Problems of the Writing Mind (1)

Ever since I have decided that one of the things that I am going to take very seriously is this book idea that I’ve been working on, I am realizing how difficult it is to migrate from writing an incoherent short blogpost to a coherent full blown book. And some of the things I had noticed earlier are coming back to me. About how Sidin, a seriously funny guy, could write the trashy three book series. About how Amit Varma, one of the best bloggers India had, and some amazing thought provoking articles for various online and offline publications, could come up with My Friend Sancho. Compared to these prolific bloggers, some non-prolific bloggers actually have better books, I’d say. And some non-bloggers are actually miles ahead. And some of these books actually make me feel that Chetan Bhagat isn’t as bad as some of us make him out to be. It’s just bloody difficult

Anyway, to come back to my writer’s block problems, let me talk about a couple of them.

Fast food mind. With Twitter, Facebook and co, the mind operates in this libertarian frame where every significant or insignificant thought needs to be disseminated right there and then. A private chuckle or profound musing later, the thought has already outlived itself. Something longer than that ends up being a blogpost. Hardly anyone has the patience to read the long blogposts these days. Two reasons – too many blogs, too little time. They come with #longreads kind of warning. The problem for me manifests as a scarcity of thought as well. I have not been creating the mindspace and physical space which is broad enough to noodle over a thought long enough to write a longish post or section of the story on it. For instance, if I were to tell you that one of the ideas I had last week was the story of this anti-hero/vigilante who does what’s seemingly right but has no moral code whatsoever about how it’s done. Now, someone would automatically tell me which all comic books had the same idea as the central theme. I’d have read some, maybe. Or, none. Then I’d start scrambling for those comic books, their themes, plots, undercurrents, philosophies, fan fics, etc. In no-time an idea that could have evolved as an original idea, would be too encumbered by everything that has already been said about it. I am struggling to completely take myself offline. And I think I need to do it. Or, I can take a friend’s maxim to be true – It’s almost impossible anymore to find a thought that is completely original. Proposed solution to self – disconnect from the internet for extended spells. Includes but not limited to – deactivating the data connection on phone, and switching off the router in the bedroom (leave the dead spot as is). Disable wifi across devices (phone, ipad, etc.). And then, switch off the TV. I cannot go off consumption like gauravmishra did. But I can surely cut down my consumption, right?

The silence of the crowd – I am someone who has strong aversion to judge or be judged. While I started blogging in 2003/4, my initial ones (posts/blogs) were extremely private that I never even told anyone about. It was a webification of personal journal/diary. And the later ones have had a tendency to be frivolous about movies etc in a way that someone bringing them to my offline life does not bother me. The joke would be on me, and I am fine with it. Extending this logic, the moment I realize that the people around me realize that I am writing something and they start waiting for it, I will be too scared of being judged. And then my block becomes an immovable mountain. Even the home is a place where you feel that even the kitchen shelves know you and are judging you if you spend a minute too much in making that next cup of coffee! ☺ SO, I have always tried to find my comfort in the silence of the crowd. The chaos and the unfamiliarity gives me more open space, at times, then the comfort of a home. Hence, the decision over the last couple of days to find a noisy but comfortable coffee shop where I can sit and write.

 

That’s that then! More to come.

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About Amit
Conventional, boring, believer, poet, Shayar (to be precise), lover of music, musical instruments, and all that can be called music (theoretically or metaphorically), jack of all master of none, more of a reader less of a writer, arbit philosopher, foolish debater.. and many more such things.. like so many people!

5 Responses to Problems of the Writing Mind (1)

  1. Bharti says:

    I agree to most of what you have written in this post. Liked the thoughts. I second every word wriiten under The Silence of crowds. I think for blog a writer can still keep it to writing from heart but this perhaps does not work for a whole book. There is so much to consider while writing a book.
    I wish you good luck for your book idea and hope i get to see..umm…read it soon.

  2. Pushpee says:

    like ur train of thought, while writing a book, u want to tell a story to the world and that thought it always on our mind that we will be judged from what we have to write but blogging is cool, u write what u feel like and may even not be bothered if someone is going to visit ur blog or not, blogging is purely for personal satisfaction and that is the main difference….

  3. pinksocks says:

    This is so true about how people great on blogs and Social networking websites have sub-standard books to their credit. I was very disappointed to read Sidin’s first. So much so that I could not gather the courage to read the others. But we also have Preeti Shenoy who has written some good books as a row. Having said that, I love your stream of thought it is very broad and it flows like water. Good Luck with the book. Dont forget to keep a signed copy for me 🙂

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