Saturday, March 21, 2009

The Writer is Blocked...

Writer's block...

All writers have suffered from it. Leo Tolstoy has suffered from it. P.G Wodehouse, Ian Fleming, Valmiki, Jeffery Archer- they all must have suffered from 'Writer's block' at some point or other during their glorious writing careers. Well its now the turn of one more writer in this illustrious lineage to suffer from the condition - Yours truly, Me!!!

Before, I trudge my ass further on this issue, a definition of 'Writer's block' is due:

Definition: Writer's block is a phenomenon involving temporary loss of ability to begin or continue writing, usually due to lack of inspiration or creativity. Writer's block can also be a hindrance even when the writer feels that they already have a story in mind but can get no further than part of that story.

(Note: I have copy-pasted the definition from Wikipedia. I have writer's block and can't write - Remember? )

I noticed that I've been hindered by writer's block since this morning. Coming to terms with it was a strange, unfamiliar feeling. I arrived at my computer this morning, all pumped up and feeling the usual urge to blog. My plan was to write a classic blogpost on a very serious issue that I hold very close to my heart - " Investment and Financial Advice for Jersey Cows" . After all, I had spent days after days doing my research on this topic. I had visited hundreds of cattle-farms, interviewed millions of cows about their preferred investment and money-management methodologies. For the record, I found that 62% of the jersey cows invested their money in equity stocks, 10 % of them invested in bonds. 8 % of the cows chomped at and swallowed all of their money, because they found the taste of paper too good to resist. 10% of the cows stashed away their money in the nearest pile of hay-stack and 5% of the poor bovines hid their savings in their dung. And there were 5% of utterly stupid cows, who blindly handed over their savings to their respective doodhwalas, trusting in him to make a secure investment on their behalf. And the doodhwala went ahead and just blew away all of that money in the nearest strip-club. So all in all, I had seen that there was gross financial mismanagement among the cows - and I wanted to write an article on my blog, that provided the poor animals with sound investment advice . It was a noble cause. But horror of horrors - before I could even type half a key, I discovered that writer's block had struck me. I couldn't think about a vowel to write. I realized that I just couldn't get the neurons in my brain to shimmy out of snooze mode and get them flowing as usual. I am sad and helpless- I feel guilty of having let down all the cash cows, and I am devastated. :'-(

Come to think of it, this is not the first time I have been affected with 'writer's block'. But calamity, as they say, always strikes in the most unwelcome of times. I clearly remember during my engineering college days, I was always bothered with writer's block during the exams. What an irony. I mean here I am-bang in the middle of an examination - and the writer's block virus would make its way into the hall, zero in on me, discreetly enter my brain and wallop the neurons into a state of inactivity. So the next time you have the opportunity to see my engineering report cards, please don't blindly attribute my abysmal grades to a lazy unprepared bum. Its the writer's block virus that has to be blamed ( Dad, are you reading this!?? What does it take to convince you, huh?) Here is an excerpt from an engineering answer paper of mine from the past. You can see writer's block in its full glory.

Question 17) Explain the computer database normalization process in brief and banian ( 5 marks)

Answer: The ...

I really did try to get past the 'The' , but I was helpless, the stupid writer's block virus was already at work. You know I often think, why is that only us- the poor writers- have to be affected with this condition all the time. Its so unfair. Why doesn't writer's block affect, say, a traffic cop when he is filling out your traffic violation form? Just picture this - the cop catches you riding your two- wheeler without a helmet and trousers. He stops you in the middle of the road. You try your best to smooth-talk or bribe your way out of the situation - but fail miserably. The cop is filling out your violation ticket. Suddenly he says 'Oooh I have writer's block, I am not able to write this thing any further. So go away young man, be free, have a beer or two and ride away happily." Sad. It seldom happens with those cops. But a well-meaning writer who earnestly wants to help the cows, has to remain tied-down and frustrated with the condition.

One of the first persons I confided with and broke the news of my sad condition, was my roommate. In bachelor lifestyle, your roommates are always the default, first-in-line victims of all your actions and reactions. My roommate, the bakra that he is, always happens to be the first person to read the new posts on my blog. That is because, as soon as I hit the 'Publish' button on Blogger, I make it a point to scream into his eardrums and say "Hey dude, I have a new blog post. Read it, read it... you get to read it first". I do this even at 3 in the morning. My roommate's reaction is usually the same. He jolts awake from his sleep, gives me a big, warm smile and says "Oh wow, thank you... I'm so happy and privileged, you rotten asshole" . You see, he is a true fan. Anyways, I told him that I was suffering from writer's block and would be unable to update my blog for now. His reaction was that of genuine sympathy. First, he jumped to the ceiling in euphoric joy. Then he ran out of the building in Archimedes style and distributed sweets to the entire neighborhood. I don't know where he is right now - I think he's probably on a pilgrimage tour of all the temples in Bangalore, offering devout thanksgiving prayers. Why do I need enemies when I have friends like him. Bah!

I went to the office yesterday, still reeling under the effect of writer's block. I am thorough professional. Needless to say, my block has affected my coding ability too. You want to know how my day was eh? Here is a sample of a conversation between me and my boss.

Boss: "So Parikshith. Have you finished your code?"
Me: "Yep. Here it is"
Boss: "Heck, what is this? I thought I had asked you to write a code to streamline our business domain critical processes"
Me: "Yes, sir."
"But the code that you've written here calculates the average turnaround time required to seduce and mate with Paris Hilton!! ?? "
"Yes, sir"
"Yes my ass. Enough of your tomfoolery. Where is the original code?"
"I didn't write it sir."
"Why the hell not?"
"I am having a writer's block"
"You what?"
"A writer's block. The inability to think of writing anything"
"Oh, I see... writer's block eh?"
"Yes, sir"
"Then, I think I won't be able to sign your paycheck for this month..."
"Why not, sir"
"I have writer's block too..."

Well, nobody understands. Idiots. Anyway,I visited a doctor, next. I was hoping at least he'll be able to diagnose and offer a cure for my writer's block. Here's what happened...

Me: "Doctor, doctor... I am in big trouble"
Doc: "Sit down, young man. Just calm down. Tell me your problem"
Me: "I am suffering from writer's block"
Doc: "What?"
Me: "Writer's block"
"Writer's block? Now what is that? I think I must've bunked my classes at medical school when that was being taught"
"Oh no!!"
"But relax young man, tell me what exactly happens to you during this writer's block?"
"I can't think of anything to write about. I am unable to write anything"
"Then stay with me for a few days and write out all my prescriptions na. That should cure you"
"No no... I am not that kind of writer. I am a creative writer"
"What do you write?"
"A blog called Nonsense Aplenty"
"Hmmm... can I have a look at it?"

I gave the link of my blog to the doctor. He finally emerged from his chamber, an hour later, looking a bit hassled.

Me: "Yes, doctor?"
Doc: "I read your blog..."
Me: "Really?"
Doc: "Yes. And I think I have a diagnosis of your condition"
"Oh God! Thank you so much. So you think you can cure me, doc?"
"Yes. Let me write you a prescription. Here, have this twice daily. You may not need this for more than a day"
"Oh, thanks, doc. Err... I can't read your handwriting. What's this you have prescribed for me?"
"Rat poison..."

No more comments, ladies and gentlemen. But I shouldn't be complaining too much. Hey, everybody goes through writer's blocks. But it is the literary world that really stands to lose. Lose a lot, really. I mean, God only knows how many potentially great books have gone unwritten, unpublished, just because their respective authors suffered from serious bouts of writer's block. Some of these books, that went unpublished as a result of this situation are:
  • "Oral Hygiene" - by Emran Hashmi
  • "How To Play a Cover Drive" - by Munaf Patel
  • "124 Ways to Press a Computer Key and Get Stinkin' Rich" - by Bill Gates
  • "An Expert's Guide to Virginity" - by Paris Hilton
  • "World Peace" - by Osama bin Laden
Anyways, this writer's block is not allowing me to write anymore. I hope to get over it as soon as possible to get back to my full-fledged writing form. But please be patient, dear people. It may not happen immediately- my chances of a recovery right now is as bright as finding living bacteria in dinosaur dung. But, as Arnold Schwhatsispelling said in Terminator - "I'll be back. Where else can I go, baby? "



Satyajit said...

Awesome funny post, dude.
But I can't comment anymore, becuase I am having commentator's block ;-)

Sam said...

Briillllliannnnnt post!!!

gayathri-vishwanathan said...

Oh till date, i knew only about road blocks and my nose blocks. Thanks u enlightened me with such high gyaan.

Parikshith Kumar said...

Dear Satya
Dhanyavad, sirjee :-) Commentator's block eh? Good. You are now fully qualified to be a cricket commentator and air your blah blahs on TV. I can train u.

Dear Sam
Welcome to my blog, and thanks for the comment :-). Enjoy your stay. The toll free number for Aspirin supplies is 1-800-... :-)

Dear Gayathri
Hello gal, how ya doin? Glad to enlighten you, I can see that halo around your head alreadyl. Nose blocks eh?... Don't worry, I will refer you to the same doctor who diagnosed my writer's block :-) No no, you don't have to thank me. Basically I am a very nice, helpful man.

Vinnie said...

Funny, witty writing n all in the name of 'writer's block' !

Bullshee said...

I think you found that funny picture of a cow milking money and just had to write about it, didn't you? Couldn't resist could you?

Then you weaved in this whole thing about writer's block, when infact you were having writer's loose motion!

But I like the funnies. Makes me laugh!!

Parikshith Kumar said...

Dear Vinnie
Thank you :-) and welcome to my blog.

Dear Bullshee
Attaboy Holmes!.. Ha ha. But you are not quite correct. Just for your information, here's the explanation of the entire background behind the making of this blogpost.

There was a big bang.Then there was protozoa. Protozoa had sex and then came many more little baby protozoa. the protozoa took flying lessons and evolved into birds. Birds watched the movie Delhi-6 got inspired by 'kaala bandar', and decided to evolve into monkeys. Monkeys discovered 'Blogger' and decided to start blogging. One such monkey, decided to start a blog called "Nonsense Aplenty". One day, the monkey had writer's block, and overpouring with emotion, decided to dedicate a post on it. And thus, the post was born.

I've gone completely bonkers, haven't I? That is why I never explain why I write the stuff I write. ha ha ha. Thanks for your comment, buddy.

Vinnie said...

ohhh, man..ur big bang version is worth a mention in Wiki..

thanks for free following this funny man :)

damsel in distress said...

you wrote a blog on writers block. underline words "wrote" "writer's block"
so what did u just do, climb the block?

u write something from virtually nothing huh??

oh,abt the post-ROTFL.

Parikshith Kumar said...

Dear Vinnie.
Wow, thank you :-)

Dear Damsel
Hehhehe... Thank you :-)

Sandeep said...

shud appreciate ur skills to make comedy out of nothing! u rock parry.. u @$*&#*&ing dog;)

Sandeep said...

n BTW if ur running out of topics to write.. y dont u wanna write on how u enjoyed having the girls hostel in ur neighborhood n how u scared every daughter's dad in town wid ur wild animal oogles at them;)

Parikshith Kumar said...

Dear Sandy
He he... thanks yaar... Girls' hostel in the neighborhood. You bring back sweet memories ( mammaries) and make me nostalgic!

Karthik Sivaramakrishnan said...

ROFL@cow investment fundaes!