parakala

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Write, so that you can write

01-06-2013
I am writing this only to see if this helps me break my writer’s block.

I have recently written a piece in Telugu for a Newspaper. Since then I haven’t done any writing outside my professional commitments. I wrote a couple of proposals, and a comprehensive report. The report demanded interpretation and analysis of a huge amount of data.  It is a bit of a challenge because it has to be put in a format and a language that will be intelligible to government officers and their junior colleagues. I think I have done a pretty decent job.

The Newspaper article was pretty good. Yes, I am able to certify it myself.  Well, in some sort of way, you do get to know in your bones whether what you wrote is good or not. I could say what I set out to say very sharply. There were a couple of responses to it. I read one. But it was very sub-standard and not worthy of a response from me. I guess the antagonists to the position that I argued there simply did not want to let it go without some sort of criticism. It was just a token engagement on their part.

I thought about this issue of writer’s block. I do not know what the current or ancient prescriptions to break this are. I have not read about it. Haven’t ‘googled’ for them. I thought I will just figure it out myself.

The main part in the writer’s block is perhaps not able to decide what to write on. Everything seems important, and when you sit with your keyboard and screen (it is no longer ‘putting pen to the paper’; it could be your desktop, your tablet, or even a mobile phone these days) you begin to have doubts about its relevance or its ability to attract reader’s attention. But then you will not know what is really relevant and what can engage a reader’s attention much before you write. What may not look relevant to you may seem relevant to readers; and sometimes what may look relevant to you may appear quite valueless to readers. It is also possible that what may be not relevant can be rendered in a way that it reads well and a reader can spend his time well by reading it.

Another doubt afflicts us which also causes writer’s block. We often wonder whether we are saying anything new that the reader hasn’t already known. I think this doubt is more relevant to text book writers or to thesis writers. It is there you need to inform your readers something that is not known to them earlier to reading your writing. But in every other form of writing, by and large, you tell the reader something that is known to them, or half known to them, but say it in such a way that it helps them to arrange or rearrange their thoughts on the subject and in the process in some way delights them.

I will stop here.

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