Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Dry Ink

Did I just have a three-month long writer’s block? Great Firewall or no great firewall, I am stumped, my brain stale and my ink dry. I’ve always thought of myself as a writer, but what do I have to prove it, even just to myself? Two blogs filled with cobwebs? Check. A blank notebook? Check. Hammering away at the Add New Tab button until my browser freezes whenever I come face to face with a blank page and a blinking cursor? Check! Whatever happened to the notion of the scratch paper?

I can accept being average in any other field, but I am a perfectionist when it comes to writing, and that’s why I have grown so afraid of it. Anything less than awe-inspiring I’d rather not write. Any piece that I don’t feel can be an organic whole I cannot accept. That’s what’s making writing too difficult and intimidating, and this mindset is holding me back too much. I wait for an awesome idea to pop into my head, wait for this outburst of emotion to put me into a writer’s trance before I even begin dare to write anything. Writing is supposed to be free-flowing, but it has become a passive pursuit for me. I don’t control the words anymore, I just wait for them to possess me.

Not that I did not write at all in the past few months. I’ve scribbled the usual things in my notebooks and in my cellphone Notes - To-do, short-term and long-term plans, sudden nuggets of insight, realizations about myself… Colorful fragments of nothing.. null wayward strands of wonder.. impossible to weave into any tapestry. They’re pretty much like the random web articles I love to read so much. It’s so easy to do, and they make you feel like you’re doing something productive, but it’s actually quite an aimless activity. I just realized the other day that reading those little articles is like trying to catch sand.. it feels nice in those fleeting seconds that the sand slides down your hands, but you don’t actually get anything substantial from them. True learning is more like prying a hard rough stone. It may not feel as good but it’s something you can actually keep. I surmise that true learning needs focus - it can only happen when knowledge has snowballed on to the right direction, and then it just keeps going.

Okay, enough with the vague analogies. This just shows how long I haven’t written. And how I miss having this feeling of being able to bang on the keyboard keys for more than half an hour without feeling the urge to read yet another useless article on yahoo or engadget. But all is well. I realized that the amount I write is inversely proportional to the extent that I’m living. I got into writing because I had to balance the ideal and the real, but I never had that problem the past few months, because things were more than ideal. Everything was surreal.

I’ll leave that for another blog post though. But if there’s one thing that scares me more than a blank page, it’s reducing the vivacity of memories to letters, spaces, and punctuation marks. Besides, I can’t let loose too much, lest I run out of fuel for what I anticipate to be a regular string of posts from now on. Here's to hoping that the ink never runs dry again.

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