Wednesday, March 12, 2014

The Writer's Block

There was a lot of noise. Noise that she didn't know the origin of. She knew it was coming from the inside of her head. She had to stop it. She couldn't silence it, but the only way it would reduce or go away, disappear completely was if she could pay attention to each individual noise.

The noise was nothing but her own mind. Asking her questions to which she had to find answers. One by one - she thought. The questions were various but they all had one thing in common; and that was him.

She shut her mind as she rose from her cozy sofa. She walked up to the mirror and looked at herself. She saw her perfectly arched brows that defined her intense black eyes. She knew her eyes drew him the closest to her. She noticed the sharpness of her small nose under which was the flawless cupid's bow. The shape of her lips was just the right size - not too huge, not too small she thought.

She had a small frame with assets that were more than just proportionate. She knew that she was a lot more than any man would have ever wanted. Smart, beautiful, successful and intelligent. Who would ever dare to deny her! She felt in power when she thought that way. But then he popped into her mind again.

But this time, she was hearing that noise again she had managed to snap out of for a few seconds. Her thoughts were too fast for her to even try to latch on to. Wandering into those noises, she thought she may lose herself completely. 

I stopped punching in the letters on my typewriter and took a deep breath. Yes, it was happening! I was facing the writer's block. I knew this would happen some day. But no, "today is not the day!" I said to myself. I had to complete this at any cost. The stakes were high, the deadline was close; I needed to get this done! But it seemed as though this was not going anywhere.

Ever faced this situation? Well, I am grateful to god that in these many years, I never really faced a writer's block till a few weeks ago. I knew I had set a deadline for myself to complete the articles I needed to post for the blog. But, just when I thought I could handle all of it, I realized I had too much on my plate. Too much work and too much to write - yet, such little time to write.

I got extremely anxious and I thought this was bound to happen, ostensibly. I had taken all the work I had presumptuously & it was now professing to backfire. I decided to take a step back, reverse my thoughts and focused on the matter that was rather more important than me having an apparent panic attack. I was determined to beat this thing (i.e. the writer's block). Because I had to, and I had no time left to waste.

I immediately took a pen and paper only to jot down the reasons so as to why I was facing the writer's block and all the other possible reasons that would bring to this state. I wrote down all the possibilities as I knew I wanted to be prepared just in case the "writer's block" decided to pay me a visit in the future.

So. these were the reasons I managed to pen down along with their potential solutions:

  •     I can't find the right words: This was exactly the problem I was facing at that moment. I managed to begin but soon I was stuck and at a loss for words. I then immediately thought of a solution for this issue. I realized that I needed to be free of jargon and needed to remind myself to write like I speak, that way I would have to worry about words and also the reading experience would be a lot easier.
  •     I keep getting distracted: The next possible problem is distraction as you anyway can't find words; so, it's easy to get distracted. This problem of distraction is a serious issue. The slightest diversion and you could end up losing the flow and hell! maybe even the whole concept on which you had initially started to write upon. Keep your phone in complete silent mode. And log out of the social networking sites you are always online on. Turn up some music that gives you inspiration, if that works for you. I like to write in complete silence - I like the quiet, peace and tranquility.
  •      Someone interrupted me, and now I can’t get back the flow: Yes, it's extremely annoying when someone disturbs you in the middle of a paramount writing session. Like I said earlier, you might just lose the entire idea from your mind before you were able to pen it down. To deal with this, make sure you are in complete isolation. By this I mean, ensure to declare you are going to write for a given period of time and try to find a quiet and comfortable spot. This way, you will have the right environment to work in.
  •     I can’t come up with illustrations to underpin what I'm writing: When this happens, there is one obvious this you can always do, i.e. crowd-source your examples. Take from other people's experiences and write away. This doesn't only solve the problem but might give you a whole new perspective.
  •     I don't know what I want to write about: This is the most common problem that a writer can face. When you don't know what it is that you need to write about, turn back to your archive, look at all the other things you've written about and you might get at least a hint of what you could write about. Or you can randomly pick a topic, generally and then Google out a specification from the same.
  • I don’t even know where to start with the writing: This might seem like a huge hindrance once after you've decided on what to write upon. It may seem so because any topic may have a lot more sub divisions to it and writing about it completely in one go isn't the right way to deal with it. Break up the huge content into smaller portions and work on them one by one. Eventually, you can find your way through it by rearranging the portions to form your final piece.
  • I can’t think of an introduction: It is absolutely intimidating to stare at a blank screen/paper. If the introduction is proving to be a pain, start outlining or writing your content and then go on to completing the introduction.
  • I don't know how to take an approach with this topic: If you're having this feeling, it simply indicates that your topic isn't specific enough. Refine your title to say what you really want it to mean. It doesn't have to sound good right away; you can finesse it later. Just ensure it's clear, specific, and tells the reader exactly what the content is about.
  •  I'm just not in the mood: Unplug your laptop and go into a quiet room, free of distractions. Your challenge is to complete your blog post before your battery runs out. See if a little competition with yourself can kick things up a notch. Or just simply take a small break to free yourself from the pressure. Do something you really like doing in that break and get back to working on your piece again.
  • I’m not qualified to write such content: There are readers of all skill levels, so use your knowledge to teach those who are just starting out. Just be humble and honest about what you do know, and what you don’t. Remember: You’re good enough, you’re smart enough, and doggone it, people like you! If you are still unsure, make it a habit to do your homework on the topic before you actually set out to write it! And I'm sure, you'll be good to go!
I hope you find these tips useful for when you are facing the writer's block. I somehow feel, we need to look at the writer's block from a different perspective. It may give you the needed push to write an exceptional article. 

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