sentences don’t make sense to anyone but me. They have no form. They’re mere ramblings and nonsense. I have a blog for that. In fact, I may well copy this over to the blog in a moment. But I’m meant to be writing! Poetry! Prose! Fiction! I have this idea of the tell-tale tattoo in my head. It’s been there for years. My own personal homage to Edgar Allan Poe. But I can’t manifest that idea into an actual piece.
Perhaps… perhaps my problem lies in first person. I hate my own life. I hate myself. I find nothing about my own personality or life to be interesting, so why would I think anyone else would? Why do I write in first person all the time? My common sense is telling me that perhaps I don’t write in my journal/blog enough. Perhaps I have too many thoughts and feelings and emotions to get out of the way before I can start to create. And now that I have isolated the problem, I can work on the solution. I need to keep up with these inane ramblings. When there’s nothing more to flow, then perhaps I can create.
In the meantime, my tell-tale tattoo story needs a protagonist. Someone who isn’t me. Someone who isn’t quite nerdy enough to get a tattoo in Klingon.