Writer’s Block

I am choosing to write about “Writer’s block” because had I had a topic to write about, I would have written one in the last 15 months. It has been that long since I wrote something for myself!

calvin n hobbes writers block

And I am writing this out of my nothingness on agenda (although, I would surprise my own self if I look at my mental list of To-Dos right now. You know, those lists that you make when you are fed up of your oh-so-many To-Dos?).

And I am writing this from a lonely corner in the library, with an antique, musician kinda ceiling fan for company. And dear reader, you are forewarned – this is probably just going to be a long ramble about how and why I have not been writing. Although, none of you have ever pointed out how I suck at writing so I would take my chance. And the last tit-bit about my rendezvous with my surrounding situation (i.e. the secluded corner of library) is that I actually came to work on my dissertation, the deadline for which is looming large on my head and needless to mention, I have miles to go before I sleep; and I am taking time out for this blog from my warm-up period before I actually get down to serious (and for want of better word: dirty [my scholar friends would sympathize]) work of model building and hypothesizing.

Can you blame me for not writing? A PhD beats that out of you probably. Or maybe I am just lazy. Although, my forgetful tiny little brain remembered the blog’s password. I am surprised at and impressed by my own self. (Trivia time – did you know your brain is the size of your fist? I have small hands…. Oh wait! That’s the heart. Too lazy to google brain trivia right now! No wonder I have writer’s block; the worst I have seen in my 6 years of blogging existence so far.

But I have given it more thought than my decision of making a pathetic attempt at humor above. I tried thinking at all the places I could imagine. Inside my own silence, outside in the din of the traffic, in the hustle bustle of the student’s mess, between the droplets of rain (and once in a hailstorm too), among the desolate, beautiful orange night lights of Lucknow while the windswept hair kept getting into my eyes along with the polluted air particles, effectively forcing me to wear goggles at 11 pm in the night – everywhere. And what I have found is -

It is not that I don’t have inspiration to write. And it is probably also not true that I am out of ideas. I have had hundreds which I did not jot down somewhere. And the reason is not laziness. The reason is – I probably didn’t want to write. The reason is – that the reason I started enjoying writing in the first place is now lost somewhere. I always thought I was writing for myself. But during these 15 months I have realized that I was wrong. It was not me. Or was it?

writers block

But the truth is, writing doesn’t wait for anyone. And words don’t have time for this confusion. Words, have a world of their own which does not run on the whims and fancies and troubles of a 26 yr old who cannot put them on paper. Words don’t care what you are feeling. Words won’t bother themselves with your fear of letting too much on. What is it to words, if someday, you are too scared to choose them in such a manner that your deepest secrets come tumbling out to people you don’t want to share those secrets with?

What do words care… If not you, someone else will keep making the choice. Someone else will keep writing. People will keep writing. Because no matter whom you write for, in the end, the love for writing will catch up with you. Your writer’s block won’t last for long (I say this because I have one draft ready and one WIP. So convenient! :P ) … Let the writer in you win, even if you write crap. Let the writer in you win, even if you write in a locked diary in the dead of the night. And write, because it will keep you sane.

Write when you can and when you can’t. When you want to and more importantly when you don’t want to. Because when you sit back and look at your choice of words, they will always tell you what you were going through and how far you have come!

Write. For the love of writing. And in the process, if you can also manage to write for yourself – nothing like it!

I Edit. It Makes Me More Human.

The best thing about having a personal blog – you can trash all the rules of writing :)

Just wanted to add this line. Shall begin my post now. Mark Twain is God for editors I would say. Here’s why:

The time to begin an article is when you have finished it to your satisfaction. By that time you begin to clearly and logically perceive what it is you really want to say. ~ Mark Twain

So how does editing make me more human? For that, let’s get to – what makes me more human? You remember the phrase “To err is human. To admit is superhuman.” Since I don’t feel like being superhuman, I will settle for human :)

Editing makes me admit my mistakes. It makes me understand – I have a long way to go. It keeps me in place, lets me know where I stand. It makes sure I don’t get complacent with my writing ever. If I were to edit my earlier blog posts again, I would probably want to stop writing altogether. So there – editing also tells me how much I have grown. As a writer. As a person.

importance of editing your work

Image courtesy: Nic McPhee)

Because when I edit, I see my own emotions. I get to figure out whether I am confused or clear, angry or calm, whether I have depression or charm. When I edit, it’s like I am looking at a mirror. And a very clean one at that (HD too if possible!).

I write to teach myself what I already know (Duane Alan Hahn) . And editing is like revision. The more you revise, the finer you become. The finer your become, the better you are as a human.

I try to write well, often. And I fail at it miserably. I am now trying to improve as a rewriter. And I know for a fact that every good writer has a lot of trouble writing. Editing is what saves them. Every time. Like the Qs and Us sticking together all the time, writing and editing go hand in hand.

Edit. If you are a writer, always edit. Skip things you know people won’t read. Heavier, high on vocab energy words are easy to get attached to. Use them well but don’t get too attached to them – My biggest lesson while editing! Even the Bhagawad Gita preaches us to not get attached. Looks like what we see in editing is just the tip of the iceberg :)

Logic, clarity, reason, purpose, brevity, direction, a new lesson in every updated draft, love for writing and much more, which my brain eludes me right now (probably editing will do the trick) – is what editing gives me.

And that’s why I edit. It makes me more human.

Ending with Mark Twain again (his awesomeness just does not end) :

Substitute “damn” every time you’re inclined to write “very”; your editor will delete it and the writing will be just as it should be. ~ Mark Twain

P.S – This is the 4th & final draft of the original piece of crap that I had written (every 1st draft is like that).