Writer Unblocked

Recently, two friends mentioned how my writing here on my blog seems so spontaneous, as though the thoughts are just there and are written without much effort. This pleased me. To a large extent, it is true, but I didn’t know that it showed. Often, when I sit down to write, I do have just a thought – only that much is conscious. The words come on their own. It’s lovely when they do come, and it’s true that writing then is not much of an effort; it’s a pleasure. At those times, it’s not what I have to say that’s important, it’s how I say it. It’s like riding a cycle when you’ve no place to go, just riding around this way and that, wherever the wheels take you; it’s like cooking a dish you’ve never made before, without a recipe, not really sure what you’re making but just throwing things together because it feels like it might work; it’s like watching a bird soar and glide, effortlessly, in the slightest breeze in a clear blue sky.

There are, unfortunately, other kinds of writing that I do, which are less inspired. One that I do quite often is thinking aloud. This is sincere but could be jumbled and directionless. Another is plain reporting. I don’t like doing this – it’s boring to write and I can only imagine that it’s just as boring to read.

In the month or so before I publicly declared myself to have hit a writer’s block, I think I was doing mostly reporting. It was partly from a sense of duty to my blog; blogging was something I wanted to keep up ‘conscientiously’; a way of practising writing the way I, for years, practised playing the violin. But I found myself hunting desperately for ideas (instead of having the ideas come to me) and then, listlessly, ‘reporting’.

Over the past couple of weeks, I’ve had the itch to write just once or twice. There was a particularly fun outing last Sunday that would make for an interesting post (to write). There’s a movie that I’d love to review here, specially because I’ve already reviewed the book (Kite Runner). But there’s been just no time and not enough inspiration.

There could be another reason for my writer’s block. Over the past four months or so, I’ve put together a book – or at least a manuscript of what I hope will someday be a book. It’s only 40,000 words, so it’s more like a book-let than a book, really. Still, it’s an important work for me – it’s the story of our family, of our decision to adopt and the adoption process and all that it entailed. I shouldn’t, of course, blow my own horn, but I feel it’s a good book, and one that might be of interest to many, many people out there. I think I’m done with writing it; now starts the long, draining process of trying to get it published.

I know it’s a long, draining process, because I’ve already tried it with my other manuscript, the one of my long, adventurous, solo sojourn in the Himalayas. I’ve been trying to get that published for four years now, with no success, so I’m not exactly full of hope and optimism for this new project of mine… But, well… I’ve already written the story, so I suppose I’ll just have to keep trying.

And another thing. A month or so ago, I decided firmly that it was time to go back to work. Yes, the daily nine-to-five grind, with all its implications for family life as we have known it for the last two years. I’m done with the arguments about whether or not it’s the best thing to do, or the right thing to do, or even about how, exactly, we are going to manage it on a day-to-day basis. I just need to get back to work. Now, if only I could find a job willing to take me. I’ve applied for about a dozen vacancies so far, but, amazingly, I’m not actually flooded with offer letters yet. In fact, I haven’t even got as far as a single interview call yet.

Oh, well… At least it gives me time to start on my next book. I don’t know whether perseverance pays off, but I do think there’s a very thin line between stubbornness and stupidity and I don’t seem to mind which side of it I’m on, as long as I can get off this writer’s block and just write.

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10 Responses to Writer Unblocked

  1. Ayesha says:

    Welcome back! It’s so good to see the Twins & I in my reader again šŸ™‚

    All the very best with getting your blooks published! I mean that.

    What kind of work are you looking for 9-5? All the very best with that and the steep climb after that as well!

  2. Sadia says:

    Good luck getting published! You’ll have one sale right here! It sounds like you had bloggers’ block, not writers’ block. šŸ™‚

    You just made me realize something. When I was a student, people would always say, “You should write a book”. I think they thought the places I’d lived were interesting. Since I had kids and started blogging, no one says that any more. It must be my writing, because the minutia of motherhood is certainly much more interesting that constant culture clash. (Yes, this is heavy with irony.)

  3. Supriya says:

    Welcome back. Be focused about getting the book published. Try even newbie publishers like Blaft (Blast said with a lisp). Even if you publish it yourself, word of mouth and friends will manage to rake in a decent amount of sales. Make plans.

  4. Anonymous says:

    hey!! Good going….keep trying Anamika…and if you feel your book has to get out, it will eventually!

  5. poupee97 says:

    Thank you, Ayesha, Sadia, Supriya and Anonymous.

    Ayesha: My day job will be writing and editing, content management, instructional design, or technical documentation related. You know of any openings?

    Supriya: Believe me, right now, with my first book, I’ll even try an unborn publisher. But I know that I don’t have the energy (time) to publish it myself. For the second book, as usual, I’m optimistically planning on starting at the top, so I suppose I’ll work my way down the hierarchy of publishers over the next several years.

  6. Andaleeb says:

    I didn’t realise I hadn’t signed in when I posted my comment.:-) anonymous was me…

    In case there’s some further hiccup, lemme clarify…its me Andy..

  7. poupee97 says:

    Hi Andy! So how was the book-reading?

  8. Andaleeb says:

    Hey…the book launch was really good. I’ve put up the pictures on Facebook and I’ve been meaning to blog about it but have been postponing it for some reason. I don’t know why..these days I don’t feel like blogging about everything that I usually want to….and this is a big occasion, and yet i’m keeping it to myself. The launch got some coverage in The Hindu and Deccan Herald too…links are again on FB.

  9. Ayesha says:

    Oh dear! I’ve seen the response to the comment I left too late.

    Anyway, all’s well…

    All the very very best at your new job & to the twins at their daycare. What a huge blessing to be in the same campus as the kids – in this day of far flung-out tech parks. šŸ™‚

  10. doug H / Mrwhatzit says:

    Mika, you might even try American publishers for your books. You English vocabulary and writing style are certainly up to par.
    The only drawback I can think of is that you might have to change your name to “Mary” and the twin’s to
    “Tina” and “Sasha.”

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