Untitled 1 by Esther Mukabi

Sunday, September 16, 2012
Esther Mukabi's stream of consciousness from an author with writer's block

She twisted the handle, her heart pumping, the beat throbbing in her head. As she      delete

She reached out her hand to touch the door, a knot of fear      delete

She reached for the handle, then thought sod it and went back to bed. Let him take the bloody telly.

Writer's block. My bank manager will be tossing in his bed tonight.

Confidentially Computer dear, I don't think that's unusual.



A proper job. That's what I need. Salary. Pension scheme. Annual leave. A boss. Let's have a look at the paper. Where is the paper?


I'm going to throttle that bloody cat. Where's the mop?

Typist, £2.75 per hour. I'm a two fingered typist. Secretary, £3 per hour. Haven't got the legs or the arse for it. Telesales. Sadly, my IQ is above that of a T.V. weather girl. Taxi driver, no wage mentioned. Can't drive. Escort. Excellent rates. I just bet they are. Anyway, I'm allergic to PVC. Door-to-door salesman, earn as much as you want. Mad dogs, rude people, crap products. Office cleaner, £1.90 per hour. I would rather chew my leg off.

I guess it's back to the computer.

Why, when I'm in the middle of a great story, does everyone I have ever met decide that they simply must ring me up for a chat or some major catastrophe will befall them, and when I really need an excuse to switch this thing off, it appears they've used the piece of paper with my number on it to shove under a wobbly table leg. There has to be a story in that.

Is that phone looking smug, or am I losing it?

The phone! Thank you God!

No, I really wouldn't be interested in a time share.

I wonder what gherkins and peanut butter tastes like.

And the doorbell. Visitors! I can't work when I have guests, it's rude. I wonder if they'd like to stay the night. (Maybe I can staple them to a chair.)

Clothes pegs? I live in a fourth floor flat. I have a tumble dryer. Curse? Thank you, I have one of outstanding quality already. And a very good day to you too madam.

Gherkins and peanut butter tastes revolting. I hope I've got some brandy left.


My toenails look dreadful. I wonder if it's hard to paint them.

I wonder what cleans nail varnish off shag pile.

I have to get this story finished. I need the money. Discipline. Work.

Hi Laura, just thought I'd phone for a chat. Yes, I know you're at work, so am I. Yes, I may work at home, but it's still work. No, I haven't got writer's block.

Hi Sara, it's Jenny. No, I haven't got writer's block.

Hi Sue, it's... The story's going great, I'm bursting with ideas. I haven't got writer's block, I just wanted a chat.

How's it going Martin? Haven't seen much of you lately. Oh, I said that? Well, it was a bad day, you're not the most boring man in the... I said that as well? And that? That too, huh? Now I know I never said that! I may have said that, in the heat of the moment, you know how arguments go. We weren't arguing? Well, I was arguing, that's your problem Martin, you're far too bloody passive. No, I haven't got sodding writer's block.

I wonder what the sofa would look like in the other corner.

No, I like it better where it was, but if I just move it a couple of inches that way, it'll hide the nail varnish.

I have to work. Think.

I need coffee.

Hi mum. Jenny. Your daughter. Six pounds three ounces. Breech. Forceps. Blonde hair, green eyes. Small birthmark on my... no, I haven't got writer's block. I'm not shouting. I am eating. We broke up. He had the IQ of an egg plant. Mother, I'm only 26. I have to go now Mum, the flat's on fire. I love you.

I need sex.

What about a story about a writer with writer's block? Right! Write about what you know, right?

Great. Who knows, might even pay the rent this month!

Who the hell is that?

Hello? Oh, hi Sue. No the story's going great. As a matter of fact, I'm right in the middle of it, so could I call you back? Great. Bye.

Damn that bloody phone. Hello. Hi Laura, it's okay, I know you can't really talk at work, I wasn't offended. Did I? Did you? Look, I'm busy at the... yes, I thought of a... look, I'll ring you.

Where was I?

I think I'm going to unplug the phone. Hello? Oh, Sara, how's tricks? Actually, great, I'm in the middle of a brilliant... right! Say hi to John. Oh you did? He did? With who? Oh dear. He did? He did? Oh dear. Listen, can I... I'm sure you do. Well, you'd probably get arrested. I think they'd be able to sew it back on. Well, probably not if you fed it to the dog, no. Would he eat it? Oh no, I don't think he'd eat it. Can I call you later, there's someone at the door? Yes, bye.

And I hate that phone. I'm going to ignore it. Just ignore it.

Talk about Pavlov's dogs!

What! Hello Martin. My what?!! Apology? Apology! Saturday night? Martin, listen. I was right the first time. You are, in alphabetical order, the most drab, dreary, boring, pompous, unexciting and uninteresting man on the planet. In fact, I feel my IQ plummeting as we speak. You are a great cure for insomnia, I will recommend you to my mother. If the only two creatures alive - and I use that word in its most general sense - were you, me and my cat, you may rest assured that Rusty and I would be a very happy couple. You have all the grace and charm of a motorway pile up, the charisma of a jellyfish and the IQ of a small piece of cheese, and yet, worryingly, the only head any bigger than yours is Birkenhead. So, quite simply in, as the saying goes, a nutshell, I would not be seen dead and putrefying in a plague pit with you.

Yes Martin, you can take that as a no. In fact, you can take it and you can shove it right up your -

I don't need anger management training. I do need people to leave me alone. Do me a favour and use that piece of paper you've got my number scribbled on to shove under that wobbly leg on your cheap, tacky and enormously repulsive coffee table. The one that fits in beautifully with everything else you possess, and indeed, with you, due, in point of fact, to the common theme of cheap, tacky and enormously repulsive. Goodbye!


Mother, how surprising. I'm actually in the middle of writing the only story I have managed to cobble together for thirteen weeks. I need to get paid for this or my bank manager will haul my arse in and be nice and understanding at me. Again. Plus I'll starve. Hey, don't worry about it, least we get to chat, right? So who would you like to talk about?

Yes, that is sarcasm. No the flat wasn't on fire. I lied mum, I lied. We broke up, I told you. Yes, I know you were in labour 37 hours and I was a difficult baby. Mother, shall I open a vein, would that make you happy? If you hold on a minute I'll just get the bread knife... I'm sorry. I'm sorry. I'll ring you when I've finished this story. I love you too. Love to Dad. Bye.

Unplug the phone.




I think the sofa did look better in the other corner.


  1. I'm surprised nobody has commented so far?! This is a good and unique story. It tells us a lot about the character of the writer. I like writing about writing and writers. It shows there's no such thing as writer's block!

  2. The best line in this transcript from the Writer’s Madhouse is: “…I think they’d be able to sew it back on.” Very funny tale of the angst of being a writer—with a deadline, no less. Nice job, Esther.