Dante Papier

Written by

Dante Papier

20 August 2021

Novlr Authors

Writer’s Block Diary: Trying to find the Right Hole

Dante Papier is the mind-child of Novlr Author Daniel Piper, whom you can find on Instagram and substack and you can buy his book here. He has a column here on the Novlr blog (read his intro here). Enjoy.

19 July:

Tried some new positive affirmations today. After getting out of bed, I stood in front of the mirror and said:

You are a brilliant writer.
You are an incredible poet.
You are better than Margaret Atwood.
You are better than Stephen King.
James Patterson is rubbish.
Dan Brown is an idiot
You are going to beat writer’s block.

I recited each of these positive affirmations five times, then performed a high kick. I then sat down to write, but was distracted by back pain caused by the high kick.

20 July:

Went to a cafe to write. When I sat down, I found that the table was wobbly because the foot of one of the legs had become unscrewed. When the barista brought my oat flat white, I was crouching under the table and trying to screw it back in. I looked up at her and said, “I’m just trying to find the right hole,” which she seemed to find rather amusing. I spent the next 30 minutes wondering what was so funny, until I suddenly realised – it sounded sexual! As I passed her on my way out later, I raised an eyebrow and quipped, “I just thought you’d like to know I managed to find the right hole.” She looked confused. “For the foot of the table leg,” I clarified. She looked more confused. I suddenly realised it wasn’t the same barista. Embarrassed, I went to leave the cafe, but accidentally walked into the kitchen.

21 July:

Attempted to draw Tom Cruise.

22 July:

Went to a National Trust garden to look for writing inspiration. At the end of the garden I found a beautiful old stone folly. It was the perfect spot for some solitary musing on the nature of time. Inside, a young woman in a bikini was having her photograph taken by an obedient young man. After waiting outside for 40 minutes, I entered and politely enquired as to whether the photoshoot might be finishing soon. Without looking at me, she simply said, I am an influencer. Well you’ve certainly influenced me to call security, I replied. I thought it was an excellent retort, only slightly let down by the fact that there was no security on-site.

23 July:

Looking for writing inspiration, I logged onto Facebook for the first time in years. I found that the only one of my Friends that is still posting is my mother.

Some things she has used the platform to complain about in the last two weeks:

  • Cost of ‘Clubbercise’ at local leisure centre
  • Closure of pub serving favourite lasagne
  • Lack of scent from Sainsbury’s scented candle
  • Treatment of Paddy by another character in Emmerdale
  • Refusal of cat to wear Inflatable Unicorn Horn purchased for it as gift
  • Lack of knitted toilet roll covers these days
  • Accidental setting of smartphone language to Spanish (and the fact that space bar now says Espacio)
  • Realisation upon entering Asda that Bags for Life are still in car
  • Repeatedly being asked where products can be found in Asda whilst wearing green top
  • Inability to fit into party dress due to cheese

24 July:

Attempted to draw Super Mario.