5 votes

The Proverbial Pen #2

Thanks a lot for the responses yesterday. I'm glad to be on Tildes, this seems to be a very vibrant and happy community unlike many others! Today is the second post in a series (hopefully) of writing exercises to get rid of my writer's block.

Today is the second day of my battle against Writer's Block. A very basic question I want to ask is what exactly is writing inspiration and where does it come from? If it comes from within you (as many claim) then why doesn't it always keep flowing like a river, why is it so scarce a resource? The mechanisms of subconscious mind are probably too complex for even the mind itself to work out!

What I've found though is that it's much easier to do freehand writing or writing nothing in particular (as I'm doing now) but it gets a bit tricky when you want to write about something specific like an article or research paper or a book. That's when you must start worrying about the content quality, research material, story background, plot, etc. But even freehand writing is a great exercise I think to flex your writing muscles at frequent intervals and ensure that they stay in order.

Of course, other antagonists like lethargy, procrastination, impostor syndrome, self censoring, etc. are always waiting in their closets to jump out and play their part in the battle! These are like natural foes. Whatever you do about them, they'll always lurk back in some form or other given the right environment! Especially in 2022 when oodles of great literature already exist on any given topic, the pressure to perform on a writer is tremendous. Wiser, smarter and more intelligent people than me already seem to have written whatever there is to write about literature, mathematics, computer science, physical sciences, social sciences, etc., what exactly is there left for me to write anyways? So the impostor wonders aloud!

When all else fails, the pundits ask you to "write about yourself" or "write about your own experiences". That's easy to say actually but my own life has been so mundane and ordinary (just like most other people's, I suppose) that there is hardly anything inspiring or worthwhile to get out of that. They say "open yourself up" but what if there is nothing inside but just a hollow and empty shell when you open up? My life has been one of the most "typical" or "average" as I'd put it whereas writing is supposed to be creative and extra ordinary.

Another obvious source of writing is reading. They say the more you read, a better writer you'll become as you'll keep adding to the raw material to pick from. I have a good collection of books and I used to read a lot many years ago, an activity which has reduced a lot lately due to work and other factors. Just like writer's block, I also seem to have gotten myself a "reader's block" if there is such a thing!

As I keep battling with the proverbial pen day after day, I hope something good will come out of it and I might become a better writer than I presently am. Today is just the second day, I just hope I'll be able to keep up with this pace and write daily. Please wish me luck! Thanks for reading.

1 comment

  1. pocketry
    I don't follow many authors closely, but I've ended up watching a ton of vlog brothers and they've both written books. One thing mentioned several times is about editing and rewriting. I think...

    I don't follow many authors closely, but I've ended up watching a ton of vlog brothers and they've both written books. One thing mentioned several times is about editing and rewriting. I think John Green said most of writing is rewriting.

    I say all of that to propose is to take the free writing approach within a theme. That theme is what an book or article is about. Your first draft may be long and incoherent at times. You may end up dropping large blocks of text, but that doesn't mean it was worthless. The free writing allowed you to find those gems buried in the sand.

    But what do I know? I barely even write comments or tweets.

    3 votes