It’s been a month since I have opened my notebook to write something but have ended up writing absolutely nothing. Staring on an empty and unfilled set of lines is as scary for a writer as an empty refrigerator would be for a foodie. It would be too much of a robust claim on my part to say that I am a writer since I have just a few published writings to my credit. However I have been battling the fear of staring an empty blank page for the past one month and the anxiety I have been reciprocated with is a really nerve-wrecking one.
There is a perennial tug-of-war going on inside my mind where one end is ready to take the plunge into the empty pages whereas the other end is pulling it back. It is my mind I suppose, that is holding me back from writing. My mind is just so cluttered that it is getting more and more difficult to structuralize the things inside, so that I can give it a concrete form and put it on paper. The overdose is nauseating my mind. My mind is fickle. It thinks a lot and it thinks on a lot of things at a single span of time. The things residing inside my mind are like sand dunes. Each time I try to reach them, they are blown away by the wind. Or they are like those little butterflies. Each time I try to catch them, they fly into the oblivion. It’s like I am in a forever pursuit of something that will trigger me to write. And that “something” is still incomprehensible.
Why do people write? What is it that makes a person isolate from the world outside shutting themselves up in a closed space? Why a writer like Paulo Coelho was admitted to a mental institution because of his “exaggerated” introversion and his obsession with breaking away from traditional path? In fact Paulo Coelho became a writer because with utmost research he found out that writers “always wears glasses and never combs his hair” and has a “duty and an obligation never to be understood by his own generation.” His books like “the alchemist”, “Like the flowing river” are maybe the products of his fixation with exploration of life that made him a writer. What moved Robin Sharma to go on a life-changing spree for the common entrepreneurs? Is it altruism or is it more than that? There can be so many reasons explaining why someone writes. Some write for passion, some do it as leisure. For some, writing is a creative luxury, for some it is their bread and butter.
Writers are supposedly introvert human-beings. They talk less because they talk to their mind all the time. As Stephen king says, “Writing is like hypnosis” which is true because when you write, your mind and soul merges as one. You are not aware of your surroundings or even your own being. Great writers may go to a stage of transcendence and seldom knows what they are writing till it is done. That is the magic of writing. But the irony is, how much ever a writer is isolated inside his own world; his life is an open book. There are only a few writers who have an absolutely straight life without any knots and twists. A scandalous life is an absolute necessity for them. They don’t take the road that is already taken. They don’t abide by what the society vouches for. They fall in love incessantly and fall out of it crushed. They see a story in everything and their hands itch every minute to put everything down on paper. If not the notebook, their mind is already a wide canvas dotted with various stories.
As for me, I am just a miniscule part of these writers’ lives. I am just a reader in awe of their writings, and whose life may have been affected a little by their writings. I don’t aspire to be a writer. I believe aspiration relegates the whole notion of writing to a great ambition. Writing can never be an ambition because writing never gives a sense of achievement or satisfaction. Every page you complete writing gives you a sense of incompleteness and you continue writing more. It is like a river flow that does not stop. A dynamic process.
My life had always been an average one. No extraordinary strokes have painted my life. I had a happy childhood, normal teenage years and an equally usual adulthood. Never bullied by anyone, never had a tormented love affair, never been an academic failure nor I had to fend for everyday livings. Yet, there is something inside me that tells me to write. The urge that I have is not explainable but I think I write to express myself or should I put it as to let out my thoughts and feelings. I am not good with communicating thoughts verbally. Words fail to come to my lips spontaneously even when they are all ready to come out from my mind. Thus I take solace in my little notebook, who like a loyal friend listens to what I have to say. Yes. That’s what it is. I don’t write; I talk to my notebook. Over time, we have developed an unexplained relationship that even I am not able to bring myself to understand. I have grown with my writings, not just in terms of my vocabulary, sense of grammar, techniques but also with my thoughts and perceptions. With my maturity, my notebook has matured too. It is no longer nonchalant about things going around the world. It shudders when “Nirbhaya” dies and cries out with happiness when Mary Kom wins a bronze in Olympic. It dreads with the fear of future and yet sometimes smiles back to the nostalgic years left behind. My notebook has become a reflection of me; with each page unveiling different facets of my life. It is smeared with different inks of my experiences-some trivial and some substantial but all of them close to my heart.
But for the past one month, my notebook has become silent. I have exhausted myself trying to look for myself in those blank pages. My mind has become silent. I have become silent. And this silence is hammering my ears more than the loudest of rock band can ever do. The newspaper, the television, the internet, the peers around, the assignments and tests- everything has got a story to tell. And as my mind takes it all, somewhere its own story is being vanished into nothing – just a few figments of left over thoughts. And while I am writing this, my mind wanders off yet again.