12+ I stare at the blank screen. The words aren't flowing onto the keyboard. Should I enter a working title? Or perhaps outline my plot and characters? Writer's block. Help!
I tweet the writing community.
"Take a break," is the first response.
"Make a cup of tea," suggests another.
"Go for a walk," a third urges.
"We've all been there," reassures a published writer.
"Don't stress, you've got this," another consoles me.
I'm overwhelmed by the community's advice and affirmations. And then someone tweets, "Remember Hemingway, write one true sentence."
I smile and start writing: "I stare at the blank screen."
© 2022 Robert Fairhead
Writing NSW is running monthly competitions to mark its 30th anniversary. And as I proudly tweeted last year, I was one of the #30words30days30years flash fiction winners for the November 2021 competition.
The competition brief for February 2022 was to write a love letter to your writing community. And Kanwar Plaha was Writing NSW's worthy winner, penning a powerful thanks to fellow writers.
I interpreted the "letter" differently and wrote The Blank Screen, a microfiction story, reflecting how I interact with the #WritingCommunity on Twitter!
N.B. You may also like to read a blog post I wrote about the microfiction genre, Three Minute Microfiction Podcast (with links to the podcast episode).
Robert is a writer and editor at Tall And True and blogs on his eponymous website, RobertFairhead.com. He also writes and narrates episodes for the Tall And True Short Reads storytelling podcast, featuring his short stories, blog posts and other writing from Tall And True.
Robert's book reviews and other writing have appeared in print and online media. In 2020, he published his début collection of short stories, Both Sides of the Story. In 2021, Robert published his first twelve short stories for the Furious Fiction writing competition, Twelve Furious Months, and in 2022, his second collection of Furious Fictions, Twelve More Furious Months. And in 2023, he published an anthology of his microfiction, Tall And True Microfiction.
Besides writing, Robert's favourite pastimes include reading, watching Aussie Rules football with his son and walking his dog.
He has also enjoyed a one-night stand as a stand-up comic.