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.