Monday, December 21, 2009

Writer's (Un)Block!

In the last three months that have elapsed since my last post, there have been times I endeavoured to pen down something for the sole purpose of posting on the blog. All that I came up with was either too personal, too much of a give-away, sometimes my thoughts would be incoherent even to myself, sometimes I found it too difficult to express and at other times it read as something plainly forced. And of course, there were times when I was plainly just...stuck. With the first paragraph written and an ending in mind, I would just stare blankly at the screen, reading what I had written, repeating what I had in mind and struggling to find any way to connect the two. The result is that I have seven unfinished posts and innumerable are the occasions which I thought would find a place of honour on my blog. Well, what actually happened is all too evident. My blog speaks for itself with nine posts in all!

I remember the day I put in my first post there. It was a big day for me, with everything typical of all these so-very-important days. I envisaged myself entering into an arena swarming with whom I had always considered, The Bloggers. The present looked agreeable and the future held a lot of promises. Oh yes, I was now one of Them. I could just see myself typing feverishly; I could hear my brain whirring inside me. I made a firm resolution to live up to the expectations from a great blogger and to dish out articles worthy of such a great place. That I would be regular was oh-so-obvious! Was there a doubt in that? Nope, not one in sight. Yes, I had made a good start at what I foresaw as a most fulfilling journey. I aimed at emerging a better writer and it goes without saying, a better person! Naive? Well, who is not at the start of anything new?

That was the day and today is one. With a year elapsed in between, there are only eleven posts on my blog including one which I did not write myself, minus one which I deleted.

What I then failed to take into account amidst my ecstasy was a fundamental flaw in my plan. I have the innate trait of being impulsive enough to send me typing at all random and required times but lacked what it needed to keep me at it, what they all popularly call patience and perseverance.

Though, in all fairness to myself, my diary has certainly seen better days than my blog! But that is another issue altogether....

I have now fully realized the difficulty of writing for a purpose. Most of my posts (Yeah, I know there are not many) have been a result of immense emotional strain and an urge to get something out of my system quick. There have been more of those, but as is proper, they are safe in my diary.

My writing skills, as I’d like to call them, need polishing, a job which I thought could be achieved to some extent with the highly looked forward to and now resentfully looked back at, creative writing(an elective) course. I was not completely in an illusion after a rude awakening to the truth of the HS department by a research scholar there. Still, my hopes of learning something were at least alive if not high. They were crushed after the first class.

It was evident I would need a lot more than what I previously thought would suffice, to sail through the sea I had thrown myself in. (I am bad at symbols I know.) The demon reared up its head. (Pathetic) Behold...the beast of a phoem! (Speechless with shame) As it turned out, that is all creative writing is about, poetry. Prose? Oh a child could like a story. Humour? Huh! Substandard literature! Poetry is the highest form of literature, the most respected, the most honoured. The poets occupy the pinnacle of literary achievements! They must, seeing as they are always least understood.

Poems have always been a wonder for me (frustrating too if I might add.), a mystery where anything could mean everything! I remember when in a class the teacher read out some lines of a certain person always having to smile for others, leading a fake life and of being tired of it. I took it to be a poem about a receptionist or an air-hostess but as is proper for a poem it turned out to be lines for an old man tired of his life!

It was a double whammy of writing as when required and commanded with the additional compulsion of it being a poem! Even during my four years of studying poetry as a curriculum part, I tried my level best to avoid them as much as possible. I always experienced tremendous difficulty in reading ‘between the lines’ as they call it. I don’t recall being able to comprehend what was there ‘in the lines’ for that matter. There is always this much-more-than-what-meets-the-eye aspect to poetry, a behind the curtains of words meaning which I inevitably fail to grasp unless helped by a teacher or a guide! I attribute this to my naivety in the subtle and gentler forms of expressions and a rather annoying, uncomfortable though rather convenient habit of being point blunt! The metaphors which poets derive from everyday life, the all time favourite moon, a rock, a leaf and what-not, always leaves me flabbergasted! In a habit of always seeing things as they are, it never occurred to me to personalize something as some other thing! Not that I haven’t tried, being able to write poetry is a privilege and lately more like a crucial survival exercise now that significant portion of my grade in the subject depended upon it.

They said it required strong feelings. Well, I certainly have a lot of those. Maybe it wasn’t so tough after all!

And so it came to pass that in a tutorial class, being surrounded by blossoming and established poets with the monotonous drone of our mentor ringing loud in my ears I wrote my first ever poem. That I was sitting next to a person well accomplished at writing this stuff wasn’t helping matters. It was with tremendous trepidation that I handed it in and with a critical eye passing over it a little too was proclaimed...good! I heaved a sigh of relief even when I was sure he had not understood it. But wait, there was more to come, there was a nonexistent flaw in my grammar in the very first line and I had to go through the trauma of explaining what I meant by its usage which was by the way, supposed to be obvious.

Anyway, the history repeated itself again in the end semester exams when in fifteen minutes I managed to write 10 lines which actually rhymed on a Child’s innocence.

So here I present...the silliest lines ever to be written by a 21 year old...

The Lost Innocence

To watch the world with wonder;

To trace patterns in the clouds, gaze at the horizon,

And imagine what's yonder;

To feel the warmth of sun inside,

To play with birds, frolic with friends,

And nothing bad enough to deride;

To forget all pain with the mother's kiss,

The time when ignorance was sheer bliss!

Growing up has left me with little to gain,

Oh! How I wish to be a child again! my defence I would say that they rhyme atleast albeit like a nursery rhyme! In all honestly, it wasn’t all bad...the classes were fun with feelings escalating being those of ultimate elation and depression in tune with those of our legendary teachers!

With fond reminisces...I sigh and sign off here....

Happy 10th dear blog!


Hermetical Platonist said...

You know what Prachi? When I set out to write, I didn't know that I would bare myself so much so as to talk of almost everything in life! My blog is now a ferociously personal space on the world wide web. Antithesis? I know.
Always write it out, is a all that I can say after 19 posts in 6 months!

Murty said...

If it weren't for the fact that I am a grade-hungry nincompoop, I'd have easily branded IHS-15 the Best Elective Ever. So that honour remains with Numerical Methods. Needless to say, that isn't saying much.

Anirudh Arun said...

I wonder how you did it! Writer's block - then the Royal Ramble :)
I have realized, however, that the best way of getting out of a block is to right about it! Btw I like the last two lines of your poem. I have, unfortunately, lost mine.
IHS-15 ftw!

mK said...

I had almost decided upon taking Creative Writing in 3-1, considering all of you had done the same. I am having second thoughts now.
And Kondy is bang on target when he says the best way to kickass a writer's block is to just blabber away till infinity. Ask me about it, I am just about realising the same. And verbosity knows no bounds- just keep them coming and you will slowly but surely fulfill your Bloggers' destiny.

Prachi said...

Umm...I am not so sure about going too personal on it! More for the sake of the few readers I have than my own really! :)
Great Advice nevertheless!

Nincompoop...I like the word! :D

:)...I know...And about the latter part...I'm afraid following your advice will make my blog just about everything this one thing is about!
and ftw is?

Do take the course! Truat me it will be great fun...and with your way of writing you are sure get a 10! You know..big words and all...and thanks!

psr akhilesh said...

i always think that it is the intellect,complexity and depth of thought of a writer rather than his command of vocab or grammer that results in a grand piece of writing.ur 10 posts make the w8 worth it although i am sure that that was not wat u had in mind to result in that.gr8 post again,xcept of course u know(the poem?!)

The Decayed Canine said...

The inevitable 'why blog' post. Well handled, in a way.
Might I suggest one Robin Williams in a film titled Dead Poets Society as a guide for strides into poetry?

mescaprices said...

@ All:
You don't need to encourage her to ramble. She knows it.
And as far as IHS-15 was concerned - i suppose it turned out not so bad after all. The profs were esp. entertaining.

Prachi said...

Heavy compliment! Thanks.:)
And..err...poem...Im just happy it rhymed! :D

Thanks a lot for the comment!
Will have to get the movie. :)

Thank you
Kindly continue. :D
As for IHS-15, sure it wasn't all bad, brought to life the poet in you too!

Gazal Bharadwaj said...

heyliked ur post. especially d ten lined poem... liked d concept behind d post... happens wid most bloggers n diary writers. but v seldom care 2 notice it. good wrk...:)

Sandeep Mishra said...

well!!! to be honest, I forgot the starting zest of the post before i could complete reading it... Thoda chhota likha kar yaar ! :-/ and all in all i remember know what I wished to comment on except your rhyming creation :) it was an innocent effort, opposed to rest of the verbose content.
and again... your readers won't mind single page posts every week than these overwhelming compensations u provide at times :P
Good work newez... keep it up...

Kamal said...

your latest post is what I read first.. it appeared like you have something going on against the perceptions of most people. at first i thought may be someone said sth about your poetry :)
Good contrast between your writing and the poem. but there is a smooth flow of despair right from the beginning to the end..
growing up isn't as easy as we thought it to be..

as for your poem, its difficult to be so simple..
Well Done !!

try writing happy stuff every few years :)

Nik said...

You,I must say are a pretty much reflection of me. I dunno why am I saying this, or even whether I should or not, but I couldnt help it after reading this.

I am presently going through a similar writers block, and if you check my blog, It been 3 years i gues, and 30 posts! Thats 10 in a year on an avg,!!

I was totally lost in what you wrote, it felt like "me". Really feel like keeping in touch. :)

Bravo. :) will read you more, and having written this, you got one more follower added to the list dear. :) :D

Prachi said...

@Gazal: I repeat, I love your name! And thanks. :)
@Mishra Sir: Old habits die hard! And I am not exactly trying to kill them either! Bear with me.
@Kamal Sir: Thanks. But I think you have might have interpreted some things in a very different way. Great advise though, thanks! So how are you?
@Nik: That will take some perseverance! :D