The Man in the Basement: A Few Words About Writing

A few words tonight just to prime the pump and remember how the engine feels when it is running. How easy it is to step aside and let days go by without writing. And yet, there is always a part of me somewhere inside that continues writing, like a man locked in a basement with only one window and a broken staircase. There is no help for him. There is no rescue. Keep throwing him food. Open the window when you can to let fresh air in. Let him continue his work undisturbed. Open the door. Give him light. Remind him there are many rooms in this house.

He will continue his writing, but maybe he will not feel so frantic when he knows that someone up there has remembered him and knows what he is doing. This makes it easier for him to believe there is a point to it. That he isn’t just a thing caught in a room that does not touch the world. Let him send his words up from time to time. Admire them. Let him know they matter. It makes no difference. He will continue writing all the same, but when the frantic verve has gone out, the words take on a better shape. He is doing the only thing he is able to do. And then, the words have a point. They connect to things.

I wrote a piece of flash fiction tonight. I expected to post it here just for fun, but I’m going to keep it safe for a while. There is a glint of something inside it I want to play with.

The man in the basement. Even when I’m not writing, he is writing. I need to protect him from despair.

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