Friday, June 6, 2008

The Writer's Block!

It happens ever so often that when I make up my mind to start writing something- it could be an essay, a story, a poem, whatever -I just end up sitting in front of the screen/paper and staring blankly at it waiting for the ideas to flow. And in most cases, they don't. It also happens ever so often that when I decide to sit down and study/do assignments etc, the ideas start boiling in my mind. Net result, I end up leaving my more pressing and urgent work hanging and settle down to writing a poem/essay/whatever. This has happened time and again on many occasions, and though it gives me an excuse to steer clear of hitting the books, is often very frustrating. I mean, what good is a poet or a writer if he can't write spontaneously? And to make things worse, ideas often float through one's head in passing, idle moments when you are maddeningly out of reach of anything to put your ideas down on. And then of course there's the "I don't know what to write about" phase. I look around for a fitting topic to write a poem on, and everything that comes to my mind seems stale and overexploited, and trying to write on aforementioned topics brings to my mind the picture of a piece of sugarcane being put through the press so many times that eventually theres just no juice remaining in it. Perhaps I'm not being imaginative enough, perhaps I need to expand my horizons beyond poems about Love and War and Suffering and Hope and all the other million year old cliches. But then again, most of the poems I have written have come to me in flashes, not when I was thinking about writing them. I guess when you try to force your mind into doing something creative, it clams up and refuses to work. But its often in idle and relaxed moments that you get your brightest of ideas. I for one, am a great believer in the concept that the best place to think is on the can :p No jokes! Your mind is relaxed, your body is, well, doing what its supposed to do without any conscious effort on your part! The creative juices swill around in you, your mind grapples easily with problems and when you're done, 7 times out of 10, your problem is at least partially solved!
So now that brings up the question of why your mind doesn't work when you want it to. The first thing is passion. You need to actually like what you're making your mind do, if you want to do it right. Force your mind into doing something you are not genuinely interested in, and you're not gonna get anywhere. But thats not all. I genuinely love poetry and prose. Why is it that I still get Blocks then? Perhaps because I force my mind into doing something at a time when, subconsciously, I don't really want to do it! Creativity is a combination of circumstances and opportunities. At the end of a long and tiring day, when all my mind wants to do is shut itself off, if I try and rack my brains for rhyming words(which is a very simplistic way of describing poetry), my head is probably gonna say "screw you, dude, I'm gone!". The mind's way of saying that is by simply refusing to cooperate in whatever enterprise you wish to undertake. So how is it, then, that my creativity flows forth when I'm studying? I'd say its because thats when my mind is already working. Its like this. Imagine yourself jogging on a treadmill. The first few days, you get tired pretty soon, and feel like you want to stop pretty soon. But you keep at it, and in a few weeks, you feel great after 10 minutes of running. Your muscles feel loose, your body feels fluid. But keep it up for another 20 minutes, and then you start feeling the strain. Another 20 minutes and you get off saying "I'm gonna suffer cardiac arrest if I go any further". The mind is similar. When I'm studying(and here I'm not referring to staring at the books for prolonged periods as often happens), my mind is on the trot. Its in a state of motion, and your brain is in thinking mode. But as is common with us students, after a while, you just don't feel like studying anymore. This is not your subconscious mind throwing you off the books, but your own unwillingness to study further, even though you know you should. So instead of studying further, the mind goes into random thoughts, but with a heightened level of perception and concentration. These are the moments when creativity flows best. The mind is warmed up and ready to start churning out the stuff. So what it does is latch on to some particular random thought, and develop more on it. And before you know it, voila! you are creating your next masterpiece :)

This post was born of not knowing what else to write about. Hopefully, from now on I won't have the spew out as much crap as I have now before getting a "creative high" :D

6 comments:

aniramzee said...

Well I have to say that was a commendable piece on self introspection.But of late all your work seems to be of the very same subject.You sure you're not turning from writer to philosopher? :P

+w3lv3_g@ug3 said...

Work? What work? This is a new blog, dumbass! There is no work here :P

Ashwini Sriram said...

super!(thats all my mind can think of now...maybe its in the "its way past your bedtime so whatcha doing in front of the comp you dummy?" mode) :D

Anonymous said...

yeah...
hmmm.....
its good.. but it could have been shorter... but its gud start...
you really get ideas when your ...ahem ahem... :)
k...
keep blogging...

Anirudh said...

What are you? A philosopher??

+w3lv3_g@ug3 said...

@Ashwini
Next time you comment make sure you're wide awake :P
@Gowri
Ahem ahem? *raised eyebrow*
What's the fun in it being short?:P
@Ani Arun
As I am sure you are aware, I am an extremely bored induvidual!