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As I walked across the beach, I was beginning to think that perhaps this hadn't been the best idea in the world. Writer's block is a curious beast. Earlier in the week, I’d been flooded with ideas. I’d been vomiting words, but once those were out, I was left with nothing; I was dehydrated. There'd been a few dry heaves, but basically, I was in a drought.
I'd tried all the tricks that usually got the ideas to flow, but nothing worked. First, I'd tried music; listening to Billy Bragg, putting together an 80's playlist on YouTube, I even put on Uptown Top Rankin' but it was no good. Then I’d wandered around Cardiff and tried to wax lyrical about the hurrying river, but nothing sounded right. Finally, I’d spent hours sitting in cafes, looking for a scene to describe, but in the post-Christmas lull, the characters were few and far between and the women who I usually wistfully described were noticeable by their absence.
So on a rainy, windy January day I turned to my last resort. I had the romantic notion that a cold and lonely windswept beach would provide the inspiration. A trip to the seaside of my hometown was sure to stoke my creative fire. Surely if I emulated Morrissey and trudged slowly over wet sand, the siege would be lifted and words would flow forth. I was even contemplating poetry, a return to verse.
I’d planned a bracing walk on the beach to soak up the atmosphere and then to treat myself to a coffee and toasted sandwich at Bay 5; a perfect spot in which to write, write, write.
What I hadn't figured on was the ferocity of the Welsh rain, which gave me the impression God had finally grown sick of the earth and was looking for a new Noah. My jeans stuck to my legs, rain was running down my face and my neck, getting under my clothes and seeping into my skin. I knew it would take my jeans three days to dry in my damp little flat and I was wondering how long it would take me to dry out from the Barry rain.
I slopped up the prom and into the deserted cafe. A puddle formed at my feet as I drank my tea and munched miserably through my panini. I looked out over the beach. The sky and sea merged just beyond where the waves crashed onto the shore. I was cold, wet and depressed. Memories of loves lost and chances missed washed over me like the rain had moments before. The exercise had stoked my melancholy, but despite being sopping wet, my creative juices were still dry.
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