I sit at my cosy study table, something I’ve personally designed for maximum efficiency and usability. The MacBook lights up like an eager child, ready to absorb whatever brilliant subject I’ve come upon to write about today. The iPhone is tucked away under the pillow on my bed, firmly putting anyway any distraction it can bring. No music, because then I begin to sing along and loose the plot, quite literally. It’s good my home is in a quiet area of the suburb, something we decided on a few years ago when we moved here. More to ensure some sleep before and after my night shifts. My writer wings had not quite unfolded then.
Thoughts flit around my head like thousands of beautiful butterflies. But they’re gone before I can catch them in my hand and weave a magical story out of that butterfly of a thought. Wow, I think, profound words coming to mind to describe my writer’s block!
I gaze at my blog posts, a dramatic sigh passing my lips. It’s a blog, not a motivation coach. It firmly reports the time I wrote my last blog – a good eighteen days ago. Since I had written that a few days before I posted it, I am faced with the grim reality that I am hurtling towards nearly a month without writing.
I ping my neice on Whatsapp, following up about a recipe she wanted. We chat about the recipe for a bit and then she asks “Long time no write?”. Another dramatic sigh. Yes, indeed. Long time no write. That about sums it up.
Is it the fact that I have a lot more on my mind since the beginning of this year than I used to? Was my idle mind of last year the proverbial devil’s workshop? The devil who is in the details you know. Not the one who’s THE devil. Let’s not get politically incorrect.
I panic. I gasp. I hyperventilate. I talk to the husband who is not in the least concerned or moved by my dramatic reactions and concerns. I chew the brains out of a dear friend and writer-in-arms. She is sympathetic and offers great advice, churns out a ton of information.
I decide – maybe I need to finally learn how to write. After all, all this time I’ve been just “winging it”. I have no formal writing education whatsoever. Maybe I need to sign up for some courses, hone my writing skills.
My writing process has been very simple till date. A thought arrives, right on schedule. My brain mulls about it, then mulls some more. Sometimes it takes an hour, sometimes days to put my thoughts around it in a cohesive form. Mind you, this entire process is happening in my brain, not in front of my MacBook, or on a piece of paper. It takes about 15-20 minutes for me to actually write about it.
So that’s pretty much it! Things come to me. I churn the thought in my brain. I write about it. That’s about it. So… things are simply not coming to me anymore. Is that a writing problem, or an imagination problem?
I am on a no sugar regimen since the last week of December. Yes, Christmas and New Year were sugar free. I cannot help but wonder. Has the weaning of sugar weaned my imagination? Was sugar that secret mojo that gave me the mini-me of a muse sitting on my right shoulder, whispering ideas constantly that at one point, I had tired myself out writing more than I bargained for?
Is it the fact that I am involved more in editing these days than I ever was? Am I getting more clinical and technical, less creative and emotional about this?
Is it because I’ve been stressed out for the past couple of months due to a variety of factors that I find myself simply unable to settle my mind long enough to allow a full thought to form in my mind? Yes, go on. Blame it on stress. Why not? Everyone does!
But I have come up with some brilliant one-liners for the past few days. Maybe they are desperate knee-jerk reactions of a frustrated brain. Just yesterday, I was discussing something with a friend about a particular approach to handle something and I said, “That’s like taking a stun gun to kill a fly!” At work, I wanted to emphasize on the importance of objectivity and in the middle of a briefing I was doing, this brilliant one-liner happened, “Don’t turn chicken tikka sauce into vindaloo sauce!”
This both gives me heart and scares me. Gives me heart because it tells me my creativity is not dead. I still gots it, in the parlance of today’s chat speak world! But have I become a nanotale writer instead of the reams of prose I loved to spin? The thought is too sobering to contemplate any further. Desperation is edging now on the border of frustration and anger, that last stop before insanity.
And then there is this thought that ends all thoughts. “This too shall pass”. How cliched, I mutter to myself. Not to mention the thought only brings up the passing of unwanted things from our body. Not in the least hopeful or inspirational, not by far!
And then it hits me. The ONE thing I’ve been mulling about in my head these past few weeks, is the writer’s block itself! So here I am writing about it, getting it out of my system. Who knows? This might be just the thing I need to shake it off, free the space in my brain currently occupied with writer’s block etched in big letters, and let my brain weave it’s magic again.
So there. I’ve done it. And now, I wait.