“There is one thing and the only thing you need to do to become a writer — Write.”
I twirled my pen around a loose strand of hair, as I remembered my father’s words. It was a swell of joy and disgust, at the same time. Joy because of our shared passion for writing, and disgust, because of my inability to do anything about it.
Yes. I wasn’t able to write anymore.
‘Writer’s block’, they call it; I prefer ‘The Noose’. And it was beginning to choke me, and slowly take my life away. I looked at the blank notebook staring at me— too wide, too white and too loud.
“It’s never that bad, you are only lost inside. Find yourself and you’ll do fine”— My father was a man of aphorisms. So, I shut my eyes to catch a moment of respite from this constant struggle between self-disgust and self-motivation.
When did words cease to rush through my pen? Once upon a time, I used to be praised for crafting wonderfully-strung sentences; some sweet and others dripping with sarcasm. My father would read my poems, and get a faraway look in his eyes, the use of imagery always worked its magic. People could not sum up the power of my writing.
But now, there was no sum. There was nothing. I was nothing.
Amidst the chaos of redundancy, my passion had decided to go zilch on me. Assignments, tests, events, club meetings, they were all excuses. All of them sat conspiring every night to drain me out physically and emotionally the next day. Bloody leeches had left me dry and exhausted!
I decided to stare the hell out of my pen. I tried to talk to it, cajole it, but to no avail. I uncrossed my legs to let them breathe for a bit. At least some part of my body should, if not my mind. HA-HA, my mind. Thinking about my brain, hurts my brain. It has turned into such a rigid piece of sad shit. And I have suddenly become such an exemplary mule of the mill— blinders on, repeating the circle, and churning out all the right answers, for all the right boxes of a dependable-resume.
Why the blinders? Not when it comes to my views and thinking, no way! But they are, because I can’t surface back to the environment of my views and thinking. I don’t have time for that, the world I survive in is rattled with bombs of tests and assignments every minute. At the end of every training day it is tiring to even sleep. Of course, I signed up for this. But it sucks when people around me don’t get it. Of course, that is their outlook. And I can only do my part.
I took a long breath, and crossed my legs again. I decided to think about my favourite books, maybe meditating on the best in class will help my hands recreate their magic.
Wait. What hands? Pecking against a backlit screen? I look at the words. I wrote something!
I hadn’t realised but I had been typing a giant message reply all the while. But that’s the extra news. After about three months of hell, I had written something continuous! Yes, it’s not beautiful, yes, it’s not the best, but I finally have my score one on the new lease, my crack at creativity in a very long time. And for the least, it finally makes me feel jumpy about chipping away the rest of the wall of my dungeon.
What? I am in a haste and it’s too soon? Well, remember—“A spark can set the whole forest on fire. Just a spark. Save it”
No, my father didn’t say that, but Bukowski did.
Photography By: Charul Passey