Just another brain-dead techie with views on everything under the sun!

Wednesday, September 18, 2002


I'm currently busy in an unmentionable activity!! Wayyy too busy!! ... Don't you worry people! ... this particular activity is decent enough to be mentioned in print (or on national television!), but I'll not mention it just yet... maybe later! ;-)

Really... no time to blog! ... So. I'll resort to the tactics they use on TV ... re-runs!!!

I had written the following piece for our office's online magazine. And I guess, most of you must have already read about it... given the fact that a link is ever present on this page! ... Anyways, if you haven't already read it... please do! ... *LOL*

How I survived a writer's block and lived to tell about it

The other day, I got myself a cup of steaming coffee and turning on my PC, sat down in front of it, intending to do some writing (uh huh! 'Typing' would be more appropriate). As the ubiquitous MS-Word splash-screen flashed on the monitor followed by the cursor blinking on a blank document, I started trying to think of a topic to pen my thoughts on. And suddenly my mind seemed completely blank. It was a weird feeling - nothing seemed to pop up in my mind.

I sat there facing the screen, rooted to the chair, as if struck by some immobility charm. The cursor blinked on impatiently, waiting for me to make the first move. And somehow, I did not know what I was supposed to do in order to get my 'creative' juices flowing.

I then tried to force my mind into getting started. My fingers, hesitantly typed cliched lines like, "It was a dark and stormy night." just to jumpstart the creative thinking that my mind suddenly seemed to have forgotten about. But, my mind, like an old jalopy, stubbornly refused to rev up and start.

When you are trying to type something on a word-processor or a PC, you miss out on the experience of tearing the paper off the stationery pad or the typewriter, crumpling it into a ball and tossing it into the waste-paper basket with the finesse of a NBA star player. In the pre-PC days, the waste-paper basket used to bear testimony to the frustrations of a writer. Often, depending on the writer's level of frustration, there used to be more crumpled paper balls in the basket than there are golf balls at the bottom of a water hazard on a golf course. But, you can only delete the characters off the monitor in case of a PC to leave the slate clean and with no marks of the failed attempts at writing.

I got up from the chair and downed the remaining coffee in a gulp and splashed my face with some ice-cold water in an attempt to jerk my mind out of its stupor. Then I did a bit of spot jogging and a few push-ups. This, I had once seen in an English movie. It however had not helped the writer in the movie and since, they say, life imitates art (or is it the other way round. I can never tell), it did not help me either. If anything, I was out of breath at the end of it.

Then, I opened the window, looked up at the starlit sky, took a few deep breaths of the cool night air, rolled up my sleeves and once again sat down in front of the monitor. The cursor was by now, I am sure, mocking at me. With renewed gusto, I attacked the keyboard once more. After 15 minutes of furious activity that involved, typing, deleting, banging my fist on the desk and cursing under the breath, I stopped to see my handiwork on the screen. "It was dark and stormy night and the dogs were howling in the distance." was all that could be seen on the screen. My mind, stubborn than the proverbial mule, was refusing to budge!

The next few minutes were spent clutching my head in my hands while my elbows rested on the desk. What would it take for me to be able to conjure up some topic and write again!! I could think of no answer to even this question. Then it suddenly struck me. I was suffering from a case of 'writer's block'!

This was the first time that I had contracted this affliction. It was supposed to be a prerogative of real writers and authors. And here I was, the amateur scribbler that I am, being tormented by the writer's block. A hint of a smile touched the corners of my mouth and spread across till I was grinning from ear to ear. My very own writer's Block!! Wow! I must be a real writer, I thought! This called for a celebration and so, I opened the drawer of the desk and treated myself to a candy bar.

The next couple of days I could not help but brag about my writer's block to my friends and to almost everybody that I had a chance to talk to. I made it out to be a big deal and felt good about it. It must have shown on my face, though. Because, someone whom I had not told about it looked at me and asked in hushed tones, "Is it love?"

Then, I felt as though I had to document this piece of personal history. And since I am not affluent enough to afford golden letters to write about it, I had to make do with the same old MS-Word. So, I sat down to write about the 'writer's block', and immediately rattled off a few paragraphs describing my condition and how I came to realize that it was indeed a 'writer's block'. As, the thoughts were flowing from my mind to the keyboard and then onto the screen, I suddenly stopped typing.

It was gone! The 'writer's block' was gone! I could feel it. It was as if my mind was bursting with ideas and my hands were not fast enough to keep pace with them. I cursed my luck for providing me with such a short-lived writer's block. Then, I continued typing, and result of that effort is something that you've just finished reading!

Oh well... the unmentionable task beckons again!! ... take care, folks!



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Sameer/Male/27. Hails from India/Maharashtra/Mumbai/Prabhadevi, speaks Marathi, English and Hindi. Spends 60% of daytime online. Uses a Faster (1M+) connection. And likes Reading/Computers.