Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Writer's block huh?

I happened to discuss about writer's block with a friend the other day. She is a novelist and has been facing the problem of writer's block. She tries to write, but somehow ends up staring at the screen, the story is not developing the way it should and such other excuses. I would call them excuses as I have never really given a serious thought to "writing" and thus I never faced such a problem. Even on blogs, I write whatever is there on my mind; but for her, it is a serious business.

Still, my mind was not ready to accept the fact that someone could face something like a writer's block. I mean, if you want to write, you write. You do not as such require any particular topic and/or reason to write about. Come on, write about writer's block! Can it get any simpler?

And then I was thinking about those who make their living out of writing. Journalists, columnists, script writers, play writers, stand up comedians - writing is their bread and butter. They cannot afford to have such silly things as a block to come their way of business.

Anyway it would have been useless to argue with that friend as maybe she would have thought that novel writing wasn't really same as writing blogs or short articles or gigs. It may require intense thinking. Yes, maybe. I do not know. I have never been a novelist. But again, if you make your living out of writing novels, you work on tight deadlines, will you still let such blocks come in your way of earning or survival? Again, I wouldn't know.

Forget a storyteller, I have read about writer's block on blogs too. And it's surprising. How long does it take to a blogger to write 300 words? How difficult it is to write about one topic or combining two-three topics in one post when you can't write more than one paragraph about that particular topic? So many things keep happening around us - politics, bollywood, controversies, calamities, social issues, funny incidences. If nothing is there to write about and still you want to update the blog, post pictures. One or two pictures with their story is sufficient too!

Thus I call writer's block an excuse. Excuse not to write something at that time, excuse for laziness to think about something creative, or just a plain excuse. When the deadline is hovering over your head like a sword, you automatically churn out content. When the deadline is months away, the so called block takes over.

And we are quite used to blame everything on our emotional state. Fight with husband/boyfriend/mother/friend and whoever, and your mind gets blocked on its own. I have seen people write sad and depressing posts, dark poetry and even suicide notes during such times. And all these things fall within the brackets of the block.

I guess the whole block business is beyond me. I have never faced it and I don't think I will ever face it so far as I continue writing, if nothing then about rants. And rants never get over. You have at least 20 things to rant about every day. All you need to do is to pick up the interesting ones and write. This ensures audience too.

Now if you still say that you face writer's block, then I shall disown you!


  1. Very well written. Writer’s block is a debilitating feeling of fear and frustration. I am glad you don’t get writer’s block.

    You had asked “how difficult it is to write xxxxxxx? Yes, any one can write on any subject on any given day. But it should be readable to other people. Not some gibberish.

    Your last line (Now if you still say that you face writer's block, then I shall disown you!). Oh! That is pretty serious.

  2. Hi Neha,
    I am a new reader. I am also a new blogger so I sincerely hope that I am not afflicted with that disease!! :D
    Do visit me when you have the time!

  3. then I shall disown you!

    lolzzzz :D

  4. It might happen that the blogger/writer has certain standards they aspire to. So they don't want to write just anything for the sake of writing. They wait for something they feel they want to write. So that way writers block is something genuine and not laziness.
    As for novelists, they don't just write just anything that comes to mind, they have a story to define and sometimes, it does not shape the way they want. Happens to short-story writers too. :)
    We are not all alike. :)

  5. read about a popular novelist who had published 35 books in his life time who actually started writing in late 40s. The secret was quite simple and amazing. He wrote daily 10 pages and was multitasking rest of the time.

    So its all mindset. If you believe you can write despite the so called 'blocks'

  6. Writer's block is a term people use generously I think. At least me.
    I have tons of things to write but my mind is so tired or occupied with other things that I know if I start writing; I cant get the words to flow; cant express the thought the way I would want to or simply put I know it would turn sub-standard..But you could write a page on writers block..hmmmmm...

  7. Neha,

    Very valid argument. Lucky you are. May you never face any block in anything.

    Take care

  8. Oops ! Ok. I'll not speak much ! ;)

  9. It is true that one has various subjects on hand,in mind to write about.At times,I even bring those to the stage of draft and delete them

  10. At younger age one may not have other preoccupations, and hence you have a point. You will revise your own views later on

  11. It's battle between mind and heart. When your heart and mind both says no to something you are writing?