13/09/2013 by Siddiqui Fayesal
I am not the right guy to write about writer’s block. I’m not much of a writer to be afflicted with the blocks. But that doesn’t mean that I’m free flowing. It’s just that a “writer’s block” is a respected term and I wouldn’t want to associate it with myself yet. Like I said, I’m not much of a writer. I get blocked too though; too many times at that. It is said that after the block is lifted the writer lets loose a barrage of essays using multi syllable words and twisted compound sentences with a deluge of punctuation marks all replete with enough indications that the block has, finally, been lifted and the writer is back in his element.
With me it’s usually just a 500 word mediocre post for my blog with no likes and zero hits (I’m kidding :p). it still makes me happy though. It’s my baby after all.
Anyway, since writer’s block is too fancy a word I use a different set of words all together. Namely, “Thresholds” and “Firing Squads”. Thresholds are just excuses to be honest. They mean that I have an “icky factor” somewhere because of which I haven’t been able to write for a particular duration of time. Because it is a mere excuse, and it’s usually very lame, there is no strict time limit set by me. I keep expanding and contracting it according to my whims and fancies. For example, just last week, I think, I was trying to write for my sister and just couldn’t string enough time together to whip out a 500 word article I told myself, “calm down, Siddiqui. It is just a darn threshold, give it a day or two and it’ll be all fine.”
I was fine the next day and wrote with ease. She calling and firing me left and right which made me pull up my socks and assault my keyboard is another story all together.
So, you see, thresholds are just minor excuses that I make to myself when I can’t do it.
Firing Squads are a different thing all together! It’s a phase that I sometimes refer to as the “Holmes thingy”. If you’ve read Sherlock Holmes you will know about the cocaine addiction. Watson describes Holmes in the fashion which gives the picture of a vegetative Holmes. He spends days and weeks on his couch doing nothing. Absolutely zilch. Until a case comes his way, that is.
So this mode is where I am totally helpless. I don’t even try to write. I know what will happen if I sit with my pen poised on the table with a sheet of paper lying helplessly underneath it. I’ll try and begin and I’ll meet a dead-end. Nothing will come out of the exercise. The potentiality of something crappy coming out of such a phase is really high. When I’m down in the dumps, and maybe this is true for many, I usually get poetic and the chances of me sitting and forcing to write will end up with me succeeding in writing a “poem”.
I’ll try and write something painful. I will succeed perhaps and it will be extremely painful, but only for the readers. I will make no sense whatsoever. This phase hits me with random regularity. I’ll go a month with being down and, BAM, the next month sees a whole week where even waking up at dawn is hard work. I’m totally useless. Nothing interests me and I am the most wronged and cheated human to have ever walked the earth.
It takes something minor to pull me out of this. Sometimes it’s just a tiny smile on my niece’s face; sometimes it is the fact that I realise that I’m cheating my dad by sitting in office but doing no real work; sometimes it is coming face to face with the harsh realities of life and I realise what an ass I have been for being a bloody wimp. I come to life. It is like getting electrocuted. It is like suddenly coming in contact with pure oxygen after spending a day under someone’s arm pits. I’m sitting here doing a double post for my blog and this is something that I have never done in the past 3 years or so. At least, I don’t remember doing this.
I write. I love it. And, trust me on this one, there are very few things that I love with this kind of passion.
Thresholds, Firing Squads and much much worse and, guess what, even the dreaded blocks are welcome. One reason is that it makes me feel like I’m a writer.
And I don’t need another.