Drought of Words!

When I write an article, mostly, I can complete it immediately if an idea strikes me all of a sudden. On the contrary, there are times when I know I need to write yet words do not come at all. I am left blank, staring at the laptop screen for hours. Most onlookers presume something is wrong and if anyone feels concerned enough to ask, I just smile and deny anything being not right. Silently, I pray to Goddess Saraswati, responsible for speech, wisdom and learning, to be kind and generous but she, it seems, has been engaged by other prayers at that moment. My turn? When?

I really don’t know how to explain and hope against hope in such situations for the avalanche of words to crash over me. How much I am ready to welcome any idea, any suggestion provided it clicks with me! How I wish words to snowball and magnify the aura of my intellectual (?)* and verbal persona (?)* in greater degrees than ever before!

There is big BUT and the mother of all troubles is that on such wicked days, nothing appeals and despite inviting suggestions from varied sources or trying to soak in thoughts from the variants of the ambience, my mind negates them all and I have to re-sit with a sullen face held between two palms or go back to doing routine stuff. Despite my love for cooking, it is cooking that irritates me most if I am not able to generate any idea for writing soon when I want to write the most. The resultant food soaks in the flavor always.

It baffles, teases, gets on my nerves to be blank after exercising my grey matter for hours only to yield a zero in return. At least a zero has tremendous value if it is added without any decimal into my salary slip. But what about my useless mind (?) *. My pathetic condition cannot even find a proper epithet as vocabulary remains constipated enough to loosen up for it. How I wish there were ‘Kayam Choorna’ or any of its substitutes for handling this malady!

I feel like giving up. My inner voice echoes-‘find inspiration’ and I respond- ‘you fool, what else you think I have been trying to do precisely since hours. You shut up.’

I start humming- Words don’t come easy to me/How can I find a way/to make you see …?

I am reminded of something- following Chetan Bhagat’s success with Five Point Someone and the other three novels, a lot of engineers and MBAs suddenly awakened to the fact that even they could/can write. As a result, in the last few years, the market has seen mushrooming of several new writers from IITs, IIMs, other engineering/ management institutions and from the corporate. A healthy trend, I must say. Reading and writing can be immensely satisfying. Writing purges emotions in such ingenious (at times even the opposite is true) ways that can surprise or shock the writer himself/herself at times. It can de-stress and unleash a wave of hidden creative potential.

Writing a new article, for me, reverberates the feeling a novice has at trying his/her hand at pottery-making and coming up with an earthen pot, albeit out of shape the first time.  The sense of achievement at seeing even the distorted outcome is indescribable. Practice is the mantra, the key to becoming a success at anything. Writing is easy but good writing is tough. Very tough.  As I write this, my mind echoes – ‘so you managed to find at least some words for this article. Clever’.

I quieten my mind’s voice again and thank the readers for their patience. Signing off with few questions:  how do you proceed with any article? Do you have days of word-drought too? Do you finish writing at once or take it up bits by pieces? Share your modus operandi please so that lesser mortals like me could learn and benefit.

(?)*- question mark by my inner self.

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25 responses »

  1. knot2share says:

    WOW some great tips here!! Thank you everyone. A great write up too Sonal Shree, a place or state where many have visited and keep visiting. A small time scribbler like me also find myself going blank many times!

  2. Indrani Talukdar says:

    A great write up on the writer’s block. Don’t we all go through it?!
    But take heart we’ve all been there 🙂

    • Sonal Shree says:

      Hi Indrani. Thanks for dropping by. I’m certainly trying to learn from those who can manage beautiful pieces within no time.

  3. vimala madon says:

    I can rattle off a piece once I get going but I have many lazy or busy moments that keep me from pen or laptop. I do get some really interesting ideas or turns of phrases late in the night in bed, or when out in the car (as a passenger), so I always keep a pad and pen handy and jot down my thoughts even in the dark.

    • Sonal Shree says:

      That is what dedication towards writing is. Jotting down ideas anytime,everytime; during the day as well as in the dark. No wonder you write so well.

  4. Aman Verma says:

    A laptop (with actually nice touchpad), a coffee mug, a phone & a pen.. combined with your intellect, verbal persona and so called useless mind…

    loved –> “(?)*” 😛

    sorry cant write more… you see “Words don’t come easy to me/How can I find a way/to make you see MY RESPONSE/THOUGHT/ETC/ETC…?”

    • Sonal Shree says:

      You see Aman, this picture has been put up by the editor so I am sure she deserves all the credit for ‘laptop with actually nice touchpad, coffee mug, a phone & a pen’.

      Thanks for loving “(?)*”. That means you have actually gone through the whole write up.

  5. vimala ramu says:

    Hi Sonal,
    You know where the problem lies. It is sitting in front of the computer that stares back at you. I for my part still use the old fashioned pen and paper. A chance remark or an incident sets of an idea which I put down on the paper. I let it lie there for 3-4 days and go on adding sentences in part or in whole, as and when they strike me. When I find that it has enough matter, then I compose a blog out of it and then key it on to the computer. I keep reading the article for 3-4 days and make alterations and deletions. When I am sure it is mad enough, then I let it lose on my unwary readers.

    • Sonal Shree says:

      Thank you so much for showing me a perspective. May be using pen and paper is the solution after all other than reading extensively.
      Actually I keep on working on the laptop and also try to manage an article by keeping a word file open. This helps me to manage both but then I am sure pen and paper ensure that nothing is lost and there is no laziness in switching anything on moment an idea strikes.
      I will follow you.

  6. Sneha says:

    So called post-modernists call it ‘Writer’s block!’ Uhh 🙂

  7. deepika says:

    Don’t worry Sonal, you are not the only one who is going thru this. I also, sometimes, get stuck or blank computer screen teases me.

    I do feel that consistent reading and writing is the only solution.

    Nice write up.

  8. Dear Sonal,

    So you see, there are lots of people who get caught in that stuck-up mode where nothing seems to register or work as far as writing is concerned leaving you agitated and sometimes in a questioning mode too.

    Lots of ideas filtering in and out but as far as proceeding forward is concerned… Uh hoon!

    Sharing the same plight with you! Lucky we have Write Space to make even this no-way situation to transform into an article and also a discussion!

    • Sonal Shree says:

      Yes Shail, I am glad to have transformed this ‘no-way situation’ into an article and more so since it found readers, first one being obviously you. 🙂

  9. Shernaz says:

    Sonal, If it is any comfort to you, I have two stories and quite a few poems that I have been unable to complete. There are times when I want to consign the lot to the recycle bin, but I am biding my time. I know as Saffiya said, ‘it will come.’ Though I wish I knew when 😦
    I think everyone’s in this boat more often than they’d like to be, so cheer up. At least in this blog you have poured out your feelings well. Reason enough to cheer.

    • Sonal Shree says:

      Dear Shernaz, I am sure ‘it will come’ 🙂
      Even I have some incomplete matter that I’d love to complete some day.
      I guess reading a lot opens up the mind to some ideas but I’ve severely been ignoring this aspect of late.

  10. Safiyyah says:

    Sonal, this article of yours is my plight precisely. I couln’t have put it in better words. Enjoyed reading it. As Shernaz would say, it will come. Regards.

    • Sonal Shree says:

      Hi Safiyyah. Thanks for reading and leaving your comment. This is the first time we are interacting. Would love to read your contributions.

  11. Beyniaz says:

    Your words are coming in like the monsoon rains. Nice blog.

    • Sonal Shree says:

      Monsoon rains- ha,ha. Completing this article was almost like waiting for the rain during famine. Finally managed;)

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