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Creating A Community Of Li”l Black Ant Like Words: How I Overcame My Writer’s Block

Posted on January 14, 2012 in Specials

By Cheshta Arora:

My internship with the magazine “Blacksea” was about to end on 31 December 2011. All I had to do was write 24 articles and submit them by the midnight of 31 December 2011. Well, not a difficult job for I had exactly 10 days to do that (though the assignment was given to me days before!). I used simple math’s to calculate- if I want to write 24 articles in 10 days then I will have to write 3 articles each day to achieve the target. My winter break was on, therefore, no college pressure. I could give as much time I had in a day to writing at least three articles. Satisfied with my logic I decided to begin with this ‘not so difficult task’ of writing three articles in a day!

The next day I woke up at seven, finished my daily rituals in one hour, and sat down with my notebook to begin the mission. My cold and numb fingers were systematically placed on the key board, ready to be guided by the thoughts of my mind. I was ready to sacrifice my holidays for this task. My fingers were ready, TV set was nowhere near me, my photon+ dialer was safely hidden (I asked my li’l sister to do this for me) so that I don’t end up wasting my time on “Facebook”. I had informed my mother and ordered my little sister not to disturb me unless there is an emergency. In short, in complete solitude with all the necessary weapons within my reach and with absolute surety of my success, I began. Tick tock tick… in the complete silence of my battlefield the sound of the seconds hand could easily be heard!

At 7:00 AM, my fingers were alert, ready to write. My eyes were staring at the blank page, imagining li’l black ant like words filling the page in the next two hours. No doubt the ants will come…I was damn sure!

Two hours passed at 9:00 am I was sitting in the same position, my fingers were still on the keyboard but apparently stunned now, due to two hours of complete inactivity. My eyes at one moment were staring at the same blank page (sadly, not even a single li’l ant like word could find its way to my page!) and at the other moment they were unsuccessfully searching the void of my mind for an idea, for a thought, for words. Yes, it was true though it was hard to digest. I had experienced the worst writers block of my life and that too at the worst moment. I kept denying this fact for 2 hours but I could not afford to deny that any longer. I was broke.

Something had gone wrong…probably artists could not work in solitude! I had read Shakespeare, Milton, and Webster. All the plays of these great writers had been inspired by the writings of other thinkers. Almost every play was an imitation of some other play. Playwrights like Shakespeare became great for they blended’ not so original plays’ with their own creative style to give it a new meaning. Ideas are never new. It’s the creative style of presenting the same old idea that is always applauded. So, basically, all I had to do was read up some stuff, blend the idea with my not so developed creative style, and BANG… fill the blank page with my li’l ant like words! Umm… Really?? Something in my head told me “dude stop dreaming and face the reality”!!

Tick tock tick… another one and a half hour passed. It was 10:30 AM now: I still hadn’t left the solitude of my room. My fingers had long back abandoned their position on the keyboard and were resting on the back of my head. They were angry at the inability of my brain! My eyes were shut. They too could not stop wondering at the depth of my mind’s void. No doubt, my mind had failed them! I couldn’t believe this.

However this failure couldn’t last long and a realization struck me. Suddenly the thrill of the realization entrapped me and li’l ant like words began to appear on my page. My fingers worked hard to keep up with the pace of my thoughts. Yes, my thoughts… are you wondering from where the hell did they come into existence when all this while nothing was visible but a deep black sea of emptiness. Honestly speaking, they were always there, hidden in the mysterious blackness of my mind, silently shouting to be heard, to be formed into the li’l community of black ant like words!!

Though I could not complete my target of writing three articles that day yet, the realization that came with the attempt was highly satisfying. Write what you think and experience. I did and thus, came up with this piece - ‘My li’l community of ant like words’. Therefore, no matter if, the subject is trivial. Sometimes the li’l specks of dust can become solid mountains! All you have to do is dig into the superficial black mass of emptiness in your mind to allow a passage for li’l black ant like words, so that, they can fill up the blank white space of your page!