Shattering images of a demolished Japan flash across TV. Facebook and Twitter abuzz with Charlie Sheen. The iPad 2 makes a splash. Courtney Love pays for reckless tweets.

Despite all this potential inspiration, I sit here the night before deadline, immobilised with ‘writer’s block’.

It happens. I always remember thinking I’d never be short of a few words. Family and friends don’t get it, often making suggestions. But in my defence, I write for a GLBTI publication, which changes the landscape. Adding an XYU spin, whatever that means, also tightens the reins.

I could probably squeeze more out of Mardi Gras. But that seems like cheating. Religious bigots still hate us. There’s a world of hate and injustice for gay and lesbian youth on a global scale. And yet here I sit, staring into space, like a goldfish with a computer.

And then occasionally, something awesome happens.

I often forget to read comments — which isn’t to say they’re not appreciated. But recently, I received something priceless: a PDF of a letter from a middle-aged woman, who doesn’t want to be published. But simply wanted to let me know that my columns are a highlight of her reading week. She thanked me and had a number of positive, heartfelt words.

I think what struck me most was that in this manic, digital world, the letter was handwritten, and yes, actually posted. In an envelope! You really like me?

Excuse me while I have a Sally Field moment.

I heard somewhere that for every comment, there are 100+ readers thinking the same thing, but probably too apathetic, busy or preoccupied to post their thoughts. Most who comment do so from a negative place. And when it’s often a task to muster up the enthusiasm to ‘like’ something on social media, the fact that this lady took the time to sit down, write a letter, and post it to my editor really blew me away.

Every week, I put more pressure on myself, upping the ante, raising the bar. And no, that wasn’t an attempt at smutty double entendre. Well, this week I drew a blank. And so I’m filling the void with a big thank you to regular readers. I hope I can continue to do whatever it is I do that you seem to enjoy.

And before you know it, there’s my 400 words for this week. Huzzah! Column done.

info: You can also follow Damien Stephens on Twitter: damientweeting

© Star Observer 2019 | For the latest in lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) news in Australia, be sure to visit starobserver.com.au daily. You can also read our latest magazines or Join us on our Facebook page and Twitter feed.