Doom, Gloom and Writerly Despair

Nobody knew where it came from.  No one had the words left to ask.


The Writers’ Gloom hung above their heads, glorying in its own greyness.  It had swallowed up the colours, belching out bleached leftovers like an inebriated uncle at a family wedding.

“Mwah ha ha ha,” it boomed, “I’ve got you now, you measly metaphor-munchers… you pointless paragraph procrastinators.” (Like all Great Glooms it was frightfully fond of alliteration.)  “Your mediocre manuscripts will never see the light of day, d’you hear me?  Your dribbling dregs of dramatic tension are all DOOOOOMED.  Delete them now!  Kill your dreams!  No contracts for you, you pathetic pack of plot planners.  No one wants to know.”

The writers wept for their empty inboxes and un-signed submissions.  It was all too true.  Every last word of it.

“You!” thundered the Gloom.  It pointed to a sad-faced individual, half-hidden underneath an enormous pile of rejection letters.  “Lose the laptop!  Ditch the draft!  Sell the thesaurus and buy a cat instead.” The writer nodded dumbly and slunk back to bed.

It turned to a second writer, cowering behind an 850-litre cafetiere of coffee.  “You’re nothing but a talentless twerp,” it roared. “That agent-slash-editor will NEVER respond to your submission.  All those hours spent stalking her on Twitter were an UTTER WASTE OF TIME.”  The writer weighted down his pockets with his entire collection of these-will-magically-transform-me-into-a-bestselling-author pens and climbed into the waiting coffee pot, to end it all.

“And as for you,” boomed the Gloom, pointing to a chilly-looking lady who’d taken refuge under her cheap Ikea desk.  “Call yourself a writer, you ridiculous wretch of a wannabe?”  It folded its grey arms and giggled (gloomily). “You can’t even manage a paltry post on your breathtakingly boring blog, let alone a new novel. You might as well give up altogether.”

“Well that’s where you’re wrong,” the writer roared back.  Was it her imagination or was there the tiniest slither of blue sky behind the Gloom’s swirling grey shoulders?  “I may be having a bit of a slow day-slash-week-slash-month with very little to show for my efforts but you’re wrong about the blog post, because here it is and you’re in it!  Hah!”

That pretty much told the Gloom.  It disappeared over the horizon, back to wherever it was it had come from, without so much as a backwards glance or a rude hand gesture.  The writers cheered and cheered, fetching their battered hopes back out of storage and knocking over countless half-drunk cups of tea in their excitement.  And the air was once more alive with the sound of happy keyboard-tapping and pinging email inboxes.  And they all lived happily ever after.  Sort of.


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