For the last couple of days, I have been suffering from what is referred to in a clichéd manner as “The Writer’s Block”! I want to understand why something that sounds so bloody positive should actually mean a dead end! I mean the idea of a writer’s block should conjure images of 1920’s Paris and the roaring twenties and the Jazz age of Fitzgerald and Ezra Pound. Or it should represent some hill side (or if you prefer a beach side; give me mountains over the sea any day; but then that’s me!) where a writing community meets every year to discuss and develop the “next break through literature”. Better yet, it could refer to a journal, a la, the New Yorker, where all the post-modernist/post colonialists/post realists/post whatever genre is in vogue now publish their posts! (Pun intended). Instead, it actually refers to my sitting in front of the laptop, staring at the blank word doc and twiddling my thumbs, while I drink endless cups of tea! (The way things are going I will soon have to graduate to drinking something stronger!)
Wikipedia (I only go to the best for reference) lists that Writer’s block can be a result of various factors working in combination or independently and includes but not limited to –
- Creative problems where the author does not have any inspiration and may think that he has conceived a project far beyond his capabilities – My response – I am very much inspired and the narcissist that I am, I am convinced nothing is beyond me except a 10 mile marathon (Physical activity is not my forte; maybe I have a condition called Physical Block or something!)
- Awareness of an audience can also be a deterrent for the writer and stifle his creative capabilities – My Response – Narcissist argument holds good here again; what I will write, the world will love (Yes! I know I need to come down from my cloud 9 zone to avoid nose bleeds!)
- Writer’s personal life may impact his writing capacity – physical illness, depression, financial constraints. – My response – Physically I am fine (I do not consider my inability to run a 10 mile a thon, a serious ailment) Depression – Nope again! Financial Constrain – Well, that has been my condition ever since I have finished university and is now practically my best friend residing with me and my flatmate!
So after much rumination, I have come to the conclusion, that I have a unique writer’s block condition that no one has experienced before – I cannot think of a absolutely spectacular, stunningly innovative and brilliantly conceived plot, that will be handed down to posterity as the by-word of all matrimony where my male protagonist proposes marriage to my female protagonist. I know Margret Atwood has said that if she waited for perfection she would never get a word written, but in all honesty, I cannot conceive a believable plot where my hero can propose marriage in an era of chaperoned girls and conservative morality. That’s my dilemma….I am inspired, I am aware of my audience and I am not suffering from any physical or mental ill health! (Unless you consider my eccentricity as a sure sign of madness!) I just cannot seem to get past this chapter!
Again, per Wikipedia, the cure to writer’s block lies in –
- Group Discussion – My flatmate alone has suffered enough through my novel high and lows (again! Pun intended and yes it’s a bad pun, but concentrate – I am suffering from lack of creativity) and I refuse to subject the rest of the world with it – I mean if I start breaking down the plot for one and all, where is novelty of the book?
- Journals – What will I write in the journal that I cannot write in the book? I know the plot; I know the outline, it’s the detail I am struggling with! Ugh! Ugh! In fact this thought made me feel like a goat! (Don’t despair, I will explain, I am suffering from creative disability not correlating inability – Sue Grafton made a very pertinent observation on writers and ideas – “I carry a notebook with me everywhere. But that’s only the first step. Ideas are easy. It’s the execution of ideas that really separates the sheep from the goats.”)
- List Making – List of all the innovative proposals through ages? Who is the author of this work again- the whole wide world or moi?
- Free Writing – Well, that’s why I began this blog because per Julia Cameron (again Wikipedia) Morning pages, which are three pages of writing without any intention of writing for any purpose, helps stimulate cognitive functions of the brain. I thought this was eminently sensible, so the blog.
But woe is me…my condition is bad……I still have absolutely no idea how to make my protagonist propose marriage!!!!!!!