So there I am sitting on my desk, with torn pieces of paper scattered all around me, almost on the verge of tears, head in my hands. Looks really poetic and filmy right? Maybe I am trying to cram my curriculum. No, that is so much easier. Then let’s continue with the filmy theme. Maybe I am trying to confess my undying love to my unfaithful beloved who is constantly ignoring me (modern day equivalent of a crush). Again, nope. I am the proud chairman of BBB: Books Before Boys :D. Then what am I doing? Well I’ll help you out. I am trying to write an article. Yes mates, an article.
Now definitely, this scene that I have just narrated seems a bit over the top. But it’s not. This is exactly what happens to everyone when they have Writers Block or in fancy terms Blank Paper Syndrome (funny how they have a syndrome for everything these days). With only one symptom of this condition, that is your mind turns into a black hole: everything goes in, but nothing comes out, this deadly disease plagues thousands of writers around the globe.
(Side Note: No, what you experience in exams halls is not writer’s block but another deadly disease, with identical symptoms called You Didn’t Study Syndrome.)
Now everyone has their own way of dealing with writers block but a novice like me, probably goes through these stages:
The first thing that you do is, try to get inspiration. You want a fresh batch of steaming ideas to work on. So you might listen to some music, read a good book(s) or watch a movie. If you are lucky enough you might find a suitable theme, or some new angle or perspective to develop your present idea. However if you are unlucky, you will be distracted and not inspired. You will move from one song to the other, and will suddenly find yourself downloading five different movies to watch. There is a chance that an idea hits you like a bullet, but there is a much higher chance that you will bleed to death before transforming it into something worthwhile. And thus the blockade continues.
Firing Aristotle Stage
Since you can’t find a theme, or cannot expand upon existing themes, you may try to make up one of your own. So you begin by firing all known philosophers. After all, who needs them? At this point you get this really ‘revolutionary’ feeling like you are going to change the world by your yet to be found idea. Big mistake. You start by looking around you, noticing all social injustices, economic problems, etc. You might get some ideas and could write a brilliant piece but only one or maybe two paragraphs, and you find yourself screaming baqi kahan say la’oon. It does feel like baking a cake with no sugar.
With the deadline inching closer and closer, you might want to quit by now. After all who does read this stuff any way? One could convince people to get piercings. That is sadly much easier than convincing someone to read. But then again you convince yourself that your writings do make a difference. At least you are trying. So you begin with a new zest. But guess what? The block is still there. Now if you are ‘unlucky’ enough to reach this stage, you might get a bit evil. Not the taking-over-the-world kind of evil. You might want to commit some innocent plagiarism, you might think of bribing or begging someone else to write something for you, things of this sort. However it must be kept in mind that this does not reflect the poor stuck person’s morality. It just gives you an idea of the desperation of someone whose brain deserts them. Article k liye kuch bhi karay ga. (no need to worry though, it’s just a stage that passes. We don’t do any of this, or do we? *winks*)
At Wits End Stage
If movies, music, books, everything fails, why not opt for an old fashioned cry. That is exactly what we do at this stage. We cry, wail, and complain, flip imaginary tables (because amma will kill us for actually flipping a table and breaking her jahaiz k bartan) anything that floats our boat. Like a patient with cancer at the last stage, we wait for the inevitable, the deadline. While doing that we might indulge ourselves in an old favourite, thinking of excuses to give to our editor for our unfinished work. With a little luck, if you have wonderful editors like mine, you might get an extension, or else it’s sayonara for you.
So as I sit writing this down, I’ll give you an advice: take it easy. It will come to you. No need to rush it. Everyone has their blank phases 🙂 just keep up the good work and if the ‘idea fairies’ are kind, they might bless you.