Writer’s Block

It was after his third rendition of a baby rabbit holding a flower that Kamso began to see that his writing career was about to end before it had even begun. To be fair to him this third drawing was near perfect, as the other two had resulted from the absent minded doodling that followed from a slew of sentences that failed to appropriately capture the new ideas that were yet to come up in his head. The third rabbit he had actually intended to draw.
“This is terrible” he said to himself as he put the notepad and the pencil down.
He got up and walked about his room, hands in his pockets, pacing. He glanced at the clock. It was 6pm. By now – not more than a couple of years ago – he would have been all set to go to Decroire; an upscale bar and lounge, his former job making it possible for him to do so, as it was decidedly upper-class folks who frequented it. Kamso had been very content with this lifestyle and would have in fact welcomed more of the same, when just like that everything seemed not to matter anymore. Not the ton of money that he made at his job, not his comfortable flat, not the interesting and suave ladies he was always accustomed to chatting up, nothing. His friends noticed this, especially when it was becoming obvious that he couldn’t care less about the frequent torching that he was getting from the boss about his laxity in following up a certain deal or other and also his laid back response of “…don’t worry, I’m all over it…” his friends had made him to go see someone and the doctor told him that he was clinically depressed or something like that. As he had a sizeable amount in savings, the next thing that followed was for Kamso to quit his job. He followed his doctor’s advice about doing things that used to interest him while he was younger. So he stayed mostly indoors, and his notebook and pencil became his new best friends.
Kamso had started out with some short stories and blog posts which received relative popularity; the comments being mostly from well intentioned friends asking his welfare and people requesting him in less than stellar grammar to set them up with any opportunity he could help them with to achieve their “full authorship potential”. But it was when he had somehow convinced himself that it was time to write a full novel that the notebook and pencil had started to become the enemy. He was bereft of ideas. In his mind was the main character who sought to change her destiny, and then that was all. Okay, she also used to go jogging on the weekends… now really, that was all. Kamso’s hands were now out of his pockets and he ran them slowly over his head. He glanced at the bed and caught sight of his laptop. He believed its promise of new ideas as he placed it in his front, switching it on and watching the technical lingo which he never bothered to read begin to scroll before his eyes. One new document later and the computer screen stared back emptily at him. White, plain, with the keyboard not making any promises either. He switched it off and kept it away as he returned to his notepad and pencil. These seemed to judge him less; unlike the rapidly blipping cursor impatiently showing his vacuous state, because the pencil was twitching in his hand; eager, always just about to write something at the very next moment. The rabbit was back again, but this time it was worse because now it also had with it a friend which it was presenting the flower to.
“That’s it, I give up” Kamso said as he got up and put on some clothes. He decided he was going to Decroire. After all, he had no quarrel with the place, and who knew; he might meet someone interesting there. He dressed up simply. He did not see the need to take a twenty minute walk decked in a designer suit.
“Good evening sir, it has been a long time. I hope all is well” the doorman asked him. Kamso could not help but notice that the doorman had given him a cursory once-over, already trying to deduce his current economic state. Kamso might well have become in his eyes another of the “Oga’s” that lost his job and gone into hiding after some financial fraud institution or other had come hounding.
“I’m quite alright, my man. Everything is fine.” Kamso said “Can I get a table for one? My usual place if possible”
The doorman nodded, convinced that all was still good.
Kamso sat in a position where he had a good view of everyone that came in through the door and of most of the people that were seated. He had a slight phobia of sitting with his back to a door. It must have been all those detective novels he read while he was younger. A few people were already inside and out of them all he was the only one seated alone. It did not bother him particularly, for now he was just content to watch. The first table he looked at had a middle aged couple. “A night out away from the kids”, Kamso thought. There was no story there. The second one had a couple that seemed to be either just recently married or very seriously engaged. The menacing look of warning that the dude shot at him when he observed what he thought was Kamso making eyes at his girl was enough to kill the thread of anything interesting forming in his mind. To avoid causing a scene he turned his attention to the bar. He noticed two young ladies there discussing animatedly. They were pretty enough, but not what he was used to normally. People had often told him that his preference of very beautiful women made him shallow; he simply thought it meant he had an eye for good things.
The ladies noticed he was watching them but a glance at his table was all they decided was enough to know that he was not what they had in mind.
“Oh, what’s that?” Kamso said to himself under his breath, amused “You would like to take a ride in my private jet? I’ll tell my driver to bring the limousine about presently.” Kamso knew that a few more shots and a few more hours would make them come around. For now he was merely second choice to them since they felt the night was still young.
A foreigner soon stepped in. Roughly the same age, he was as simply dressed as Kamso, the difference being that Kamso had at least the presence of mind to wear a singlet. The foreigner didn’t seem to mind putting his chest on display, his black hair in sharp contrast with his white skin. The ladies noticed him instantly and watched him as he made his way to a seat and called unobtrusively for some service, smiling a little confusedly some time later at the waiter’s valiant attempt to engage him in a joke he did not really seem to get.
Then a young man strolled in. He was dressed to the teeth and wearing a gold chain, gold watch, a spinning head belt and dark shades even though it was night. The wave of the cologne that came over Kamso from the guy as he walked past was enough to leave on his own shirt a scent to last the rest of the day. The guy sat down and it was obvious that he had not yet noticed the two ladies were looking at him because he had promptly brought out his phone and was rapidly sliding his thumb across it while speaking to the waiter in an affected accent.
An interesting thought began to form in Kamso’s mind as he beckoned to the waiter.
“I would like a bottle of champagne” he said
The waiter looked at the partly finished glass of club soda nestling in Kamso’s hand
“You are sure about that sir?” he asked
“Certainly” Kamso said, unfazed. “And when you bring it, send it to those ladies over there at the bar but do not tell them who it is from. Here…” He placed his credit card on the table. “Run it by this”
The waiter smiled and nodded. He soon returned, approaching the ladies where they sat.
“A gentleman asked me to give this to you”
“Who is it from?” they both asked, very surprised but visibly pleased.
“He prefers to remain anonymous”
“Is he still here?” one asked
The waiter nodded. They immediately began to look around, staring over Kamso’s head, who had by then been quietly sipping his club soda for all to see, and both of them went to the open shirted foreigner. A few gestures and awkward interactions made them realise that they had got the wrong person, so they went over to the dark shaded guy.
“Sorry we got it wrong the first time” the girls said, ”thank you for the bottle of champagne you sent us”
The guy removed his shades. His face was the picture of serendipity as he looked the girls over like a buyer assessing a sheep that he intended to fatten for slaughter. He regained his composure.
“Oh yeah, yeah, that…” he said “Don’t worry about that, I do that kind of thing all the time. Here, sit beside me… something to eat? Waiter! Waiter!!!”
Kamso smiled and set his glass down, already thinking about his notepad and pencil.



17 thoughts on “Writer’s Block” by anak adrian (@anakadrian)

  1. I enjoyed it. Sometimes or should I say most of the time, writers go blank and can’t seem to jot a thing down. Fragments of ideas that’s all we are blessed with until we can piece it all together.

    I have done what kamso did, gone to a restaurant to access people’s life and maybe a series could come off it.

    One thing, your paragraphing. This was clumped together making it sometimes had to follow. So yea give us space that’s all the rest was okay….

  2. Yeah, about the spacing, guilty as charged. It was the same for my previous post, and I’m afraid it might be the same for the next. I typed them all on my smartphone in some idle moment, and with more than an acceptable amount of haste before uploading. The word processing app on it falls flat when it comes to good page viewing and perspective… #epistle#

    I am glad you enjoyed it, @ufuomaotebele thanks a lot.

    1. oops… Meant my reply was an epistle. I ain’t giving no good app no bad press, no sir!

  3. Nice.! I would have preferred better organisation of the story -paragraph placement. Good job.! Ladies eh, our wahala is too much

  4. I guess it happens to all writers, cause it does to me. I might have the perfect idea now and later it’s the worst idea have ever come up with.

    But this was really……..

    1. eer, what’s up doc? You gonna finish the sentence?

  5. I don’t know if what happens to me most of the time can be called writers block. For me, I can go three four days without any new ideas, then I would get about ten ideas within one hour and my head would grow hot just from ideas chasing each other around. Unfortunately, maybe just one or two of those ideas will get worked on, sometimes none at all. Sheesh

  6. Lol. I’d say you’re lucky @Folakemi cos in a block there isn’t a single idea anywhere in sight. Someone taught me a trick… Write down EVERY idea as they flood in. Its important to write them down the moment they come in, lest you lose ’em. Ideas for a plot, possible quotes of your characters, scenes; anything. Its funny, cos you end up having a series of unconnected phrases and sentences or even single words. Just leave them for a while and then come back to it. Some sixty percent of all you’ve written starts to have some kind of inexplicable link, and suddenly everything becomes clear. #true story

    1. I do write down. That was something I was taught a long time ago. But its not everything that gets written down that gets worked on, you know? cheers

      1. Yup, you’re right. Just like I said, about sixty percent. On some bad days far less.

  7. I’m often thinking how the great writers are breaking grounds in literature. Do they live in the world of stellar grammatical constructions? Do they always have ideas? Do they find it easy plotting and writing?

    I don’t think every writer sees his writing journey in the same way as the other. While Achebe was skeptical about his first novel, “Things Fall Apart” which turned out to be remarkable, Soyinka was not well appreciated in his country until he won the Nobel Prize in 1986. While Achebe fluidly creates simple sentences, in fact, Igbotic sentences, so to speak, Soyinka writes the Queen’s way even when he’s writing about his culture.

    Some writers are easy to read while some give us some nuts to crack. Different styles produce different effects. While reading Adichie is quite easy for me to understand, reading Helon Habila is quite not so plain. Anyways, every writer has his own mode of apprehending the world and manner of expressing it.

    As for me, I write. I just write. Sometimes rubbish. Other times, my readers like what they read. I don’t know what I’m doing sometimes. But i just write. When I get stuck as I often do, I wonder if I will ever achieve my writing dreams. But I just keep writing…and now, I have a bundle of rubbish until proven otherwise.

    1. I totally agree with you @innoalifa. Good story @anakadrian. It happens to the best of us.

  8. @innoalifa I get your point. Really, I do. “less than stellar grammar” was merely my euphemism for the fact that some of them could not speak (or should I say, write) basic good english. We read blog replies these days and you see things like “ur srzly” “dose onz” “are my not” “y cnat u” and it sickens. It makes me begin to wonder whether the posters are trying to save space on the web page as though they were sending a text message. So, I actually did not mean everyone should live in a world of verbosity. It is very possible to be entertaining using everyday words, and it should in fact be the case because I don’t believe it is an author’s ultimate aim to alienate his readers with some highsounding and unnecessary words. So yeah, that’s basically that.

    1. I get your point too, @anakadrian, and I really do share your sentiments. While not proposing cluttered verbosity, basic good English is requisite for any kind of formal writing. Hence, let’s be the change we want to see in the world – let’s write the kind of books we can read all through the night. This is our time!

      Inviting you and @Bookfreez to check out the ninth episode of my story, http://www.naijastories.com/2014/11/ghost-annabelle-episode-nine/ and comment, good or bad.

  9. Writers Block…this happens most times to even those we considered as Seasoned Writers…saw a very Great story there ope it’s a series pls

    1. Alright, @Kosnie I’ll see what I can do.

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