The last two days, just like the previous week, have been hugely uninspiring. I seem to have come to a stop. I’d thought that writing every day would help me be more creative and ideas would come easily to me. But despite my writing streak now being close to a year and my daily reading diet, I fail to get any ideas, as if I’ve blocked all the channels that flow with creative juices.
Since the day I started my daily writing practice, I’ve been stuck several times, and usually found my way out. But it only happened once in a while; this is the longest that I’ve gone without feeling creatively inspired. I’ve never been in such a position before and I miss the times when my fingers banged at the keyboard furiously because my thoughts were too fleeting to hold on to. It was a struggle to keep up with them. But the struggle I’m going through right now is completely different. Now my fingers rest on the keyboard and my muse looks at me from behind the screen while I scour my treasury of prompts for some spark that would give me 750 words for the day. 750 doesn’t sound like much, but when you actually sit down to write, you realize how many tiny stories you can tell in such few words.
I’ve read other writers – published, award-winning writers – say that they suffer from writer’s block too, and that they overcome it through changing their surroundings or trying something new or writing about how they cannot write. I only have the last option; not everybody can change their surroundings whenever they want or do something new or different.; many don’t have the time. Moreover, not everybody has set a goal of writing a certain number of words everyday, unlike me. I can only choose to write about how I cannot write, which is exactly what I’m doing right now. And I’m not even halfway to 750 as I write this.
In other news, our class 11 results will be declared tomorrow (with report cards and parent-teacher meetings) but we have already been told the name of the top three students in the class, and surprisingly, I stood first, with 91.6%. I was happy, but then I had a look at the chalkboard with the toppers’ names and percentage on it and saw that S, who’d stood second, was only behind by 1.2%. That’s a very small difference, and I realized that I stood first only because of luck. Not that I had not studied hard; I had tried to do my best throughout the year, though once or twice I did not give it my all. I topped the class not because I worked hard, but because S had lost her father in December last year. Two days after he passed away, she was back at school, giving unit tests and preparing for the final examinations. They’d both wanted her to join the civil services. I think her father’s death has only made her resolve to become an IAS or IFS or IRS stronger. I don’t know; she’s never told me. But what I do know is that what she did required immense courage. I cannot even imagine how mentally stable I’d have been had I been in her placer. If her father had not passed away, S would have definitely performed better and stood first in the class. She’s one brave girl.
I’m happy with my performance but I know I could have done even better had I not slacked off those couple of times and been overconfident. There is a very thin line separating confidence from overconfidence, and I often fail to see it. Like when I hurried and submitted a story that needed a lot of fixing. I was overconfident about my ability to write after one magazine acceptance told me my writing was not really worthless. I did that mistake with two stories. I’m currently working on a third one, but this one has different problems. I’ve been trying to make it as good as I can, but I think I need to know when to stop editing, otherwise I’ll erase the life out of it. My inner critic says that I might be hurrying again, but I think I’m almost done with it. I’ve decided to work on it for a few more days and give it some final edits and then send it to the magazine I’m aiming to get it published in. If it’s not good and needs more fixing, the editors’ rejection will let me know. And if it’s really good enough, they’ll let me know that too. There’s no harm in trying, after all.
“You never fail until you stop trying.”
― Albert Einstein