DIY - Writer's Blocks for budding and veteran writers
Yes, you read it right - writer’s block. This is about building writer’s blocks and I am gonna give you the wherewithal to actually create those fancy blocks. I figured this title would bring you here, not through any Keyword tool, but by a simple device called common sense – which told me that this Do It Yourself (DIY) is badly needed. Why? Simple. All extant literature focuses only on dealing with and overcoming or even destroying writer’s blocks and there is zilch on lovingly creating and nurturing writer’s blocks. I might as well reveal that there is nothing commercial and this hub is prompted purely by altruistic reasons – a desire to give back to society. And it is based on solid experience. Experience gained from something that I can be genuinely proud of and refer to as the most challenging project of my life. When it was suggested, I baulked and almost threw up at the thought of working on it. So I guess a little background is necessary for you to appreciate the concept and its significance (so that you realize that it’s worthwhile to read through till the end of this hub). So let me just give you a brief background and then summarise the methodology without dropping the essentials.
It was one of those weekends in December 2022, and I was sitting at home completely relaxed, with an arrogant confidence that nothing eventful or uneventful would happen in the near future. I was nursing a flat drink when one of the panels on the wall switched on and converted itself into a video screen. A young lady in her thirties was looking down at me.
“Vinod, I am Harass,” she said.
“Yes, go on, Harass” I waved my hand in indifferent helplessness.
“I am a secretary in the Government, in charge of domestic counter-espionage-“
“Never mind. I just want you to realize that this is serious stuff-“
“OK” I said waving my hand, this time deferentially.
“Government wants to implement a serious writer’s block programme -“
“W-w-what? Never been in the construction line! Look, I can’t make sense at all -”
“Never mind. All you have to do is produce a working model for introducing writer’s blocks on a mass scale-”
“Look this is harassment-“
“You can cut out the ment-“
“I am harass, not harassment.”
I was almost in tears.
“OK please tell me in simple English what this is”
“Vinod, we know everything about you. We know that you started writing hubs in July 2010 and in spite of an excellent environment at HubPages, struggled to somehow contribute 25 hubs. After your last hub about “how to achieve failure”, you added one hub every five years. That’s what you accomplished while Hub Pages grew at a furious pace to become the largest tenant in cyberspace. Ordinary folks who joined there saw their creative talent blossom in no time and their hubs increase in number like the rapid fire of an automatic rifle. You are the only exception and therefore we identified you as the person for this project. You get it?”
I sat up. It was clear that it was some sort of recognition for all those years of focused inactivity. Yup! It was time to get serious.
“What’s there in it for me?” I asked.
“Good you asked. You will work on this project exclusively and produce a Proof of Concept model and then a scalable working model for introducing writer’s blocks en masse-”
“But that’s very negative. Clandestine-“ I mumbled.
“Vinod!” she purred. “ How can something introduced by the government be clandestine?”
“OK, what is the idea? The purpose-“
“Simple. Government is concerned that cyberspace is getting swamped and soon – considering the rate at which hubs are being added - there will be no space left. This is a corrective measure to deal with an emergency-“
“But you didn’t tell me how I will benefit-“
“Simple! Your name will go down in history as the first man who created writer’s blocks-“
“Wait. That’s not all – After you have prepared the documentation, it will be uploaded for the public to access and we will arrange for online ads on this document. The revenue will be shared 60/40 with you”
“Brilliant” I conceded. “ But how will I get the traffic?”
“That’s no big deal. We’ll introduce tax breaks for those who visit the site and read the document.”
“OK Harass, I’ll take it up. Although I don’t have any idea how one can create a writer’s block-“
“No problem, Vinod. You have a sturdy permanent writer’s block, so naturally how can we expect you to come up with ideas? In fact it is this very absence of ideas that is your strength. It is this emptiness in you that will show you the way to make this project a success.“
Well to cut a long story short, I took up the project immediately. The rest is history. After my DIY document was uploaded, people who read it for the tax breaks held their throbbing heads in their hands and wept with the sheer pain of intense boredom. Web activity screeched and moderated to a much more manageable level. A number of online content cultivators swore that they would avoid writing and took up regular day jobs. Cyberspace became less congested and more peaceful.
Now that I have explained the background leading up to the project, which won me numerous awards and millions in advertising revenues, I am sure it is clear as daylight that the summary of my working model which I am going to share, is a priceless gem that I am sharing with hubbers purely out of a sense of gratitude and nostalgia for the good old days. Anyway, let me put it down for you without wasting further time:
1.Keep your hands away from writing instruments of any kind. Realise the cosmic energy flowing through a still pencil or idle keyboard. The picture on the right has mystic capabilities to cure people suffering from ‘writingitis’. Just take a printout of this picture and look at it intently for ten minutes and become aware of all the energy flows through you – the same energy that had to earlier loop through the pencil or keyboard now flows through you freely and charges you into a somber state of near slumber.
2.Understand that procrastination is the most undervalued asset that we are endowed with. Why do today, what can be done tomorrow, is an irrefutable logic that must be respected and adopted in our day to day lives. It will naturally apply to writing also. Why write 500 words when I can write nothing today and the rest of it tomorrow? I can now have a drink instead.
3.Realise that it’s shameful not to have a writer’s block. You can’t as a carpenter or sculptor have a writer’s block. You have a writer’s block when you are a writer. So it’s something to feel proud of. Celebrate it. Find other writers and tell them all about how your block is not allowing you to write a single word. Exchange notes on how impossible it is to escape from the clutches of this block.
4.Burn all the dictionaries at home.
5.Stay a mile away from brainstorming sessions.
6.Take a long enforced break from writing and reading of any kind. Organise a hike or cruise or better still wander around aimlessly in a remote backward village that you are not familiar with. Do remember that you are not to maintain a diary or notes of any kind.
7.Try and unlearn the language that you are proficient in. Start using some other language until you forget your regular language.
These are illustrative but not exhaustive. The best part is it’s pure open source. Every practitioner has sufficient scope to modify the list and add fresh ideas to reinvigorate the writer’s block movement.
Disclaimer : The entire hub is a figment of the author’s rusted imagination and the reader is to check on the accuracy, completeness, suitability and workability of the model. The author offers no guarantee or warranty in this regard neither will he take on any liability on account of the use of the suggested methods.