A wise man once said the only thing sadder than a blank page is a pen no one will ever pick up (I am that wise man in this scenario) and I find that profound sometimes (At other times it’s profoundly meaningless). I’ve heard writers are tortured souls. Tortured by unsaid words when they have inspiration but don’t put pen to paper, tortured by the words they write when readers are critical of their work and tortured by blank pages when they can’t write. Yet somewhere within this love/hate relationship is an unmatched pleasure of creating and the euphoria of having your creation appreciated.
I’ve found that my mind is most strained when I’m unable to write, like a cup that’s overfilled but then to write I need peace of mind so it becomes a cycle that feeds into itself. Not long after writer’s block grips hold of me, I fall into depression. Depression feeds into my ever lessening sense of worth, which breaks apart my will to live and I feel smaller and smaller with every passing moment I don’t put any thoughts onto paper. Yet this is the conundrum, I’m depressed because I can’t create and I can’t create because I’m depressed.
So what do I do? I often give up. I create the fantasy in my head that I’ll fall asleep and be lost in a world of my own creation from where I’ll never return. A dream within a dream within a dream but a transfer of myself from this world into a new existence. But then somehow that writing bug tugs at me and I pen down my frustrations in an unorganised and uncoordinated creation that feels like I’m screaming at the world and word by word the chains are broken, a temporary catharsis. From the depths of the ocean, I rise through the water and break the surface. I breath again.
I finally stare all around at the demons I face and I name them one by one. The balance of scales is twisted in my favour. The power of a name is revealed (Read “The name of the wind” by Patrick Rothfuss to get this reference). So what do you do if you’re facing writer’s block? Well there’s this great writing exercise to try out, you simply grab your pen (A keyboard on an iPhone for me) and you write whatever sentence comes to mind, one after the other. No matter if they have a correlation or not. So here goes:
“It was a slow dawn as the night was erased from the earth. The dew was gently making love to the grass. The fire continued burning in the heartbeat of the city and screams were heard from all directions. It was his first visit to the ocean bed as he dared to be dragged by a mermaid. The lions roared and the jungle answered the call, prey and predator falling into step to escape the volcano. It was a sharp turn that nearly had his car in the doldrums, spinning without control. The bird chirped with joy as it reunited with it’s family on the branch it called home. The volcano groaned with an eruption and lava oozed out of it. I was there sitting, wondering how I could start writing again…”
And with that I give you my Day 2 of the Winter Afro Bloggers Challenge #WinterABC2021. I really wanted to write about the Pan African Parliament this week but I’m still figuring out how to fit it in with the creatives theme.