Thorn on the Rose & Blood on the Keys

The horror of failing words.

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I’ve been struggling for over a week to put words to the page. Staring blankly at the white box of dread on my monitor. The blinking cursor, taunting me, while I wait for it to tell me what to say. What to write. To talk to me the way it was talking to me for weeks on end. Filling my eyes and ears and mind with visions, thoughts, inspiration. Passion to type it all out and send forth into the world. It was GLORIOUS.

But then, radio silence. If you are a writer, you know this feeling. You know the dread of wanting to say everything all at once and then saying absolutely nothing at all because you fear you’ve already said it ALL. Or simply because the muse that moves you, has moved on. And I sit there, here, trying to capture at least a fragment of what I want to say, a list of “blog post topics” eyeing me down and mocking me for failing them.

And then I realize it’s the same story as always. When my words come, they are a rose that blooms releasing the poetry of prose into the air I breathe. It fills me up. Helps me cope. Keeps me steady and in tune with the calling, I answered, which is to write. For better or for worse.

But I never want to acknowledge “the worse” and that’s when that pricky-tricky thorn stabs my thumb, staining my keyboard red, reminding me of the pact. You can not have this rose without the thorn. You must write it out when it’s ugly and when it is pretty. You don’t get to pick and choose. You do the work that must be done because that’s where the beauty lives, it’s hiding in the work it takes to get there.

I’m in the thorns today, but I am writing through them. My keys a bloody mess of awkward phrases and not quite right thoughts and sentiments. But I’m pushing through the pain of it. The worst of it. That’s what writers do. There are no blocks in writing, it is simply sometimes good and sometimes bad. The hope is that the words shine brighter more often than the times they flicker to dim.

And I suppose with the season of Halloween upon us, it makes sense for some of us writers to be struggling in the darkness of our art. To be battling the monsters of poor grammar and nonsensical word choices, but knowing we always rise above and find the light, so we may shine the light.

So that we may offer up the rose, despite owning the thorn.

Originally published at

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