The Writer’s Conundrum

The road to hell is paved with adverbs.
― Stephen King

There is something magical about writing—about creating a world with just words; about drawing up landscapes and family lines with a few flourishes of the pen (or taps on the keyboard); about holding within your palm the power to create a character and the turns that define his/her life.

Of course, it is not easy as it sounds. Oftentimes, the words are stuck in another plane, the characters remain foggy shadows in the recess of your mind, and there is little by way of a plot that can fill the pages. And the frustration a writer faces at this stage is hard to explain—it is a pain-filled anxiety, clouded over by doubts about whether the nascent idea that rests in one’s mind will take root and grow. The pain is almost beautiful, preceding as it does the creation of something eternal, something that will touch another.

There are times when nothing seems right, when the words are all hollow and the plot is laughably plain. When the characters in your mind’s eye refuse to make their mark on paper; when your creative element seems to have left for a distant land. This is when writing in itself seems like a futile exercise—the idea of spinning a story, an impossible task. It is very tempting at such times to close away the mind and laptop, and put away all thoughts in dark, deep drawer—away from the light of day.

And yet, in the midst of all this, something keeps pulling the writer through—the promise of a work that is as dear to one’s heart as is a child. It is this impulse that makes the writer plod through empty hours when barely a few words fill the space on a blank page. And then, one day, the words come together, the story is string together in a beautiful sequence of events, and—after you turn the last page—all that remains is a smile or sigh. A feeling of contentment, of sweet success, washes over the writer.

It is the love for this process that keeps drawing me back to writing, even after I proclaim that my creative muscles have atrophied and I cannot string together yet another tale. Writing is like a drug—once you are hooked on to it, there is no substitute.