By :Zara Maqbool
This is my thirty-sixth blog! Every week before my previous blog gets published; I already know what I want to write about. This is a first for me where for hours I stared at my laptop screen thinking what would be worthy of the reader’s interest. What can create awareness or impart some information or simply make you, my reader take a pause and think of what I have written. Nothing! I simply felt that my mind was blocked. I felt low and dejected, unable to muster up any inspirational thought that I could pen down. So with such lack of creativity, I thought why not write about I am experiencing right now and that is a writer’s block.
For all the non-writers out there, a writer’s block is a condition where a write is unable to produce new work or develop creative ideas. The condition might last for a shorter time or can even last for years for some people. Sometimes a writer simply runs out of inspiration for no rhyme or reason and sometimes it’s other events happening in his or her life that leads to this.
Like in my case, the act of barbarism that took place in Mardan felt like a setback. I thought of sharing my opinion on the matter but then I felt it didn’t matter. I felt hopeless and somehow the deep-rooted issues of our society seem to remain in an unresolved status quo. This event just killed my creative side and thus the writer’s block. I felt that writing about any wrong doing in our society is of no use. Will updating my Facebook status help? Can it eradicate the evil that has already spread like wild fire in our social set up be it extremism, police brutality or the general socio-political status of Pakistan. Can my writing about it bring a change?
Sometimes physical illness, depression, personal issues, or performance anxiety can lead to the writer’s block too. So what exactly is this phenomenon that has affected many creative heads? A writer’s block is simply in my opinion, a state of mind. I find it very frustrating and discouraged when I am unable to muster up a single creative thought. When every word drains my energy as I try to make some sense on the paper. For me at times I am so physically and emotionally exhausted especially cause of my counseling work, that I feel there is no space in my head to start the creative juices.
At times it’s my self-criticism and performance anxiety that blocks me to write well or write anything for that matter. My childhood experience where I was always asked to try harder makes me anxious every time I send my blog across to my editor. Putting my ideas for everyone to see and comment on is a scary thought at times too.
So how to overcome it? Well sharing my experience might sit well with a few. Exercise and a good night’s sleep is the key for me and at times watching crappy television helps too. Comfort food and good music late night does the trick too especially when you are alone without any distractions. Changing the environment helps too. Anything to let the pressure off and giving you a break helps. It’s the pressure of writing that keeps building and makes it seem like an uphill task to ever write again.
You simply lose your muse at times. But what if you never had one? So maybe it’s time to have a must! Have an inspiration at handy for times when the mind refuses to put a single word out there that can make readers sit up and notice. I hope I am past this block soon and can write something readers worthy next week!
Story first published: 22nd April 2017