Reach for Something

It’s been done a million times before in a million different ways.

Sitting in front of the computer waiting, hoping for words. So you become the meta-narrator of your own experience, and it’s all been done before.

You know, one or two years (decades) ago I was told by my English teacher at high school not to submit a particular story for assessment. She told me it’s been done before and it would receive a poor mark from the other assessors. It, however, was all I had.

It has been done before, she said. It was a worn out method of telling a worn out story. So I told it anyway. It was the story of a teenage boy sitting in front of his computer, trying desperately to write something for class. He got agitated, went for a walk and was interrupted by some other guys, wanting a bit of fun. Violent fun. They attacked this young man, he went into fight mode, the same fight mode he had trained for years with at his karate school. The centrepiece of the fight scene was his calm detachment, being, of course, in a state of flow. He just didn’t know that’s what it was.

He finished the fight, walked home and sat in front of his computer, bereft of a story to tell his readers. The end.

When finally the results came in from the assessors, I received an A for my story. The one I shouldn’t have submitted. The one that’s been told before.

So it’s been done before. This is my fight. Other people beat me to it, they always beat me to it. I just want to give in, to abandon myself to the inevitable demise of my ideas through second place. That’s the melancholy me.

Then there’s the warrior me. The part of me that says, Hang it! I’ve got ideas and they’re valid and I can do it better! Or at the very least different. Now I find myself here on this website, beginning yet another journey of writing. Maybe this time I will sustain it. Maybe this time I will do more than three pieces. Maybe this time … it’s all been done before. Yes. But I have to reach for something.