Tag Archives: writer’s block

To Date Or Not To Date

There was a blog by Rosemarie Urquico on “Date a girl who reads” that created ripples. That was a response to Charles Warnke’s “You should date an illiterate girl”.

 

Since I was almost facing a “writer’s block” and couldn’t think of a blog idea, I thought, why not jot points for people who wish to date. So we can take a look at pros and cons of dating people who are well read, vs. others who disregard books.

Let’s begin with the cons. (No, I’m not a pessimist. I just want the negative out of the way.)
•    A person who loves to read and write would know just too well when you are lying.

•    They would be your grammar police when you least expect them to be.

•    They would be more crazier than you –speaking like Shakespeare, imagining likeRowling, reciting like Keats, talking about Gainman and what have you!

•    They will be master storytellers telling you off. They would have their expectations running high –thanks to all romantic/mystery novels they would’ve gulped by now.

•    They would be gaining more limelight, than you, amongst your peers. And sometimes more weight, sitting around with books as their sole companions.

•    They might, sometimes, be too engrossed in a book to pay attention to you. And sometimes they might end up paying more attention to details than expected.

•    They might lose their cool and snap at you, just because the protagonist behaved like an ……..
And now for the pros:

•    Cost

One of the most important of all factors. (Yes, let’s be practical.) Dating a person who reads implies an inexpensive affair. Books nowadays do cost a lot. Unless they are from some of the Indian publishers who save on the paper quality and offer books for like a mere Rs. 100!
Getting him/her a library card would go easy on your mind and pocket. And also relieve you of thinking, “What should I gift him/her now!?”
Dating a person who does not read implies there is greater cost involved. Imagine the kind of shopping some people indulge in – guys and their electronic gadgets; and girls with their (bare) clothing. Oh this is much more expensive!!!

 

•    Conversation abilities

Hands down I think a well read person can engage you in intellectual conversation, over a person who absolutely scorns books and newspapers. A well read person adds value to your knowledge bank. He/she can help you spin fantastic stories, and dwell in a world of goblins and fairies when you need some cheering.

•    Personality
A person who reads would be wise. (Let’s just say so for conversation sake.) He/she would be more composed and mannered than a person who doesn’t. He/she will understand that failure doesn’t mean the end of the world. A sequel can be written and life will move on. Success will follow. After all, you are the lead of your life story.

•    World of fantasy
There can be so much to talk about, so much to imagine, so much to fantasize about, with a person who reads, (and reads good stuff) over a person who can’t even make decent stories to save his/her life.

•    Priorities
Well…at times his/her books would gain priority over you. But it’s better than indulging in mindless banter with a person who knows not much. True you will be given all the attention and pampering by a person who doesn’t care much for books, but is that of any value when there is no growth, individually or together. If you crave for intellectual challenges, be prepared to not indulge in any with the person who cares not for the written word.

•     Simple living. High thinking.
Apart from the fact that this is Mahatma Gandhi’s quote, it is quite relevant in life. The person gobbles up words like a hungry reader is sure to find pleasures in simple things in life. A flower, the rainbow, the first drop of rain, a butterfly, a coloring book, colors, stationary, anything that brings in a smile instantly without any effort. He/she would inspire you more than life itself, someday!

 

•    Life

Life will no longer be bland with a person who reads. Imagine adventures, treasure hunts, fantasy world stories. You might end up having weird (in a nice way) kids with weirder tastes and observation powers. Growing old with that person would be so much easier and fun. It’s true when they say, marry a person who you can talk to, because when you are old, it’s only good conversations that keep you going. He/she would recite KeatsWordsworthShakespeare,WhitmanWilde with much ease when you wish to hear a few words of love.

•    Other factors
It’s better to have you partner check out books than check out other people when with you. And who doesn’t make mistakes? We all are human after all. At least you can expect a well-worded apology in case you partner goofs up at some place.

All the places that you cannot afford to visit can be imagined and improvised in the company of a partner who utilizes his/her creative abilities to the hilt. He/she will lend you a listening ear. Always. Because, he/she knows how to give someone their undivided concentration.

He/she would know when to get serious and when not. He/she would appreciate your passion just like their’s.

So you see…there are too many pros of dating a well-read person. So go ahead, find yourself a…

good book and begin reading. NOW!

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Writer’s (un)Block

 

 

So, who all have faced the proverbial random blankness of the mind that blocks all thoughts and imagination even though the hand itches and the pen (or the keyboard in today’s context) twitches to let words flow on the white background?


Ok hands down. I see you all have faced that dead-end at some point.
That my friend is the dreaded “Writer’s Block”.

Imagine reaching a dead-end, after especially a good long run. Look at it this way – going ahead is definitely questionable at that blessed moment; and tracing your steps back would sort of result in a new path- meaning a deviation from the earlier thought route. If it leads to a newer, fresher, and more exciting ideation –wow! Else…uh oh!
Here are few things you might just want to keep in mind, (or get a print out and stick on your soft board around your writing area in case you have a lousy memory).
But before I begin, No, you are not special. Every writer at some point encounters the blessed “writer’s block”. It is a part of the creative process and one thing you should do is NEVER EVER back down at that point.
So don’t cry “Why me Lord! Why me!?”
It’s not that you can’t write – it’s just that you are running out of ideas/plots/notions/thoughts/concepts/theories/opinions/inspirations/brain wave…etc.
Wise men say that a smart way to by-pass the encounter with the dreaded “writer’s block” is to actually draft an outline of your work. It makes sense. At any point if you feel stuck, or blocked, you can go back to the outline and work around it so as to not lose focus and direction. You really won’t have to look around for inspiration or dread the demons of randomness. All you would have to do is refer to the outline you chalked initially and smirk in the face of adversity!
Anyways, coming back to the pointers:
•    Go easy on yourself: Come what may, do not force yourself to write. Just close your eyes and go blank. Literally. Try it.
•    Take a break: Yes, sure go have a kitkat…go for a walk, or ride, or drive, just go – take a break. A change of environment always does good to the brain and the system associated with it.
Creativity cannot breed in closed environments.

You need to experience the noise and the ruckus outdoor. You would be surprised at the scenes you witness that would lead you to ideate new perspectives for your story.

The point is: you have to step away from the computer. Even if it is for a pee break. Spend some more time staring at yourself in the mirror. You might just stumble… upon something new, I mean.

•    Music: Believe it or not, vocal or instrumental sounds possessing a degree of melody, harmony, or rhythm have proven worthy of leading to new ideas and fancies that might have lay hidden under a pile of dormant notions. Don’t ya’ll like rappin’ fellas!
•    Surf, Read, Write: If you can’t step away from your desk (the compulsive freak that you are), stay put and harness the power of the internet. The bottomless information pit. Surf different sites, indulge in conversation or discussions, read different blogs or write about your day. This will in a way, get you back into the grove and restore consistency.
•    Click some more: Leave the mouse and pick up the camera for a change. Photography is great way of letting your creative juices flow. It adds variety to your imaginatoin. Plus, if you are good with the pictures, you might just have something more to add to your photo-blog, if not your resume!
•    Overcome that sensation of nothingness by doing something out of the box. Something you haven’t done earlier. Maybe something like cooking. Or boiling water. Or playing with your neighbor’s dog, cat, mouse, camel, cow, parrot, crow, baby. Anything.

•    Doodle: yes, you read that right. Try doodling. Random words, phrases, sentences. Re-read them and re-arrange them and lo! You will surely find your way out of the block.
But at no cost should you let frustration creep in. The slightest hint of doubting yourself or hesitation in proceeding with your words is a signal that you need to take a break, lest you let the woes overpower you. The pressures you face are much worse than plotting the mysteries and the miseries for your characters.

All said and done, worry not my countrymen. This menace of writer’s block shall be broken. Words will flow freely like before. Confidence will be restored. The mission has to be accomplished.

Sometimes all you need to do is hold in some patience. There is always a path around the block, waiting to be explored!

(Phew!)
And now that I’ve let it all out, I need to head back to my story writing.

Happy Reading!

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