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Writer's Block- A Moment of Self-Doubt

I almost gave up writing for good seven to eight years. A period during which I wrote nothing but office mails and minutes of meetings and contracts and such things, dreary and dull, devoid of any beauty or romance.

I would write in my mind, sentences getting written and erased in my mind. I quit smoking right at the turn of the century and the glamor of smoke forming poetry in the air to be scribbled with urgency was lost.

So I did not write, until couple of years back a sense of loss, a scary thought of dying with all my thoughts faced me. Something told me I had it in me. It used to be fun. It used to be exceptionally fun  in good old, pre-computer days when I would write on a paper with my pen. I felt that I was living half my life, with a half a me, the half which carried the truer sense of me, stifled and locked inside me. I would be loud, obvious, and laugh with the crowd which obliterated and belittled the intensity of thought. I laughed with a voice which scared me at nights and which did not reach my eyes.

I eventually dug deeper and convinced myself that I need to write. I convinced myself that I hold within my being a thought which is sacred, even more scared then the human life itself which carries me through.
 
But then writing is always easy. You know how to write and you can go ahead,erect a mast and proclaim yourself as a writer. Friends were kind and they smiled at the juvenile attempt to what I considered as a journey to reclaim myself. So came a book and the collection of my poems, a short story and this blog.
 
But then this whole exercise is so painfully fraught with self-doubt and dilemma. Just because every human being knows how to speak, does it qualify us to be a speaker. Is not the same true about writing? Can I self-endorse myself as a writer, when all I am doing is writing just as a human being speaks?
 
I write and search my answers through my writing. I am surrounded by questions and writing help me dive deep to search for the answers. But then, I am stung by attacks, which almost imply that I write not because I have in me to be a writer, but to satisfy my vanity. It hurts and badgers my own idea about myself. I try writing as secretly as I could and indulge into reading as slyly as I could without attracting any attention, in the middle of buying grocery, raising the kid and working the day-job. The mockery raises its level and after a while you almost start believing in it. The self-doubt creeps and after a tiring and extracting work day, you sit down to write in silence. The exercise of writing becomes almost adulterous, almost as scandalous and not half as entertaining.
 
And then you look at your own writing with the eyes of a murderous killer, you want to chop the words to alphabet and you do not like what you have written a bit. And you want to be dead with your dead writing, for something speaks in your mind- there is no dilemma that death can not address. You question whether you have a writer in you or are you merely an arranger of words, akin to a kid playing with building block. But is there no grace, no dignity in a kid playing with a building block? What about the grace of creation, the dignity of exploration, which is underlying in the kid's activity. My writing seems worse, and when fraught with severe self-doubt, when I write regarding the poverty of my feminished work, people construe it to be modesty. It isn't, it is the worth of my work on my own self-depriciating scale. I truly do not know if my writing is worthy enough to be sustained and nourished.
 
I mostly write to find answers. But some times I write, only to view the questions more vividly. This is one such post. It has no answer for me. It is only my hard-headed desperation, intending to look at a dangerously mocking question in its eyes, eyeball to eyeball confrontation as they say in military parlance. I have no answers, but I have never been a man for easy answers., easy answers also never liked me much, they never would come to me. Should I continue to write and expose my buffoonery to the world at large or should I keep my own mediocrity carefully under the wraps and keep people guessing? Do I really have in it me to be a writer, or it is mere pretense?
 
If I do not have in me a writer, why as the day draws to close, without a good reading or satisfying writing, my self resembles a haunted house? Is it true that I neither have talent, perseverance nor the discipline to be a writer? I shout out in the valley and the valley throws back the questions at me with increased amplitude and amplified vengeance. Self-doubt clouds the conscious, but I know one thing, why do I feel happier and liberated when I write something good, even if the act within it carries a sense of criminality? Answers, anyone? I do have a feeling that if I could bring about a sense of ritualistic discipline about my writing, answers would come. But I do not know at this moment, if the answer lies in there. I am in the middle of all bad things, Mid-life, mid-career crisis, and a severe writer block. I find a reflection of my confusion and desperate state in George Orwell when he writes," Writing a book is a horrible, exhausting struggle, like a long bout of some painful illness. One would never undertake such a thing if one were not driven on by some demon whom one can neither resist nor understand". It pleases me to be brutal with myself, which in itself is quit masochistic and still write, thus this post. I seemingly have not a way out. In the middle of this, my book which is still struggling to get past the chapter-3 languishes in a long wait. It has come to me to be written, but am I the right person to write it?

Comments

Jo Robinson said…
I’ve nominated you for The Versatile Blogger Award. If you’d like to accept, please go here:
http://africolonialstories.wordpress.com/2013/05/05/the-versatile-blogger-award/
John Taylor said…
Nice to hear that you quit smoking. Quit smoking is very much necessary if you want to remain happy in life. I also quit smoking with the help of electronic cigarettes. Electronic cigarettes do not contain tobacco and any other harmful products. So, you can use it in any place as it does not produce smoke as well. Many companies offer you best4ecigs-free e cigarette starter kit for trial. You can get help from that.
saket suryesh said…
Thanks John for the visit and comment..
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saket suryesh said…
Hi thanks for the visit and comment. I have no clue how it landed on Yahoo news.
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