Clay Allsopp

So, What Do You Do All Day?

Dec 2, 2012

There's the sounds. Or, more often, the lack of sound. No crescendos or variation, but just intermittent spurts of either furious clicking or — nothing at all. Repeating, hundreds of times each day. From the repetitive, almost rhythmic tapping to —. Just an abrupt, knife-like silence.

It's uncomfortable, struggling silence. It could be any mix of confusion, frustration, or just bewilderment, lasting longer than any given torrent of keyboard noise. And, as trite as this sounds, it really can be deafening. The longer it grows, well, the harder it is to overcome.

And in those lingering silences, I'll wait. Probably a little hunched, maybe cradling my chin in one contortion or another, but still silent. Get up, walk around, make some tea, all trying to coax a little inspiration out of my subconscious.

We romanticize our authors and envision the constant clicking of their typewriters, but I like to imagine they had their quieter moments too. That it wasn't always so perfect and picturesque, but that it was hard and took work. That sometimes their initial excitement extinguished...but at the end of the day it was rekindled.

And eventually, the silence does end. Whether by a genuine solution or by the brute, angry force of my own frustration, the rapid clicking resumes. And somehow, the sum of all these clicks and all their gaps creates something I set out to make.

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