Friday, September 15, 2006

Breaking the block

Dealing with the writer's block. A time when thoughts are evasive and words lack gumption.

I had my “lost weekend”. Unlike its original victim who was besotted by his lady love and it probably was a creative period in Lennon’s life, I was lost for words. Quite Literally!

I am accustomed to occasional bouts of endlessly groping in the dark looking for an inkling of inspiration. On this occasion though, my mind refused to acknowledge the presence of intellect or creativity within itself. Asphyxiating the possibility of hope and shattering the determination to move ahead it leaves one disillusioned, frail.

It defines the very existential predicament of those who choose to call themselves writers or if their livelihood depends on toying with words. The crux of which relies on the smooth transgression of thoughts on to a chosen medium. A reflection of inner voice, it mirrors our aspirations, dreams and myriad flights of fantasy that bring immense joy and even agonizing sorrow. During such a spell depression is a commonly observed phenomenon. The very act of writing is considered therapeutic by many. One can simply wait for time to heal the broken bridges of a fractured thought process.

Articulating ones mental calisthenics in a cognizable manner is necessary to achieve that elusive peace of mind which most writers find solace in. So it is a given that when faced with this insurmountable challenge ingenious ways are devised to by pass the prevalent wait.

A common method is to write randomly as it comes, however disconnected it may be. It starts of a chain reaction which breaks the initial ice and promotes fluidity in thinking. But, this does not work at times as not being able to channel ideas as one wants can be hamper the will to continue writing. Hitting the keys to make a loud clunking sound while typing is also practiced, the sound is said to create an apt atmosphere seizing a person’s focus on the task at hand.

A start may facilitate some to then move ahead with their own ideas. So writing a paragraph or two from a newspaper or an old classic may sustain thought long enough to reach a point of originality. Kafka’s musings work for me, but alas not this time. A created atmosphere like a dimly lit room, candles, incense or bright light for the esoteric taste and natural surroundings, gardens, beaches etc. also assist in writing. An open area is said to allow space for thoughts to materialize, so desks facing a wall are generally avoided. Also pacing furiously or such strenuous activity breaks the monotony of sitting and trying to think. With the added benefit of losing weight this provides with neglected but much needed exercise, the optimum solution for a sedentary profession. The idea is to obliterate the routine and introduce variation for new thoughts.

Courage they say is borne out of desperation. Some brave enough to delve into their past relationships, emotions, anguish and fears often temper these natal feelings to a concentrated concoction which is then released in a violent explosion of pure passion. But, this method is known to leave a scar on the psyche of the individual, like a battle wound that refuses to heal. In the same vein, dealing with a crisis by talking to someone aids in facing our demons. As humans subservient to convenience we have a tendency to evade issues which cause distress and which eventually hamper clarity. Reconnecting with the innermost angst fills the void created by abject alienation, reconciling ones mind and spirit which ameliorate fluid expression of inherent voice.

If any of the techniques do not work, take heart in the fact that time is on your side, it will eventually relent to your unyielding will and persistence. After all the best way to defeat a writers block is to write! One word at a time.

1 comment:

Bobby Griffin said...

Hey Vinny,

If you want me to link to both your blogs, both your blogs need to link to me. Come back and visit if/when you get a link up here!