Writing About Writing
The quiet hum of my laptop was all that could be heard. I sighed, knowing that my family were right. If I ever wanted to be an author, I was going to have to do something about it. The one competition I’d entered had won me next to nothing, especially nothing career-inspiring, and certainly nothing to give anyone faith in my abilities. It was time for me to try again. I punched the words writing competition, Australia, 2021, into a fresh search bar, not expecting anything helpful at all. I scrolled down, endless choices spanning out in front of me. There were catchy titles that grabbed my attention, drawing it away from another heading practically begging me for help. The words fought on the screen just to be looked at, thousands upon thousands of possibilities throwing themselves at me. But it all seemed to blur together in my head. Demanding. Limiting. Absolutely terrifying. Word limit. The words sent a shudder through my body, yet at the same time I knew I would have to face my fear. I scrolled all the way back to the top of the page and clicked on the very first link. I poked through the website curiously. Okay, I thought to myself, this seems pretty good. I tapped on the word Enter, before the screen threw pictures and words across the page. Closed… Closed… I went through them, but they all seemed to have that one annoying word crossed through them. OPEN. “ahHA!” I triumphed. There we go. Poetry or short story… sounds perfect for me. I thought to myself victoriously. I opened it and skimmed through the instructions and rules, silently cheering myself for making such a good find… Until I see those two, twisted, bitter, horrible, restricting words. Word limit. There wasn’t even a No before it! And even worse, IT WAS ONLY 500!!!!!! I tried to calm my panicking mind. Okay, so, maybe that’s not many words. I like a challenge, right? Right!? I thought to myself, but I fearfully let the thought brush through my mind, nothing more than that- a thought. Or, at least, I tried to. Some part of me knew, deep down, that I was going to have to do it one day. And what better day than this? Public holiday, right before the weekend. I sighed. This was going to be hard. I slowly dragged my cursor across the screen and opened a new document. I faced the screen, and seeing the blank document gave me a new kind of determination. I renamed the document 500 words! Here we come! I stared hard into the empty abyss that was the document, and let all the ides flow. I let my fingers do the talking, explosions of words teetering on the brink of my mind like the sun on the horizon, stories formulating in my head before I had even begun to work them. All that could be heard was the clickity-clack of my keyboard as the thoughts, ideas and possibilities flowed out from my mind, and down onto the document. Now, it is everything but empty.