We all start blogging with a plethora of brimming and bubbling fresh ideas, concepts and refreshing perspectives and with all the energy and zing in the world to get up and get going. This much is universally true. But sometimes along the way, and sometimes sooner rather than later we hit a sort of block where the heart wants to write but the mind struggles to coherently put down on paper what it thinks and perceives.
This has been my story for the last couple of weeks. It is not that the motivation, dedication or perseverance has fizzled out. Quite simply put, it’s just that things have not quite come together cohesively. There are many a Word files containing blog posts on various topics but none of them have reached the level of complete fruition that would compel me to press the ‘Publish’ button. And I hate putting out half-hearted work and then have the nerve to ask you to spend your valuable time reading it.
A lot has happened in life in the last couple of weeks that has distracted me from focusing with a single minded approach on the blog. Work has gotten busy, the kids have been coming home with new research projects and tons of homework. All of which require my undivided attention.
Most heart breaking though is the news that my mother in law has just been diagnosed with Cancer and we are all grappling to come to terms with that. In retrospect though this event has brought glaringly to the forefront that we spend and mostly waste so much of our time focusing on ego issues and trivial nit picking on matters that are perhaps insignificant in the larger and wider scheme of life.
Trauma often brings the family closer as it has done for us. But if truth be told from the heart, I would rather have had the family come closer without this awful bitter pill of reality my mother in law is having to swallow and live with.
So, lately I’ve been doing more thinking than actual writing. But something suddenly clicked today which brought me back to my keyboard with fingers flying off the buttons penning down the thoughts as they arose rather than waiting for a divine moment of perfect synchronization to bestow its presence upon me.
These are just some of the things that have immensely helped me these last few weeks in emerging from the rock under which I was hidden.
Do not over-pressurize: We all know we shouldn’t yet we all do. And sentences, one liners or advice like this always seem to ricochet in the opposite direction for me. The more I hear the words ‘Do not pressurize’, the more by brain construes it to mean ‘Pressure, pressure, pressure…why aren’t you still writing!’ That is not a good place to be in at all specially when you are already grappling with a sort of writing inertia.
Though, a certain amount of restraint, pressure, timelines and schedules do keep me on track yet an overdose can have equally opposite results. Fact of the matter though is that most of this excess pressure is self created. And consequentially the only person who can ease the load of this burden is also ‘me’. Once that realization hit, taking the pressure off of myself became that much easier.
Do not compare: Whether we like to publicly acknowledge it or not is a different matter. But the reality is that all of us have been guilty of the ‘comparing’ deed albeit to varying degrees and levels. Sometime comparing ourselves to others can give us the necessary impetus, motivation or zeal to surge ahead with our own lives and endeavor to transform and transcend our life goals from the intangible realm to the more tangible one. However an excess of even the healthiest principles of life can yield negative results.
And when, the mind is struggling to write and ideas seem to fall short, constant comparison is a catalyst that can trigger a chain reaction with undesirable consequences.
Persistently and repeatedly, punishing oneself at the altar of tracking other peoples work is a sinkhole that seldom if ever offers any reprieve or an exit. Each individual is unique in their own self. Some post daily, some weekly and some perhaps more intermittently. Each of their work is the sweet result of their own perseverance. Between time lags and quality, I believe quality definitely deserves more emphasis.
If you find yourself struggling to write or facing a momentary block, switch off from what other people are saying on doing. Dig deep down, and focus on the burning desire within that led you to write in the first place.
Do not let juxtaposed ‘expectations’ become your own: The importance of Social Media in all our lives can neither be denied not denigrated. But, equally important is the fact that it is extremely easy to get lost in the maze and haze that is social media. Write what you would like to write. And the words tend to flow faster on ideas that emerge from deep within. Choose topics that you would like to share your views on. And never jump on a bandwagon no matter how inviting it looks or simply out of the explanation that ‘every one is doing it and so must I’.
Breathe: In today’s modern day and age it is perhaps easier to get distracted much more than ever before. There is so much to do, see, hear and experience that we often forget to take a pause and breathe. The interim block, no doubt creates a feeling of frustration and helplessness as you stare at a ton of half finished blog posts. I have come to realize that frustration feeds off of frustration. When things get overwhelming, simply switch off and breathe. I’ve come back more refreshed.
Listen: In the shrill cacophony of a multitude of voices, opinions, do’s and don’ts our own voices sometimes become slightly stifled and muted in response. Silence is perhaps a friend we often do not impart enough credence or importance to. Ever present amid us, we frequently try to drown it out with noise. Noise that inhibits our thought processes and overshadows our impulses. Noise and conundrum that seeks to sometimes forcefully and contrarily assert and sweep away.
Occasionally, most of the answers we seek to find in the noisy maze and labyrinths of life, are perhaps only an arm’s reach away in the realm of solitude and silence. Taking some time in a day to spend with myself has helped me reassess what I want to write, why I want to write and who am I writing for. To appease others or to connect at a core level with others. The resolute and firm response that has come back to me each time is that I seek through words to build a bond with others. And a momentary block shall not make or break an entire journey.
Growing up, I could always count on my father to be that one person who would always show me the mirror of reality irrespective of the image that the mirror might portray. Many a times I hoped he’d sugar coat it. But one thing that stands out starkly in mind is that so many years ago and even now he continues to say that you need to acknowledge a problem to face it. And only if you face it can you find a way to move through it.
The same has been applicable in the momentary writing block I faced. I needed to acknowledge the message my mind was repeatedly sending my heart. And if you would pause for a second and consider an edifice of success, you shall find that it is often speckled and interspersed with tiny starkly different bricks that are for all eventuality a stumbling block. It can cause you to pause but not to stop.
Remaining true to your own beliefs and convictions are the tools you need to push and persevere through. And of course, your mirror image. The mirror shall never lie. Look, see and recognize the person you are and never for a moment let external factors goad you into becoming someone whom your own eyes fail to recognize and your heart fails to connect to.
And if like me you have ever faced a writing block, know in your heart that one fine day unwarranted and unexpected your eyes will see, your ears will hear, your mind will fathom and your fingers will come dashing back to the keyboard eager to start penning those thoughts that have once again started rustling within!