W 21 — The Writer’s Block
Here I am, sipping hot tea on a cold winter afternoon on the first day of the year exceeding the most dreadful year of our lifetime, thinking about all things I could write, but cannot. If you have ever faced a writer’s block, I am sure you can understand the frustration one faces when made to write something, when you either have no original ideas, or are struggling with articulating them. It is not like I have run out of ideas, or do not like writing. In fact, the lockdown made me more perceptive. I invested my time in taking a course on Public Relations which was something that had intrigued me since a long time. Writing is one of the most cathartic experiences for me, thus the problem does not even lie with my willingness. A typical writer’s block does not occur when you have run out of ideas, but when you have too many ideas and you cannot give any direction to them. Writing is a very free-flowing experience and binding those thoughts within a deadline is like trying to control a gushing river with a dam.
It is natural to have a writer’s block. One cannot always know how to put pen to one’s thoughts. One can ward this block off by not putting too much pressure on ourselves. You cannot think of something new, by keeping your thoughts under a radar. You must treat that block actively rather than suffering passively. Start by typing or writing whatever comes to your mind. This technique is called free association, and was used by Psychoanalysts like Sigmund Freud to peek into the inner consciousness of human mind. Penning down thoughts helps releasing pent up emotions and clearing of the mind. Once you have penned down your thoughts read them and start afresh.
Reading also helps in the incubation of new ideas to write about. Then whether it is a book, a newspaper article or a report, any piece of writing can spark your curiosity and get those creative juices running. Try to read things which you usually do not approve of, to get a glimpse of opinions different than yours. This will help you get out of the rut.
My personal hack to get out of the writer’s block is to talk to myself. As bizarre as it sounds, it works miraculously when you have a few topics in mind but are struggling to articulate. As I try holding an imaginary conversation with myself on the topic, I start to understand the different nuances I can capture through my writing.
But whatever happens, always remember, you are wasting every thought you could capture, but did not! And the first and the foremost step to get out of the rut is to not give up. Having a writer’s block is common. Hope you all spend this year reading and writing new things!