My Sickening Old Companion – The Infamous Writer’s Block!

Friday, September 01, 2017


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“Writing is a terrible experience, during which the hair often falls out and the teeth decay” 
– Flannery O’Connor

Preface: I love writing; it's like a release, an unexplainable feeling of freedom for me where I can get everything out and feel empowered. All I require to do is to catch the flow of my thoughts and let my fingers do the rest. However, there are two words that can stop me in my tracks!

My writer’s block keeps popping up from time to time – it is somewhat impersonated. It has qualities. Irritating qualities. It breathes and it stinks. It often acts like that so-called friend, who has no concern for you, but sticks to your rear, showing up unexpectedly, for their own reasons and interests. It sometimes also appears to be like that dirty muddy sweaty kid, who would bully you for candies in the school playground. And much like that sleazily dressed up stranger, who just can’t stop ogling you at a supermarket, keeping you from shopping around with ease and comfort! This unwanted guest, who seems to come out of nowhere and quite often, does not contain the courtesy to knock at the door before it hops in. RIP etiquettes

Sometimes I wish it were an actual person that I could scream at. Disappearing words are its expertise; one minute my words are flowing like a stream, the next I am lost, struggling to finish a thought. And yes my enemy often comes up at the most inconvenient times; times when I really need to share my thoughts with the world.

It’s been  6 weeks straight that I am trying to write something, but all my attempts are flushed down the drain owing to this evil little companion of mine. During all these weeks, I have sat down at my computer at least a one-hundred times, I have written things (mostly shit) and deleted them right away, rolling my eyes to the heavens. I went through a list of topics that I wanted to write on… and I gave each one of these a shot but nothing, nothing, comes out! This couldn’t be me! I am better than this! What is happening? Is this the end for me? No God, no!! Why me? The feeling is similar to being all stifled with thoughts. It is as if I have a blocked nose that just won’t shift, even with one of those Vicks nasal sticks.

I often wake up in the middle of the nights in a nightmarish mode panicking at the thought of waking up one day only to find out that all words were gone. I have noticed that dreading the writer's block always gives me a painfully stubborn block! Once it hits me, I spend hours telling myself I would be able to write again, perhaps soon, this will be over, but this particular time, I see no signs of it withdrawing. At this moment, I can feel the words on my tongue-tip, however, I fail to get my brain send the words to my fingers to type. Is this really happening? 

I am waiting for that time when I can clear the cobwebs inside my head. I keep opening my cell phone's notes' option for scribbling down ideas that might hit me. Every day during my daily commute, I let the world be my inspiration. I look at things around to find ideas. But nothing… it is blank. I stare at the screen for hours and that peskily playful cursor remains in the same spot jeering at me with his plotted little act of disappearing and re-appearing on me. I hate the blank page. I hate the computer. I hate my fingers. I hate the inability to think or write about anything!

Writing is by far the most convenient way of clearing my head, framing ideas, and letting them free into the world. It often makes me feel like a princess of my own little kingdom where words dance on my pen (OKAY! my laptop keys) and I rule with the magic wand of my creativity. But what has come lately is pathetic, helpless. This princess has been cursed with this bugger! Who's the witch who sent this devil my way?

I think this evil companion has taken a fancy to me and does not want to leave my brain. Of course, I can't blame him. But, I think we have had enough of playing around this time! I wish to murder the blockhead!

Right now I have forced myself to write. I pushed out the words hidden under the piles of tax files inside my pretty little head (all covered with my well straightened hair and a little snowfall of dandruff). What has come out right here, may not sound as good as my usual piece of writing but I feel like the cogs are turning, bringing me back into the swing of things. I feel freer, the words are flowing…as if water gushing through rocks, after they've been removed with the force of a powerful flood.

Did I just kick the rascal away? 

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24 comments

  1. I think every writer goes sometimes through that phase, but it always go away.

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    1. Yes, it does go away eventually !!! That's the best part of the whole drama hehe

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  2. I think we all get writers block sometimes... I don't let it bother me... I know that sooner or later an idea will pop up and I'll be inspired :) shell

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    1. I am bothered to a great extend... I feel like somebody has locked me up in a cage :(

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  3. I experience this all the time but as a freelance writer, getting over it is really important. I try all sorts of ways to get over it. I take a little break then go back to my work again and see if something comes up, or just browse online for inspiration

    Jane @ www.thismamablogs.com
    I blog about my journey to financial freedom and into meaningful living

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    1. Yes, taking a little break or finding inspiration online really helps :) Thanks for sharing this here!

      I just checked out your blog. Loved it!!!! <3

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  4. Writers block is always the worst. I had a writing block for blogging for almost four months and I hated it! But eventually I got the motivation to write and blog again and I'm so happy it did! xo

    Talina @ Sassy & Dangerous

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    1. Phew!! Four months!!! I know, it is suffocating... good to hear you were finally able to rid yourself of the evil :D

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  5. I just love the way your write. Your article are always unique and interesting to read. Although I never had such experience about getting blocked but I thoroughly enjoyed reading your article. Thank you for sharing with us

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    1. Thank you so much for such nice words :) and I am so impressed you never had one yourself !! Touch wood :D

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  6. Oh, my frenemy writer's block. It's a rough road, for sure, but when I come out of it it's definitely worth it.

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    1. Yes, I totally agree.. There is spring after autumn :D

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  7. I totally relate to this! Except, sometimes I get artist's block as well :)

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  8. I think every writers goes in these situation. But It's transient. It is very nice that we have inspiration in every way we do.

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    1. Yes, inspirations come to rescue, every single time :)

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  9. Drear Amna, writers block is quite a common issue and it irritates a lot. I am glad you are getting inspiration, more power to you dear. Get the groove back!! And share your journey!

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    1. Thank you, Shivee :) It sure is a pain in the neck but yes the inspiration never stops !!! More power to you too <3

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  10. Thank you for sharing your deep thought about block anxieties, I guess every one is experience it. don't worry we will all overcome it. courage! inspiration will knock on your door and all will be good. :)

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    1. Haha yes, hate it when the block knocks though :D waiting for more inspiration to come my way !!! Thank you :)

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  11. Hi Amna,

    What a fantastic post! I soooo relate to this! Writer's block is like a daily mountain to climb. I often fear the creative river turning into a 'desert'. Your cognizance is refreshing.

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    1. Thank you so much :) and I simple LOVED the analogy.. the river and the desert - wow!!!!

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  12. Hello, your article is too good to read. you are doing great work. this will help me lots.

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    1. Thank you, Bharat :) I'm glad you find this helpful. Keep visiting and reading more. :)

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Amna's Goodreads Bookshelf

To Kill a Mockingbird
Animal Farm
Of Mice and Men
The Alchemist
Me Talk Pretty One Day
Romeo and Juliet
Lord of the Flies
The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn
The Odyssey
A Tale of Two Cities
Frankenstein
Moby-Dick; or, The Whale
Les Misérables
Eat, Pray, Love
The Poisonwood Bible
The Joy Luck Club
Middlesex
The Memory Keeper's Daughter
Lolita
Under the Tuscan Sun


Amna Tariq Shah's favorite books »