Writer’s Block

Writer’s Block is something that needs no explaining. It’s that dread feeling in your fingers as you are poised to write your magnum opus. You rack your brains for some of those extremely brilliant but “blink-and-you-will-miss-it” ideas that seem to dawn upon you the times that you don’t have a pen and a paper handy, as in, maybe your dreams. Unfortunately, the moment you do have a nice fresh piece of paper in front of you, nothing comes to fore. You spend some time watching its pristine whiteness.. And sometimes if you feel particularly grumpy, make some artistic inkblots.
You might be prone to getting it when you are faced with your English examination paper, demanding a 300 word letter to Mr. Editor of some National Daily, purporting to report an imaginary problem like “What can the authorities do about water scarcity?” In real life, it would probably be NOTHING, since it is widely recognised as a fact that that’s all the ’authorities’ do! (In fact who are these elusive characters of fiction on whom mankind places all blame?) But since this is your literary effort, you have to come up with some pretty original statements like “Water is precious, conserve it”. Unfortunately, as the more astute readers may note, that’s about all that crosses your mind in times of stress. You chew the end of your pen, thinking about the life giving liquid and how you could use a drink right now and how you need to complete that letter in 5 minutes flat and all that dances in your head is “Conserve it…. Conserve it.” Now, you couldn’t very well repeat that mantra 150 times, could you? Perversely enough, I am beginning to notice that it strikes even when the exam paper has nothing to do with creativity. You just plain forget one word in the middle of the long answer. From experience, I forgot the word “compressor” while I was explaining the Vapour Compression Refrigeration system.
Then there are those times, when poetic expression dawns on you and you see the wind whispering in the dandelion’s ears, and feel like committing your thoughts to posterity. So out comes your paper and pen, and suddenly all that quaint imagery that was crowding in your mind, vanishes into nothingness, and you chew that selfsame, long suffering pen and struggle to get ‘The’ on paper. The title of that creation could very well be “Stillborn: The Poem That Never Was”
Well, did you just ask me why I started talking about writer’s block? It’s simple, actually. I have a pretty severe case of that malady right now! Writer’s block strikes you when you least expect it to, and generally that is about the same time you really need to churn out some pages at your creative best. This tricky syndrome has found no cure, cause or prevention. But its effects include artistic tantrums by the stricken author, global warming from all the trees cut to make the paper that ultimately finds its way into the waste paper basket and even more ecological disasters. You never considered for a moment that this debilitating disease was a cause for a lot of environmental nightmares, did you? Blame El Nino on Writer’s Block, if you must. I am sure you can’t be all that far wrong. Is that a chorus of ayes I hear from J K Rowling, Jeffery Archer (whose inspiration this time around was very strangely, a prison), Salman Rushdie (who is doing the Page 3 rounds rather than getting fatwas) and all you everyday writers?


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