Officer Krupke and the Staring Contest

Feelings are weird, man.

It’s Monday. Justin Timberlake Day. May Day for those who celebrate. I’ve been sitting, intermittently, staring at a blank computer screen for parts of the previous two days… trying. Trying to write. Trying to have any string of cogent thoughts about writing. Trying to remember what it once felt like to write, to make words that made sense. To publish.

But it’s been so fucking long.

I’ve shared this thought, the collective thoughts, of what it means to believe that, in spite of the feeling in your gut and every good intention, you really can’t say with any certainty that you’ll ever write anything worth reading, ever again. Shared it with a minimal chosen few. Okay, maybe with just a chosen one. And the conclusion I arrived at is to just keep staring. At the blank computer screen. At my office TV, currently free-streaming the original West Side Story, with the volume on mute (go ahead, mock me for that, I just don’t care). And at archived blog posts of others I’ve known; writers who don’t write anymore (and the side thought that goes, “If a ‘writer’ doesn’t write anymore, are they still a ‘writer’?”), and knowing in my knower that every writer who doesn’t write anymore had their reasons for stopping, and those reasons don’t really change the fact that they are still a ‘writer’.

I am still a ‘writer’.

I had big plans for writing this year. What I was going to write, where it was going to be published, and what I was going to do with all those plans, after. All those plans evaporated over the last few months, along with what I was going to do with all those plans, after.

Evaporated as quickly as my belief about being a writer.

I know longer have plans. Maybe my plans were getting in the way of my writing. Plans can be made, anytime. Shit, plans can pretty much make themselves. What matters is not the plans I make, not the feeling in my gut, or good intentions of what to do with them. What matters is whether or not I’m gonna win a staring contest with a blank computer screen.

I just did.

Now I’m going to watch a bunch of dancing, wannabe gangbangers sing “Officer Krupke”, and then hit PUBLISH.

And let the staring contest commence again… tomorrow.


  1. 1jaded1 says:

    Feelings are weird man…so fucking yes. That’s why I try not to feel. You are a writer, and don’t you ever forget it.

    You might blink against a computer screen. OK. I had another sentence laden with profanity. Glad you fucking wrote, you writer you.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Bill Friday says:

      Fuck, yeah. Thank you. And cussing is highly encouraged here.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. 1jaded1 says:

        I’ll try to remember that. My niece was watching a later version of West Side Story over the weekend. My mom made a comment that it was OK but couldn’t compare to the original. So true.

        Liked by 1 person

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