Writer’s Block: Are You a Victim?

Caution: Those looking for quick fix remedies will be disappointed

Curing writer’s block is tough. Have you had insomnia? No, it’s not a trick question. For those who suffer from both or either of them, it’s the same.

I have always slept like a well fed baby. Always, without exaggeration. Uninterrupted by my copious caffeine consumption.  Sleep came readily and easily to me everywhere: in buses, cabs, parties, lectures, coffee shops; you name it and I have slept there. Effortlessly.

Then one wretched night it happened. It was time to sleep. I lay on the bed, cuddled up to my pillow, and closed my eyes. A while later, I opened my eyes and found myself staring at the big, wooden cupboard in my bedroom. I was not dreaming. Nobody dreams of massive, battered cupboards that are falling to bits. So I tried again. I even moved the cupboard, but it didn’t work. I sighed and put my mild irritation to productive use that night—I read a book. And the next night and the night after. Unfortunately, my irritation ceased to remain mild. It turned malevolent. I couldn’t read or write. Nor could I watch TV (this was before my Game of Thrones fervor). Unsurprisingly, I was at the remedies counter. And to my joy and misery there were many to be tried and tested. Dousing myself in lavender oil; taking long, luxurious baths before going to sleep; milk and honey, chamomile tea; reading (yawn) boring books; even counting sheep that kept bumping into each other—it was endless and I did it all. No sleep. Splat.

It was agonizing, debilitating. Not the insomnia. The wait. The wait to sleep; the wait to feel the body turn spongy and warm and soak up sleep. Sweet sleep. Tender sleep. Effortless sleep. I never wanted anything more that week.

Then when the week ended, my mind was a blur. On an hour’s sleep every day, my energy had ebbed.

And I gave up waiting.

As I lay in bed that night (the eighth night) I prepared myself to be a version of Christian Bale’s character, Trevor Reznik, in The Machinist. For the first time that possibility seemed like a reality, and I closed my eyes. I don’t remember much of what happened later except that when I opened my eyes, the mynahs were chirping and the sunlight was streaming through the flimsy white curtains. I had slept for nine hours at a stretch and my mind was wide-eyed with clarity.

Still looking for a cure for your writer’s block? Try this:

“I don’t believe in writer’s block. If I can’t write, I go out and live. Then, if I’m a writer, I’ll find something to write.” ― Peter Arpesella

By Roopa Menon

Roopa Menon has been a reporter, editor, recruitment consultant, PR writer, account executive and a media executive. And then, in 2013, thanks to Indireads, she became a published e-book author. Her e-book, Pyar Aur Poetry, is available on various channels such as Amazon, Smashwords, Flipkart, Barnes and Noble among others. Currently she lives with her husband in Dubai. She often suffers from writer’s block and insomnia, but not together (thankfully!).

5 replies on “Writer’s Block: Are You a Victim?”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *