The biggest issue with writing anything is, writing. Yes. That’s it. The biggest issue with writing anything starts when you sit down on your chair, pages ready to be written onto, and you can’t pen down a single word. It’s either because you’re tired, or you’re feeling uncomfortable, or you’re not in the zone, or you just don’t know what to write. You pen down a couple of lines, but that’s it. You scratch that out, then you write some more; either on the same topic or another topic. You get a bit on it, but then again you hit a block. So you take five minutes, think what more can you write, write a few more words, hit another block and then scratch it all out. This loop continues till either you get up, tired and exhausted or you pen down something. More often than not, we get up tired and exhausted.
Why does this happen? Why is it that we sit down to write but we’re unable to? Our heart is in it, so is our mind, our body too; why wont the words come out? Usually it is because we can’t find the right set of words to express what we are feeling. But what if, just think about it, what if it’s because we have no words? No thoughts to verbalise. We can’t write down anything, because we have nothing to write about.
Last June, I made it a habit to start writing again. I used to take time out to write. Be it my novel, or a story, a Book Recommendation, Movie Review or Movie to Watch, or musings, like this one. I wrote a lot. Much much more than February. Each time I sat down to write back in June, I had been thinking about what I wanted to write and it came out properly. What I wanted to say, how the story would move forward, who would say what, what I loved about the book or the movie, why I’m recommending it to everyone; or what I wanted to tell people.
But each time I went in without all this thinking, I was blank. I would stare at the pages, move my pen, but couldn’t get ahead despite getting a good start. After a point, I thought I couldn’t write, or I would end up spending 4 hours in a piece I would have usually completed in 2.5 hours. A lot of the times, the article would be completely terrible. I would have to drag through it rather than swim. And instead of being chirpy, I would be tired, physically, mentally and of my writing.
The pieces I thought a great deal about, they were usually the best. The pieces I went in blank with, they were meh. Improvising on a piece works when you have a plan, not when you have nothing. You need a direction in which the improvisation must take you.
Writing, like fitness, is not an activity. It’s a lifestyle. Writing, acting, painting, drawing. These are all lifestyles. You can’t just do them, especially a new piece. You need to put in time to think about what you want to do and how. Just like you abstain from bad foods for fitness, you see something happen and you think, “This is a great idea for a story”. When you’re alone in the metro, sit and think or maybe even write a new piece. Instead of sitting idle and bored, try to think of something or muse about something.
The two hours you sit down to write, a lot like the two hours you go to the gym are just another activity, not the only activity.