The Block

by Joni Abilene

I am in-between projects right now, having recently finished an edit for a manuscript that was  in sore need of attention. The worst thing in the world is not knowing which project to step into next. I always feel so guilty—a real writer picks up without hesitation and starts or finishes, end of story. But I’m a toe dipper, an air sniffer. I can’t jump into anything without a lot of thought and worry. And yet the more excited I get, the more afraid I become of ruining the project. Stalling occurs. I watch strange television shows on BIO and then go out with my dog and stare at the clouds. Where are you, Muse? With someone else? Someone more brilliant, more dedicated, more disciplined? I knew it. It’s over. Just tell me. It’s over, right? Right?

When I get past all the worry and avoidance and open up *the* document and things start rolling and I get the usual migraine that cries for Exedrin and then I pump out 10,000 words of mastery and wake up in a dream and life is brilliant and bright like a neon pink LED, I look back at my pitiful in-between self and say, “What the fuck was that all about? You can write. You can fucking write. What are you so scared about? HUH?”

But it always happens. So. Let it.