I am a writer without words—no inspiration from beautiful pictures or captivating words, no overwhelming romance or debilitating loss. My mind is full of plots and ideas, but nothing on paper except doodles without meaning and dog-eared corners.
As an airplane flies overhead, a million stories of the people on board take shape in my mind, like the passenger anxious about missing his connection to Ft. Lauderdale, where he will be reunited with his ailing mother in her last days; the anguished teenage girl heading home from drama camp in New York City where she fell in love at 17 with a man on the subway with whom she never even spoke.
A million stories hide beneath the depth of work deadlines and money troubles. Characters with rich backstories and deliberate purpose are lost in a sea of worries and fears about the real world where we are too self-absorbed in the past or apprehensive about an unknown future. These characters tell more about us than we could ever say to ourselves.
And with that, I am without stories. I am without the heroes and antagonists of my mind. I am without the earth-shattering climaxes that leave readers breathless and affected. Without a story, the passenger’s mother will die and the thespian’s lover will never learn of her feelings. Their stories end with my own untold tales of life and love and lessons. These stories are without words.
3% disappointed about something I should be 100% overjoyed about.
Everyone’s really just looking for the climax.
The rest is just details and dialogue.