>Writing today is seriously fun to many. Quite a few believe that, expression delivers a deeper impact on the target audience and ideas have a smoother flow, when conveyed in black & white. Arguably so! However, the single most important dampener of the spirit would be the dreaded writer’s block. Contrary to the dismissive nature of the sound of it for the most of the folks, this is something that strikes only to prevent any idea taking flight.
For the uninitiated, Writer’s Block largely refers to either temporary or prolonged trouble with beginning writing or finishing off a work that has been started. It could be just that every time one decides to start on a piece, he’s stumped by lack of inspiration, or a dearth of creativity within or simple procrastination. Though in most cases, the disorder (if you’d like to consider it as one!) is fairly short termed, Writer’s Block has affected people chronically in some. To quote Wikipedia, “the most notable example of this in modern literary history was Henry Roth’s writer’s block which persisted for sixty years and was caused by a combination of depression, political problems and unwillingness to confront past problems”. These kinds of cases, however, are too few and far between.
A person struck by writer’s block, would in all probability, stare at the paper or monitor to the end of time, and yet come up with hardly a worthy line or two, no more. Apparently he hasn’t got his thoughts in flow. Distractions abound, within the mind and without. He finally gives up for the day, and packs up. There’s not much guarantee there won’t be a reprisal of this scenario in the next few days to come. Or imagine a situation where the writer’s desire to write is more than twice as strong as his thoughts in perspective. Fat chances that he’s going to cover any ground in his endeavour! Next is the classic case of procrastinating. One could defer writing that first line, or continuing from where he left, for days on. This is quite closely linked with the case of unending wait for that inspiration. No drive to write would mean no desire to write. Alternatively, the very thought of making literary sense out of all those ideas in mind, would be daunting in itself. We then have the probability of conflicting thoughts in the writer’s head. This could perhaps be observed more in cases where the subject of the article or story is a contentious issue. The deeper one researches on an issue, the more viewpoints he’s likely to see things in. The trouble is when the writer is halfway through in his writing and is still in the process of discovering new perspectives. It’s quite possible that he would end up in an almost hopeless knot and take a while before freeing himself of it. All these lines said, writer’s block in itself is not something of a curse that’d make the writer lament woe’s me. Quite a few people believe that this phenomenon is a part of the natural ebb and flow in the creative process. Accomplished authors, poets, why, even economists, have faced blocks-in-the-pipe sometime or the other in their course of penning revolutionary ideas. I for one wouldn’t deny that such blocks also act as speed breakers, in rare instances, which would make the writer stop, take a step back and look at what’s been etched so far, and decide if he’s indeed on the write (pun intended) track! After all, it is far from advisable that one writes in a maniacal fashion, at break neck speed and call it a day double-timing to finish.
Well, if this is something that’s gnawing at our mind day in and day out, then perhaps we could do something to get around the problem, though not get rid of it body and soul. I wouldn’t try and make a law out of it, but would definitely aver on the following pointers which might attempt to relieve the writer of the block if it’s there indeed. We could always scribble all the random thoughts in our on a scratch-pad. It’s like we have dumped it somewhere, and are freeing up memory space. It also serves well to be absolutely clear about the tone of the article if it is one. In cases where a novel or a non-fictional book is being written, it’s believed to make sense to keep at the conclusion at regular intervals. This holds good for short pieces of writing too, as everyone would agree. Also, it wouldn’t be a bad idea to read through what’s been written from the start, after a measurable length has been covered. Well, if that was about the content, what about the writer himself? He could get into the habit, if he hasn’t, of writing regularly, whether it makes perfect sense or not. If it’s noise that disturbs him, he’d know better then! Reading up books and magazines, watching movies is definitely a fun way of getting back the flow, if it is lack of inspiration that’s proving to be a spanner in the works. Or a well accepted way to overcome the block would be take a break from everything literary, maybe for a day or two, and get back into the swing. Of course, this works largely on psychology, but is a fairly successful practice nevertheless.
The writer’s block need not be approached with trepidation. It is just the use of strategy and thought that would keep us in good stead when there’s seemingly no way out. As long as the writer’s instincts remain intact, this block almost definitely shouldn’t be the one that decides the career of the writer and his ideas.