Sunday, November 6, 2011

Confronting Writer’s Block

The word ‘frustrating’ would not suffice to describe those moments when the eager hand and pen cannot connect to the mind. The mind, being the formative source of thoughts and inspiration, sometimes fails to open up its metaphorical wells and provide the willing writer – professional or not – of those seeds to be planted on paper. In this fast-paced world, such elaborately described phenomenon will only be relegated to the label of a “writer’s block.”

Such ‘writer’s block’ for me involves those harrowing nights of complete emptiness. Those harrowing nights when I spend the early hours of the day just staring onto the lined pages of my draft book, occasionally focusing on the soft tapping of raindrops on the roof or on the hum of our battered electric fan motor. It was grueling to glide through a vacuum where even anger or thoughts of anger do not inspire you to write even a single word. It is, to say the least, a living nightmare.

But inspirations come quite ironically on seed-like moments too, when mental vacuums are turned onto seemingly simple things:
Watching a child dance to the music of a children’s song.
Scribbling onto post-it notes.
Smiling in front of a comfort room mirror.
Listening to a movie sound track rendered by an orchestra.
Singing loudly in the jeepney.
Talking to an acquaintance.
Putting one’s head against a wall.
I’ve seen how such awkward activities have turned my complacency in writing to a raging task which I have to do for it is a part of my life, for it is a life. I have already mentioned many times that to write is to breathe, and to breathe is to write. That is personally true for me.

In the end, one effective counter-attack to a writer’s block is to engage in activities so devoid of any characteristics related to writing that they would actually turn your attention back into writing and will let you see the vast space of inspiration for the writer, a space whose fabric is composed of intertwined reality, fiction, dreams, and the unknown. One just has to open one’s eyes and see behind what these mortal eyes can perceive.

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