Let’s face it, it is tough to write when your mind is preoccupied with other things. For the first time in my writing career, I hit a patch where I just didn’t write: for nearly a month! Was this the much dreaded writer’s block? Thinking about this astonishes me. What happened? What are the lessons to be learnt? Was it just the age old writer’s block or a deeper malaise? What could I do to prevent this from happening again?I thought about some possible causes. I did some reading on things like “The 10 Types of Writers’ Block and How To Overcome Them.”
I share the main causes for my hitting the dry patch, should they be of use to others who might be in my place, some day or the other:
- Pre-occupation: There were too many things on my mind, matters of such importance that they relegated writing to the back seat. Clearly, writing became a lower priority. I wasn’t able to see writing as being therapeutic. It wasn’t gripping my attention as it usually did. On reflection, I realize it can happen to anybody, at any time. It just happened to me then.
- Anxiety: With a delay in the publication of my second thriller, it was inevitable that my anxiety rose. Is it worth all the effort? Am I wasting my time and energy? Perhaps self doubt crept in and compounded the problem.
- Vulnerability: The news that my publisher chose not to re-print my debut novel added to my confusion. It had done pretty well and it was special to me. This came as a blow and it came at a time when, as explained above, I was quite vulnerable.
- Passion: To top things off, the project I was working on still didn’t captivate me as some of the others did. Was I doing something in which I was not as interested as I ought to be? Was my heart not in the project? How could I bring back the passion I once felt for this project. Otherwise, I wouldn’t have started on it, in the first place.
The good news is that I snapped out of the writer’s block just a couple of days ago. I managed to resume one of the writing projects that I am working on. I need to motivate myself once again to keep at it. It has been a learning experience and one which should hold me in good stead for the future.
Kahlil Gibran wrote, ” A little knowledge that acts is worth infinitely more than much knowledge that is idle.” So, I am off to act. To do what I like to do- to write.