Monday, January 24, 2011

writing anxiety

Myriads thoughts, images and visions have pestered my consciousness and keep haunting my dreams over the past few days. It is as if they have chosen the medium of my person, more precisely my word power (as I choose to call my skills at writing, fine or otherwise) as an expression of their being. From the pressing issue of municipality elections to the national preoccupation of Gross National Happiness, momentous and all, they have all wanted me as the conveyances of their stories.

As I stay hapless, overwhelmed by this mind-numbing array, I realize that I cannot write even as I sit pondering with a blank word processor staring at me. To be sure, this incapacitation has now spread its viles into other aspects of my life. I come and go, distracted, unable to do anything of worth. I have lost my mindfulness as my work colleagues are wont to call. My attention span has been circumscribed to mere microseconds at any particular time before it strays into a world of its own, far removed from the daily grinds and often at punitive cost.
It is not even as if I have been hitting the limits of liquor lately. I have rarely drunk but I am inebriated all the same. Labouring through this piece, I feel like I am losing it, bits at a time. It is not natural and there is hardly any eloquence in the words forced together thus.
However, even as I contemplate possible escape routes from this ordeal, I have not given up on hitting the purple patch once again, being as adamant as I am in believing the possibility of the brave new world, with my place secured in it. If I can get myself into this pitfall, there must surely be a way out that I can find. The trick is to find that way. Before that though, a question that I must ask myself: What is it exactly that has transpired before this period of gloom and despair hit me?
The answer possibly is that I am no longer being the person I wanted to be, a timeless dreamer in pursuit of perfection. A sense of betrayal pervades me when I think that I have sold out to the first bidder that came my way without as much as a spare thought to the core values that I always thought I held dear. Just like satisfaction rubs off on your performance, qualms dims your vision too.
There is no one explanation to the sticky situation I am in, just in case I need a reminder at this point. One probable reason though is that there is so much happening around, and in, me. For a start, I am no longer a detached student who can pursue my ideals in a world that is either plain black or white as dictated by classroom logic. Life doesn't follow the course of a textbook. One hasn't been written yet.
Things have become so much more complicated, as is natural, of course. I couldn’t be sure though if I am taking to it particularly well. As Voltaire said, ‘we must tend our own garden.’ I should have been prepared for the humdrum that is just beginning to reveal itself. I was not, and now disenchantment is upon me for no apparent reason and it shows in outbursts of passion every now and then.
It’s getting tough. As I come back to this piece once again after another gloomy hiatus, the thread is severed and I have no way of fixing it. The idea now is to fight, as best as I can, the loser in me popping up its ugly head.
Maybe, what has buggered me all this while is confronting me right at this moment. Going into automated mode with the Microsoft word processor and all its indulgent implements has proved more disruptive than I bargained for, creature of habit that I am. I am not exactly the touch-type. Getting a hang of the accessories and breaking my knuckle on the keyboard often distract my thought process and become detrimental to my creativity. I have become utterly incapable of thinking straight.Worse, once you get used to Microsoft and the world wide web, you can't do without them. They offer a host of products and services that might as well do your thinking for you. It just might be that I have fallen for it. When the table turns on you, you might as well forget all about being a writer.
Which incidentally brings me to the final part of my dissection here. What is it that I want in the first place? Am I looking to being a writer? These are questions that I have asked myself before but all the same, I am no closer to the truth now than when I first did so.
The easiest thing one can possibly do is become a writer. Open a computer, punch in what you may; pick up a pen and get on doodling and lo! you are a writer. Sounds easy enough. Though this is exactly what many do in professing their hobbies and occasionally, their professions, it is not something that I ever imagined doing. Nor do I look forward to wearing a shabby look and scribbling deranged gibberish (am I tending towards one as I write). What else could possibly constitute writing? The scholarly rhetorics certainly wouldn’t fit the bill for me.
Writing is all about getting into my stride as I drift into an inspired trance with my soul flowing gladly onto a canvas of words. The challenge of late has been to recreate that mood. I begin to worry about how things might turn out even before I put down my first word. I am disposed to grandiose in my design, vainglorious in my approach and look forward to adulation. I hope for masterstrokes and they all show in uncertainties. Words are struck in their track, and the ideas quite elude me as I hope to wield them into enduring masterpieces. Am I losing my cognitive abilities, is it early signs of the onset of an ungainly disorder, is age catching up on me. Not a chance that it could be any of these. So, it must be (as I would have it), a downer with writing anxiety as people are by its performance version.
On the brighter side though, if night is here already, the dawn cannot be far behind. Self study has begun in earnest. For a journey of a thousand miles begins with a look inside, the look that is this introspection. I will write my way out if that is what it is going to take.

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