Step One:

She stares at a blank screen, the unnatural white of the word program flickering like an incandescent bulb about to blow. She adjusts the brightness. The screen plummets into darkness. She adjusts the brightness back up, one click at a time until she is satisfied that she won’t get a blistering headache.

Step Two:

She starts typing a sentence, hits the backspace, starts again, pauses, and frowns. She peers at the dust between keys and goes to fetch a cleaning wipe. Once the grime has been removed, she resumes typing.

Step Three:

Five sentences in, the phone rings. She ignores the first three rings, but guilt compels her to check out the caller ID on the fourth ring. It’s a solicitor. She curses and throws the phone across the room.

Step Four:

She realizes she could concentrate a lot better if she had coffee to warm up her chilled hands. She brews a cup and settles back down, taking delicate sips as to not burn her tongue. She rereads her writing for the day: all twelve sentences. So far, so good.

Step Five:

An hour later, she steps back to admire her work. She’s accomplished so much, she’s proud of the massive amount of words she’s accumulated, she’s…written just 540 words. Muttering under her breath, she slams her laptop shut and shuffles off to read a book.


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