Drabble 106 – Cacoethes Scribendi

Cacoethes Scribendi

Writing advice is as individual as the writing we produce. I know we all like to hear absolutes, but they’re not practical. There’s no one path to success, no one tried-and-true tip to become successful, no easy-peasy method to ensure everything you do will find a reader.

That’s part of why I have this strange relationship with writing inspiration. I’ve never been a particularly touchy-feely person when it comes to writing; for me, it’s not magic or muses that makes me write, it’s a desire to make something. I’ve never been the type of person who feels like some great story is working through them–it’s great if you are, but it’s not my thing–so sometimes the quotes and inspiration that work for so many others just make me feel tired.

Take the above image. I’ve cropped it to suit my own needs, but the full version, instead of inspiring me, gave me the giggles. What’s that pine cone doing there? Is that the secret to writing I’ve been missing my whole life? Will all my prose improve, all my adverbs disappear, all my insecurities and imposter syndrome and typos be vanquished if I keep a pine cone at my desk?

I guess I like to keep a sense of humor about my writing. It’s work, but it’s also play for me. I guess maybe I ought to put a pine cone on my desk after all.

Anyway, here’s a drabble.


(n.) from Greek kakóēthes, malignant disease, and Latin scrībendus, which is to be written

A compulsive need to write.

She isn’t allowed to speak. She was, once, when they still thought they could break her, and she spit verbal venom at them until a spell sealed her lips shut. She can smile, still, and they unstick her lips in time for meals, but lock her voice away where it can’t be reached.

She isn’t allowed pencils or paper, but she has ten fingernails and the wallpaper in her lavish prison is easily pierced. She writes her story there in clumsy scrawl, tracing the letters until each word sinks into her memory, never to be forgotten even when she is.

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