Chaos. The cigarette smoke rose and danced to the unheard tune my lips were conducting. The desk a battleground of paper, empty bowls, cat hair and at least eight years of history. I've been staring at the blank page on my screen for so long that eventually my mind started playing tricks on me. Not with rabbits or cards but something far more impressive. Memories.
Stories of childhood injuries, one-time acquaintances, that song, that love, that hate. Images that bring back in a second, a time-lapse so immense that I find myself spiralling head-first into a web. There is never a landing in this scenario, only free-fall. Strands from the web getting caught in my hands as I break through them have a story to tell. They carry their own meaning. Heck, their own universe.
The cigarette is crushed mercilessly on the ashtray and left broken next to the rest of its kin, as my fingers finally caress the keys before them like the sea does the sand on a day with the softest of winds.
I am not a neuroscientist therefore I am completely unaware of the process behind my mind telling my fingertips in what order to hit the letters forming everything that you have just read. The entire event takes place even before my skin touches the soft plastic. I am practically talking to myself inside my head while some other part of me keeps a record by directing my hands and fingers on the keyboard. It's a mess really but I never experience it. It just happens, you know how it is.
"What on earth is he on about?" you are probably thinking. I will (try to) explain! One might say that I am procrastinating by simply filling this page with words. Don't tell the "writer" in me if you see him, but I think he is suffering a bit of a block and...
What? Oh no... he heard that and now he is blaming me! Typical.
I am sure some of you reading this, at some point of your lives you were aware of experiencing the condition called writer's block. It doesn't take science journals or an academic diagnosis for to be aware that you are going through this. If you are telling that to yourself then it simply is happening. Are you suffering from writer's block?
Is it a loss of commitment? If you are writing professionally with dead-lines, commitment is something you need to look at and if it seems hard to come by then you have to come up with a system in order to deliver that which is asked of you on time. That's purely "business". And this isn't what we are here for.
Is it a loss of inspiration? I find that practically impossible. Every living moment is an inspiration. Every inanimate object in a 5-meter radius from where you are reading these words is a gateway to another world. All you have to do is look.
Are you unable to? Why? Writing is something extremely personal to all of us. A person could have a thousand characters written into a story yet every one of them is a piece of him/her. Writing is basically the process of "painting" with your thoughts. If you are unable to look then perhaps you are, for now, not drawn to it. Or perhaps you have given too much of you in the days/weeks/months/years that have passed by. Either way, if you are unable to look then you must take a break and discover why.
Are you applying pressure on yourself? Have you heard unsavoury comments for something you have written? If yes, what was said and by whom. As said above, writing is a very personal art. There is no real instrument, no paints, no moves. Just words pouring out of your mind. A malicious whipping of those words will resonate directly to the source, and we know where that is. It is important to trust the people who show your work to. "Must I show it at all?" you ask? Yes. Because by not doing so you might fall for the oldest "pit" in the book. The one where you are really dissatisfied with what you have written. I speak from experience when I say that myself has been downright wrong in his analysis. Our mind works even when we ask it not to. Shoving thoughts in funny places which pounce on us in the most unsuspecting of moments. Who is to say that you hating what you wrote the night before is correct? Find an answer to that question and you can carry on fighting that block.
Admittedly, I don't like using the word 'block' to describe this condition. How can any mind be blocked when it is still capable to place words on a page concerning any subject, any character, any world. Anything.
I much prefer the word 'web'! The web mentioned earlier in this article. Many times in our lives we find ourselves demoting words to a rank between air and meaning. Without context, anyone who tells you that words are meaningless should take a good look at him/herself. Words themselves are an action therefore the two cannot be compared. They are the same. (Disclaimer: I will not take the blame if you spring forth the above statement in an argument with your spouse about saying to do something and not doing it!). In the 'Writing Kingdom', words are everything. So... web!
Do not look at the place where you are at as an impasse. Instead replace the block with a web, with everything that you have ever touched, tasted, heard, seen and smelled (an especially potent sense!). Fall through it and you are bound to find things that will spark, ignite and blaze into your mind words that you can shape into anything you want. Perhaps not about what you are currently interested in writing but that is inconsequential when held up to the bigger picture. You thought you faced a block yet you found yourself falling through a web instead and words can, once again, pour out of your mind. THAT is what is best in life (right after crushing your enemies, seeing them driven before you and hearing the lamentations of their women).
Be the spider.
- Frixos Masouras 2014