This is not the first time I create a blog!
It is almost the third time.. and I so don’t want it to fail.
The first two were utter failures, because I was suffering from a chronic writer’s block. I thought that may be if I create a blog and start posting my old stuff there, it is going to encourage me and I would finally lift that heavy barrier blocking my words, leaving me impotent and depressed.
I am this kind of person. If I don’t write for some time, I would feel so bad about myself, life, and everything around. Because everything else I do loses its meaning when I do not write! It feels like am always at the wrong place, doing the wrong thing, and wasting my life! My best moments are moments of achievement, and writing to me is my little pieces of success that just make the “Me” as I know it, or as I want it to be.
I always describe myself as a woman of words. Words formulate me; they define me; they hurt me, heal me, cleanse and educate me. They can comfort me and they can play harsh with my brains, driving me to the edge of madness if they just won’t come out!
Now, I know am not the best of writers. As a matter of fact, being so aware of this was the reason behind one of my toughest blocks. I used to believe I don’t have what it takes to be a writer. I can’t write pure fiction, but I don’t journal either. I am on that “Middle Ground” -typical of me- where I just can’t do day-to-day diaries, but I also can’t carry out full-fledged fiction.
I can write about what I know best; myself, my life, or my impressions and thoughts about people or things around me. But I have never had enough freedom or privacy to write everything bluntly in my diaries, without fearing someone might leaf through them. At the same time, I don’t have the ability to fantasize or imagine faraway lands and imaginary people with elaborate characters, complicated personalities, and sophisticated plots. I am working on it though, for I never give up on learning. However, I’ve got to admit, it has never been my thing. So slowly, I pushed myself into a suffocating block whirlwind, and I succumbed to it.
I tried to let go of writing, but it didn’t take no for an answer. Y’know how you keep running away from something, yet it keeps chasing you insistently, every minute of the day! This is exactly what happened to me!
For three years, after I made up my mind that I am not going to write again because am not good enough and I have nothing to write about, I felt so unsatisfied and unhappy, though I was surrounded by many blessings. There was always something missing. The signs chased me everywhere.
I would turn on a movie channel to find a film I’ve never heard of before, about a mother who was suffering hard to balance her life between her kids and pursuing a writing career; she succeeds eventually. Or sometimes, I would just wake up after dosing off on the couch to see the movie “Julie and Julia” playing on TV. For you who don’t know the film, it’s about a young woman who pursues her passion for writing and cooking! One other time, I bought a book for nice and easy girly read, it turned out to be the super hit “Eat, Pray, Love” for Elizabeth Gilbert, a woman whom I happen to have a lot in common with, including childhood obsession about Italy and Italian language, craving best of both life and after-life, same Zodiac signs and a passion for writing.
Wherever I went, there were books and book signing ceremonies for newbie writers. There were writing workshops and there was Robin Sharma with his Monk Who Sold His Ferrari telling me to go after what I’ve always wanted. And of course, not to forget Paulo Coelho whose writing captivated me and took me on vicious rides of torments between the life I have and the life I want. He always makes it sound so easy to just take that leap, to leave everything behind and to go chase what one was born for.
But it wasn’t that easy for me! It wasn’t easy to say am going to turn my back on my family, quit my job, and decide “y’know what?! am gonna travel the world and be a writer.” After all, there are people who are dependent on me. It could have been easier, had I taken that decision earlier. But now since am in the middle of a situation, I can’t act like am not. That would be quitting, and am not a quitter. I don’t usually choose the easy way out.
Plus, quit everything and become a writer?! Really?! As if the minute I make my decision, words are going to flow out as naturally as the sun rises every morning, and the block will cease to be! I am not even a skilled writer to start with. The only book I published in order to take part in a competition, many years ago, lurked on the shelves for years! There are zillion other authors around the world who have better ideas, eloquence, skills, and focus.
So for three years, I had to live up with those signs. I had to act I didn’t see them, and it made me feel worse by the minute. It impacted every aspect of my life; work, marriage, kids, you name it. Nothing made me happy.
It is true that writing is my most favorite thing; still it is the most difficult activity I ever have to embark on! No wonder the concept of the writing Muse evolved. One time you run out of breath while trying to catch up with your pen, and at others, no matter how much you try, your pen, as if with a mind of its own, won’t just scribble a word.
After a life-changing experience last year (Some of you may already know it if you’ve read my previous blogs), and just when the signs were about to give up on me, I had a moment of clarity. It was very strange and unexplainable. I wasn’t alone contemplating or meditating, I wasn’t thinking or pondering, I was in a middle of a very loud party, with lots of people around, and I was having so much fun, I didn’t have in years.
I had a second when I felt like the Self in me has separated from my body, and I was looking at things from outside.
I realized that at this moment, I was so happy because I was Me! I was doing something I like, and I didn’t care about the end-result. I just did it. I enjoyed the process, and then the outcome was far better than what I had expected. And like a surprising ray of sunlight upon a dark city, I saw myself as a child writing again.
When I was a child I knew better who I really was and the reason I was born. Me as a child was much more focused than Me as a teen or Me in my 20s. Me as a child had better vision, and was better at reading the cosmic arrangements of things! Now, this child wanted to write.
Then I thought I will defeat my block by facing it. I will talk about it; I will talk to it, and I will ask it to leave me alone! And I did it. It worked! Second by second, the words just poured out. It was liberating to just write whatever comes to your mind without constraining yourself to formats or writing rules.
As I wrote, I experienced mixtures of pain and joy. I started out slowly at first and then I grew faster and faster. I could feel my heart beating, and every once in a while I would gasp, trying to catch my breath. My fingers clenched the poor pen so tightly, squeezing those words out! There were traces of tears on the paper after I finished, and I was so joyously tired to the extent that I the insomniac have actually fallen asleep!
I was blocking myself up because I thought I don’t have what it takes to be a writer. My style didn’t conform to any of those adopted by successful narrators, but at that instant, I didn’t care. I opened the gates for all those words to come out and they came in cleansing waves. I don’t have to worry about literary styles, am sure they will find a genre to fit within.
I am not sure if I have found my way back to writing, or if writing –with all those signs- has managed to find me, but as I wrote more; it became easier, and there seemed to be more space for it in my daily lousy schedule as a working mother. Slowly it was time to consider publishing again; a blog?!
I knew about WordPress from my iPhone Appstore. I actually had the application for some time but I never used it. I was enticed to use it and forget about my other website because I wanted to start fresh. It was working very well, except that for the past three weeks I have been having another block!
This time not because am out of ideas or confidence, but because am emotionally galvanized and strung out. Yes, I can’t write when am going through an emotional trauma; whether too sad or too happy, I can’t instantly in the spirit of the moment take the pen and boom… write! I need to be in a balanced state.
So as I could sense another blog block coming my way, I tried to find ways not to slip into that muddy road again. So, here I am, doing what I had done before. I am defying my block by writing about it, curing my illness by facing it.
The results are always amazing. I may not overcome it, but I also discover a little bit more about myself. Somehow or someway the block does shed light on some corners of my soul, unearthing capabilities, skills or dimensions to my characters I never knew they existed!
I have lots in my head to write about now, better get going!