The Incident of The Broken Keyboard
A broken keyboard is a problem that no writer should be living with. Not the ideal kind of writer at least.
The kind who always carry pretty (or even tattered, you know what they say about well used books) notebooks around, on which they’re always scribbling love notes to their inspiration.
The kind that takes home these notes and work on their writing like the craft it is.
The kind that have the rights to claim the broody chair and the extra-strong-no-sugar mug of black coffee.
A broken keyboard should be a big problem to such a writer, I imagine. They would have their diaries but they’d probably think a broken keyboard would be a problem, unless they’re paying someone else to type their writing out for them.
A lazy, ‘struggling’, ‘practicing’ writer, who modestly refrains from calling herself a writer though, would behave differently.
A broken keyboard means rest.
The lazy writer would exclaim that her keyboard is broken a couple of times, then she will ignore it and binge watch ‘Suits’ until the only words that really matter in her current universe are ‘settlement’, ‘subpeona’ and ‘fraud’. The brain at this point (fairly recent to the incident of the broken keyboard) would start dwelling on the word ‘fraud’ and start rethinking the whole writer life (a guilt tripping technique) but the lazy writer will drug this sense out, promptly, like a professional. She will bury the evidence by hiding her spare keyboard and pretending ‘discomfort’ and adaptation (to pen and ink) issues.
A broken keyboard means rest.
Rest for the brain that is tired of politely hosting ideas that fly by like mosquitoes that piss you off by tempting you to clap them off but fly away just as you hit yourself hard. The damn ideas can fly off because the part of the writer’s brain that makes her guilty and hence motivate some writing is resting too because of the goddamn broken keyboard.
Rest for the brain that is tired of making excuses for the writer. It means a chance to put the blame on something else for a day or two.
The lazy writer will bury evidence again by claiming that inspiration does not knock on her door. She will claim ‘writer’s block’. Because it sounds cooler than lazy.
A broken keyboard means rest. For the part of the brain that has to deal with the ‘oh you’re a writer’ questions. This part of the brain blames the broken keyboard for everything.
The lazy writer, ruled by the now-dominant, lazy part of her brain will begin to have fun. She starts adding the word ‘practicing’ carefully every time she calls herself a writer, as a safety measure. She avoids thinking about the broken keyboard at all. Her diaries remain blank and new, she might as well give them back to someone else. And she lives a carefree life for a while because of the broken keyboard. She slips into almost refusing to write at all and decides to forget how to and blame it all on the broken keyboard.
And all is well. Until the ‘writer’ part of the brain wakes up.
She comes crawling out of her cave, yawning, just when the lazy writer is having a blast complaining about not being productive with those diaries still sitting proudly in mint condition on her desk. The ‘writer’ brain wakes up lazily and stretches while taking stock of the situation. She cracks her knuckles, presses the panic button and wakes the entire household up.
The goddamn broken keyboard did not matter anymore.
It just became a piece of writing.