Aphridite's Writers Block
She sat by the window of her room, pen and paper in hand. It was a beautiful summer day, the flowers her sister Yarcepalia grew were in full bloom, the sun was beaming down and the Pteris were chirping.
Days like this, she felt most inspired to write. She loved writing stories about her siblings, being that there are 19, she keeps quite busy. She always found fun ways to incorporate mythology into her works. She researched Lost Desert mythology to create an exciting backstory for her sister Ayna in "The Lost Desert Aisha of Good Luck & Fortune". She spent days reading about Shenkuu culture and traditions to perfectly design the Ilyaren's character in "The Cherry Blossom Princess". In others she included elements of fantasy and science fiction.
But today, she was drawing a blank.
Perhaps it was all of the distractions. Her family was out at the lake, enjoying the hot summer sun and jumping over the waves as they approached the sandy shore of the Mystery Island beach. How she longed to go with them, but she had a job to finish. Perhaps it was that she had wrote so much already she used all of her creativity and imagination. But the most likely reason of all, it was the 800th issue of the Neopian Times, and boy did she feel the pressure.
Every fifty issues, the lucky ones who were published in an issue in a multiple of fifty (100, 150, 200, 250, etc.) received a shiny avatar with the iconic Neopian Times White Weewoo. Her owner, Flame, wanted it so badly. "How pretty that avatar would look with her Neoboard font", Aphridite thought. Aphridite was determined to get it for her. Aphridite was also working on Neoschool applications to major in English Teaching and Fiction writing. Surely a published work in the 800th issue would help with her admissions application.
So for three weeks, she sat by the window and began writing out story lines and ideas, only to get frustrated and cross them out. Her waste basket soon was overflowing with discarded, crumpled papers. She went through three new pencils, and was soon on the brink of exhaustion. For some reason, she felt the biggest lack of creativity she had ever experienced. The frustration was starting to grow on her and made it even more difficult. She pondered if she could just bribe Scrappy, the Neopian Times editor, with a batch of freshly baked cookies or perhaps a hefty bag of Neopoints. "No, that's cheating!" she thought again to herself and sighed. She wasn't going to cheat (although she did feel like baking some cookies). So she sat again, staring at the four words scribbled at the beginning of her new page. "Once upon a time..." it said.
But nothing was coming. The few ideas that did come to mind, she didn't feel were good enough for the 800th issue. She was on the cusp of giving up, until her family arrived home. All 19 of them, from the oldest who was close to Aphridite's age to the youngest at 6 months old, were laughing and licking their ice cream cones. They had just come from the beach, where from the excited exclamations the younger ones were making, Aphridite pieced together that a family of water faeries were swimming through. The little ones were so excited as they had never seen the beautiful, mermaid-looking faeries before. They thought one with bright, fiery red hair, a purple seashell top and a green tail sang exceptionally well.
She heard the youngest, a baby Aisha, start crying. Her ice cream scoop fell and began melting on the ground. Aphridite put her piece of paper down and went out to greet them, picking up the baby Aisha and comforting her.
"How was the beach guys?" she asked with a kind smile.
"Oh my gosh, SO MUCH FUN!" they yelled. Aphridite looked to her sister, Yarcepalia, and could see the exhaustion in her face, but she smiled as she walked with two of their siblings sitting on her feet, arms wrapped around her legs.
"Please, let's go back! I want to swim more!" one of them cried.
"No no, it's lunch time! Then maybe later we can go." Yarcepalia exclaimed.
Aphridite laughed. "Alright kids, inside you go. Time to shower and get the sand off of you."
They all ran inside and Yarcepalia turned to Aphridite. "How is the writing coming along?"
"Terribly." Aphridite sighed. "I've never experienced such bad writers block before. I'm too stressed and nothing is coming to me."
"Here, I got this for you." Yarcepalia said, reaching into a bag and grabbing a book. "I found these in the basement."
"What are they?" Aphridite said as she began to flip through them. "Oh my gosh, you found these? I thought they were gone years ago!"
"Flame saved them. I found boxes and boxes of stuff she saved from when we were little. Your books full of poetry and story ideas. My finger paintings and crayon scribbles. Eclipe's journal entries from when he went to Kreludor." Yarcepalia said.
Aphridite realized what a gift this was. It was one of her first journals. Inside, over a hundred pages of story ideas she came up with when she was younger.
"Some of those you really should enter in the poetry contest, you know? You can win me an awesome rare prize!" Yarce said, reading some of the poems from over her shoulder.
"Alright, once you win me a rare prize from your gallery collecting!" Aphridite said with a laugh. "Thank you for finding these, I think this is just what I needed!" she said, darting off back upstairs with the books.
She sat for hours, flipping through and reading her old notes and scribbles. Some were things she had dreams about, those were the most vivid and nonsensical stories. But one stood out to her the most. She read through and then put her pen and paper to work.
She worked tirelessly on her story, creating the rough draft and then rewriting it twice more. She also pulled out her dusty mythology book, and did research on her story topic, including elements and key characteristics of her character inspiration. She was immensely proud of her work, and dubbed it as one of her best yet. Most of her works had been about her siblings, but this time, it would be about a fictional character based on her.
The story, titled "The Royal Aisha of Love" was not immediately accepted into the Neopian Times, but instead became a published book after it was picked up by one of Neopia's top book publishers. It was on the "Book Shops Best Seller" list for 4 months in a row, selling over 500,000 copies. Neopians all over became so in love with the story, they created clubs and guilds dedicated to it. They loved Aphridite, the Royal Aisha who appeared out of nowhere and floated to shore on a giant sea shell, who would accidentally meet Ares, the Royal Prince of Meridell. Then out of nowhere, a terrible curs...wait! I can't spoil the story for you! You will just have to read it for yourself!
Aphridite was accepted into her Neoschool and became top of the class in her fiction-writing courses. She published several more stories, all thanks to the help of some creativity she jogged down when she was younger to help dislodge her writers block. To this day, she still sits in her window sill, watching her family play, and writing clever stories about them.